“Optimum health is not just the absence of disease but the presence of wellness in mental, emotional, physical, spiritual and social areas.
Optimum health is essential at all levels, from the individual to the society we live in to the environment around us. We have to begin thinking of wealth not just in terms of ownership of money and properties but also the possession of mental, emotional, physical, social and spiritual well-being.
The reality is mind is the forerunner of all states.
Conversely, if the mindset is not right, no matter how much material possessions you might have, you might still be a very unhappy person. Thus, Gandhi said, “The world has enough for everyone’s needs, but not enough for even a single person’s greed.”
So a healthy mind is one that possesses a mindset that can result in happiness and contentment with self and the world around us.
To be able to see things through an unbiased mind is no small feat. It is very difficult to note or observe the unfolding of events and phenomena without judging. We habitually associate emotions or feelings to events, and allow such emotions to direct our actions. Our likes for certain things and dislikes for others are closely associated with our emotions.
It’s our emotions that lead us to act impulsively at times. Thus a high level of self-awareness in this region is extremely useful. In fact, it is essential to our well-being. After all, things and relationships that may take us years to build can be destroyed in a moment of anger.
There are negative and positive emotions. Positive emotions like love, compassion and joy should be cultivated, while negative emotions such as fear, anger and hate need to be eradicated.
When asked about this, a wise sage of India once illustrated with a story:
An old man said to his grandson, “Boy, I have two tigers caged within me. One is love and compassion. The other is fear and anger.”
The young boy asked, “Which one will win, grandfather?”
The old man replied, “The one I feed.”
Occasionally, it may seem that we have no control over our emotions. This is not true. The earlier we can note the arising of our emotions, we better we can manage them.
More and more researches are showing that our well-being is closely linked to our emotional and mental wellbeing. Conversely, it is depressed by negative mental and emotional states. Thus, stress, worry, anger and fear are some states that may lead to physical illnesses like hypertension, cardiac diseases, peptic ulcers, depression and a multitude of other ailments.
To maintain an optimum physical well-being, therefore, requires us to focus not only on our body but also our mind and emotions.
On a physical level, our body can be kept healthy through adequate sleep and rest, proper nutrition, regular exercises and a healthy environment that is free from pollution.
Through the ages, wise men have consistently informed and taught us that we are essentially spiritual beings.
Although medical science has not been able to reveal to us our spiritual nature, there are lots of indirect evidence that we would be foolish to dismiss. Stories from people who had gone through a near death experience (NDE), or dying people with heightened nearing death awareness, or simply a cure from an ‘incurable’ disease all suggest that there is more to life than just the physical state.
Major religions of the world all based their teachings on the belief that we are essentially spiritual beings. According to these teachings, our physical existence is secondary.
While it could be true that we should focus our life more on our spiritual nature than our physical nature, it would be difficult for the majority of individuals to do so, at least not immediately. Things cannot change overnight. Mindset, however, can, and that is maybe the best place to begin.
However, on a more mundane level, most individuals are still stuck on how to survive from day to day, where to get the next cheque to pay for the house installment, so on and so on.
Practically, therefore, we will need to look into ways to achieve a financial state that would theoretically free us from the constrain of ‘forced’ work. This is where the notion of financial freedom is so attractive. In accordance with the concept, one should strive for a state where we have one or more than 1 source of income that can be generated passively, that is, even when we don’t work.
That is what Robert Kiyosaki termed as ‘passive income’.
According to him, passive income can only be achieved by becoming an investor or a business owner, not a sole proprietor or an employee. To become an investor or a business owner, you must devote the time and money to acquire financial intelligence. Unlike IQ or EQ, you can acquire financial intelligence through self education.
To get a financial health check-up, consult an accountant, a banker or a financial planner you can trust.
“No man is an island, entire by itself.”
As a medical doctor, I am in a unique position to confront and comfort dying patients. One of the most important thing I have observed is that dying people do not ask about their money or possessions. Instead, they focus their remaining energy and strength on trying to heal wounded relationships. It is as though there is an inherent need to get a proper closure to a relationship.
Thus, forming and cultivating a healthy relationship is important for our well-being. Unfortunately, this is something we often ignored until it’s too late. If there is any forgiving to be done, or the need to be forgiven, leaving things to the last minutes may end up with an unfulfilled desire for a closure.
Knowing this now, shouldn’t we spend more time and effort in improving our relationship with our nearest and dearest, especially with our parents, spouse, children and siblings?