Do You Value Your Health?

I have spent a significant amount of time over the past few years thinking about the value of health.

It is often said, and I completely agree, that one’s health is the cornerstone to a truly enjoyable and meaningful life. I’m often reminded of the quote:

“He who has health has a thousand dreams. He who does not have health has but one.”

In my life, I regularly come across people who say they value exercising or healthy eating or following any number of other programs in the name of their health and who are very diligent about keeping up with these routines and habits.

But, what exactly is it they value? Is it the weight loss, or getting fitter and stronger, or about how they feel when they are eating and sleeping better?

No doubt there are people in the world who genuinely do enjoy, and therefore value, these things, but I argue it is not the majority and that there is more to this than meets the eye.

I believe that what drives most people to stick to these healthy routines is not the immediate outcome – the weight loss, the energy gain etc. – but rather the capability they obtain as a result to be more engaged in life and therefore able to derive a greater level of enjoyment and satisfaction from their lives.

Simply, the outcomes from the healthy routines serve to enable participation in higher order activities that lead to higher order outcomes. By keeping fit, strong and energized, these people are able to be more engaged with their kids, can get out and about more, participate in more adventurous activities, and are potentially able to cope better with the day-to-day pressures of modern living.

Knowing this can be a powerful tool for people looking to make positive health changes in their lives. By focusing on these higher order outcomes and using them as motivators to stick to new, health giving routines, you can significantly improve your ability to stay disciplined and motivated to achieve your underlying health goals.

Motivation can come from many places and things, but by having a higher order goal that aims to secure a higher order outcome than simply losing weight, getting buff etc., you will not need as much external motivation to stay resilient and disciplined in your pursuit of your goals.

As with many other aspects of wellbeing, this might seem obvious or overly simple. However, the reality is that by framing your goals differently and by really knowing what it is you value most in life, it is possible to achieve significant life transformations that last and that can lead to greater life satisfaction.