By Eric Wright
Four Healthy Choices
I love the scene in the film Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade where Jones’ nemesis on the quest for the Holy Grail, Walter Donovan, is told to choose which chalice is the actual Holy Grail. The aged knight, who for over a millennium has been standing guard, advises Donovan, “Choose wisely.” He, of course, takes a beautiful jewel encrusted chalice and drinks, only to be turned into a skeleton. The Grail Knight sageously comments, “He chose poorly.”
Today’s healthcare industry, the 21st century equivalent of a Holy Grail quest for everlasting life, is now worth three trillion dollars in the United States and absorbs 18 percent of this nation’s GNP. And with this is coming similar advise: “Choose wisely.”
I am not referring to where you get your insurance coverage or which doctor or delivery system you receive care and treatment from. Frankly, we are blessed to have numerous options, all of which are state-of-the-art across Central Florida. Rather, I am referring to the fact that all the thought leaders in the field, whether they are medical practitioners or executives studying the statistical data, are in complete consensus — most healthcare issues are a matter of either positive or negative health choices made by individuals.
Every day you and I make choices that affect not only our physical health, but the emotional health of key relationships, both personally and professionally. Challenging circumstances and difficulties are inevitable, but the choices we make usually determine what sort of outcomes we will have.
Choices All Can Make
1. Choose Responsibility – On Harry Truman’s desk was a famous plaque that said, “The Buck Stops Here.”
A “Buck” is the hilt of a knife, particularly a Bowie Knife, that was made from a buck’s antler. When playing poker, the buck pointed to the next dealer. You could, of course, “pass the buck” to the next person, but to Truman, that responsibility could not be passed. The best definition of responsibility I have ever heard is “the ability to make a response.”
2. Choose Your Attitude – Many act as though their attitude or disposition chooses them, which is not so. “Between stimulus and response there is a space,” Viktor Frankl said. “In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom. Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
3. Choose Partnership – Working with people always has its challenges, but the results are much greater than anything we can do alone. As Stephen Covey said, “Synergy is what happens when one plus one equals 10 or 100 or even 1,000! It’s the profound result when two or more respectful human beings determine to go beyond their preconceived ideas to meet a great challenge.”
4. Choose Your Destination – None of us had a say in how we started life or the gene pool we more or less fell into, but we do have a choice about where we want to end up. That legacy is not just what we do or have, it is who we are. And who we are is fashioned, like a sculpture, by the choices we make every day. As Dan Sullivan said, “Hell is coming to the end of your life and being face to face with the person you might have been.”
So, choose wisely!