Dark Horse

In only five hours I read the book Dark Horse: Achieving Success through the Pursuit of Fulfillment. Todd Rose and Ogi Ogas have written the definitive guide to finding the career that is the right fit.

From the inside book flap:

“This mold-breaking approach doesn’t depend on your SAT scores, who you know, or how much money you have.

The secret is a mindset that can be expressed in plain English:

Harness your individuality in the pursuit of fulfillment to achieve excellence.”

The authors detail the achievements of a high-school dropout who created her own telescope observatory in her backyard. She found and named an asteroid and found a planet. This put her in the ranks of astronomers with PhDs.

This woman and the other people talked about in the book are dark horses because no one could see their success coming.

My memoir Left of the Dial is a full-length book recounting of my own dark horse life.

Those of us who are dark horses got here via a long and winding path.

Todd Rose and Ogi Ogas in their book rail against the “cookie-cutter mold for success that requires us to be the same as everyone else, only better.”

This “standard formula” is the root of inequality. People are competing to get better grades, get into elite colleges and universities, and get coveted jobs.

It really is a treadmill. One woman featured in Dark Horse willingly got on this competitive treadmill thinking this was what she was supposed to do.

She crashed, and had to rethink her whole life. Today she is successful as the operator of an underground supper club.

I say: stop living life on autopilot. Live an authentic life.

We don’t have to trample over each other in our lives like it’s a Black Friday sale every day. We don’t have storm through the doors reaching to achieve things at the expense of everyone else.

The book flap asks:

“As much as we might dislike the standard formula, it seems like there’s no other practical path to financial security and a fulfilling life.

But what if there is?””

I recommend readers of the blog buy Dark Horse.

I for one think the book is the most uplifting and inspiring literature I’ve ever read of any genre.

In the next blog entry I’ll talk about having a career linked to your individuality.

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The Pillar of Relax

Engaging in the habits outlined in the Pillar of Relax is imperative to our health.

In this go-go-go world we can have a breakdown. Our bodies are not machines. We’re human beings that need rest and recreation every day.

The strategy I employ is a simple one predicated on mindfulness: pay attention to what your body is telling you to do and how your body feels at any given time during the day.

One Sunday it was unseasonably colder. My body had gone on strike it seemed. There would be no going to the gym and no going outside.

Pushing yourself to do demanding activities is a mistake when your body is telling you to slow down and rest. Yet too often people think that being busy is a sign of health.

Being busy isn’t a sign of health. Being fit and active is the barometer of health.

You can do less every day and achieve more peace of mind and better health.

We should not be checking work e-mails from home. In my house I have the inviolable rule of not checking work e-mails when I’m on vacation.

The corollary to relaxing is the Pillar of Sleep. Dr. Chatterjee recommends establishing the 90-Minute Rule: shutting down all TV, cell phone, and tablet use 90 minutes before you go to bed.

Getting enough rest and recreation can absolutely halt disease from starting or progressing.

I’ll end this blog entry by saying that for years I was skeptical that a person’s behavior and lifestyle choices could cause disease.

Now I know without a doubt that the keys to unlocking optimal health are in our own hands. We are not passive victims of illness. Disease is not the natural outcome of getting older. It’s too often the result of inactivity and poor choices.

The Real Deal About Drinking Water

Dr. Chatterjee in his book How to Make Disease Disappear urges readers to drink 8 glasses of water per day.

Doing this will give you more energy and clearer skin. It flushes out toxins and helps with weight maintenance. Drinking water also prevents headaches.

Loyal readers I’ve resisted doing this. Again it’s a matter of making healthy habits as convenient as possible.

You can buy a 27-ounce water bottle from KleanKanteen.

Bring it to your job or wherever you’re going in the morning. Fill it up and drink throughout the day. Add a squirt of lemon for taste if you want.

I’ve read in at least two places that you can divide your weight in half to arrive at the number of ounces of water to drink each day.

It might not seem fair that you have to drink all that water every day to reap health benefits. Yet not doing so can indeed lead to disease.

The benefits of drinking water are real not conjecture bandied about to sell plastic bottles of water. Ditch the plastic and buy a KleanKanteen bottle to carry wherever you go.

Drinking two glasses of water in the morning is a great way to start the day.

In the next blog entry I’m going to talk about one of the other Pillars: Relax.

Lifestyle and Disease

It has been hard for me to believe that a person’s lifestyle–their habits and behavior–can cause disease. I always thought that when the ball falls on your number on the Roulette wheel of health it’s random who gets ill and who doesn’t.

After reading How to Make Disease Disappear I’m confident that lifestyle choices are the root of most disease. In his book Dr. Chatterjee links a person’s lifestyle to the onset of the disease that is prevalent in modern society.

It’s coming up on the third anniversary of my father’s death. He died of Stage 3 colon cancer that spread to his liver.

I urge everyone 50 and older to get a colonoscopy. With a history of cancer in my family I have to do this too.

Nearly every day I think of my father. He didn’t exercise. He didn’t maintain active social connections later in life. After he retired he spent two or three hours a day watching FoxNews.

Irrespective of his choice of Conservative state news channel the fact is watching excessive TV causes death according to Dr. Chatterjee.

In his book How to Make Disease Disappear this British M.D. also states the irrefutable fact that drinking cola, soda, or soft drinks causes Type-2 Diabetes.

Years ago I told a beloved friend to “can the cans” and stop drinking cola. He wouldn’t listen to me. It was no surprise to me when last year he told me a doctor diagnosed him with diabetes.

Whether diet or regular Coke or Pepsi or other cola the outcome is the same: ill-health if not guaranteed diabetes.

I’m writing these blog entries because I care about readers.

And yes–I care that billions of dollars are spent on treating disease instead of preventing disease in the first place.

Reaching for a pill isn’t always the answer. Which is why I’ve refused to take drug company money and become a spokesperson for Pfizer. Dr. Chatterjee has cured his patients without resorting to pharmaceutical intervention.

The point is preventing disease is cheaper than managing disease once it’s occurred.

 

How to Make Disease Disappear

how to make disease disappear

Dr. Chatterjee in the above book details his 4 Pillars of Health: Relax – Eat – Move – Sleep.

This British M.D. is able to cure patients of disease without using medication.

The 219-page book I read in one day. I recommend loyal readers of my blog buy the book or at least check it out of the library.

For years now I’ve thought that who gets sick is random. It seemed like if the ball landed on your number in the Roulette wheel of ill health you’d become sick.

Now I know without a doubt that disease can often be caused by poor behavior and lifestyle choices.

In the coming blog entries I’ll talk in more detail about topics in How to Make Disease Disappear.

I care about readers. The route and routines to get to a life of fitness are often simple and cheap. Preventing disease is doable.

In the U.S. unfortunately the medical model is predicated on disease management instead of illness prevention. This has to change if we want people in society to be healthier and happier and wealthier.

The money we spend managing disease after it occurs would be better spent offering healthier food choices in the marketplace. It would be better spent on effective health campaigns.

In the book How to Make Disease Disappear Dr. Chatterjee tells readers point blank that traditional diet advice is wrong. For details about the right way to go about eating read his visionary book.

Each of us has to take our health into our own hands. We can’t rely on the government to have our backs as regards our health.

The book is only 219 pages. It’s an easy read.

Surviving and Thriving with an Invisible Chronic Illness

I’ve installed the book Surviving and Thriving with an Invisible Chronic Illness on my iPad.

The author has a number of physical illnesses that aren’t visible to the eye. Yet her advice could also help individuals living with mental health issues.

Her no-nonsense advice about when to disclose to a romantic partner is specific to those of us with physical woes. Yet it might just be good practice for those of us with mental health conditions too.

A therapist has told me not to disclose too quickly.

You can see my blog entry at the Left of the Dial blog for my take on this: reel the person in on your fishing line with your real self apart from the illness. After they’ve taken the bait, introduce mental health into your conversations.

Talk about how Kanye West has revealed he has bipolar. Talk about a person in your own life who has an emotional illness. Then bring up your own diagnosis in the bare-bones way. You don’t have to reveal every single detail of the symptoms you’ve had.

Ilana Jacqueline’s refreshing take on disclosing early in the dating game intrigued me though. How soon is too soon? How long is too long to wait?

It depends on what your gut or your intuition is telling you is the right time to reveal your condition.

Either way, Surviving and Thriving with an Invisible Chronic Illness is a short yet informative read that I’m confident could benefit mental health peers in other ways too. Like for disclosing on your job and requesting a reasonable accommodation. And for creating a job where you can work from home.

Tomorrow morning I’m going to give this book 5 stars on Amazon.

I recommend this book without reservation.

Sacred Contracts

My mentor stayed clean for decades. I think he was motivated to live drug-free because he wanted more than anything to help people.

If you ask me figuring out your Sacred Contract–essentially your life purpose–can give you the motivation to stay healthy and care for yourself.

Caroline Myss believes our sacred contracts are life assignments given to us to carry out in this lifetime.

A client of hers is quoted in the book Sacred Contracts. Liza had dreamed she was in a small rowboat going in circles. She could see an ocean liner in the distance and wanted to be on that ship not stuck where she was. Liza had been paralyzed in an accident and had to makeover her career and her life.

To quote Liza: “The key is to learn to row the boat you were given.”

I recommend you buy these two Myss books. Any kind of self-improvement project that is healthy shouldn’t be frowned on. We should only be competing against how we were yesterday–not against what other people can do today.

I say: “No thank you” to critics who compare peers to people who don’t have MH issues. The size of another person’s ocean liner shouldn’t concern us.

In a coming blog entry I’m going to talk about The Myth of Competitive Employment.