Humans are goal oriented. We get ideas and dreams in our heads, try to figure out a way to make that idea or dream a reality, then go after it. We do it on a daily basis, without even thinking about, just so we can get through each day. And there are some who go big.
There is a benefit to being laser-focused, as it blocks out distractions, eliminates incidentals, and helps get us to our goal faster. But there can be a downside to that laser focus. We’ve all heard the phrase, “Can’t see the forest through the trees.” This is defined as “an expression used of someone who is too involved in the details of a problem to look at the situation as a whole.”
I am coming up on my 25th year in private practice. I have seen thousands of patients. My whole world revolves around health and wellness. I, like you, have personal goals when it comes to my health. The healthcare system as a whole has goals when it comes to health. I have seen a situation that has been, and is currently, unfolding where there is shift in the goal of healthcare.
If I ask you what you really want out of life, you would likely say something like happiness, joy, connection, fulfillment, etc. If I ask you what you really want out of your health, you would likely say something like energy, strength, stamina, positive outlook, full function, etc.
The shift that has occurred in healthcare when it comes to goals is that many medical doctors have lost sight of what we are really seeking when it comes to health. It has become a numbers game. The main measurements made by, and emphasized by, medical doctors today are the numbers that show up when measuring your blood and vitals. Your blood pressure, cholesterol count, heart rate, BMI (body mass index), and blood count is so heavily emphasized, that the bigger picture has been lost. The medical system has lost the forest through the trees!
I want to encourage you to shift your health goals. I am not dismissing the importance of the above biometrics, and I think those things should be checked, and they do provide insight that could be useful and even save lives. So rather than dismissing those, let’s add to them. How about asking yourself much more useful and practical questions. Questions that carry much more weight and would have a much more dramatic impact on your overall quality of life.
Can you walk a mile straight without stopping? Can you do five air squats, dropping your butt just below your knees? Could you carry a loved one up or down a flight of stairs if there was an emergency? Are you loved? Do you love? Do you feel connected? Is your work valuable and impactful? Do you give at least as much as you receive? Are you dependable?
I could go on, but you get the idea. What good is a cholesterol number that is within the so-called normal range if your joints ache so much that you can’t get off the couch? What good is blood pressure that is right at 120/80 if you hate your job, your family situation, and/or life itself?
Our current healthcare system is so focused on the tress that they’ll pollute your body with toxic medication and perform risky procedures just to shift those numbers. And they’ll do it at the expense of the forest.
Start working on what really matters. Your health is your most valuable asset. Stop focusing on the trees (and don’t let your medical doctor do it either!). Back up and look at the forest. This is your life. The numbers don’t matter much if your life isn’t balanced, whole, and happy. Get to work on the important stuff and you’ll have a flourishing forest.