impossible dream, commitment, discipline, consistency, personal growth

To Reach the Unreachable Star

To Reach the Unreachable Star

© 2006 Wellness Clubs of

“And the world will be better for this: that one man, worn and covered with scars, still strove with his last ounce of courage to reach the unreachable star.”

Those words from the song, The Impossible Dream, speak volumes about the quest for wellness. Perfect health is an impossibility in the world in which we live. Every baby is conceived and born with genetic imperfections and enters a hostile and unforgiving environment inadequately equipped for the journey called life.

He or she will face health challenges, some big and some small. The result of those challenges will depend largely on how effectively the factors that determine one’s level of wellness are being addressed. While it is impossible to achieve and maintain perfect wellness, much can be gained by reaching for that unreachable star.

The old saying, “If you haven’t got your health you haven’t got anything” may not be true in the strictest sense, but when an individual’s health is challenged his or her performance inevitably suffers. It is not possible to give one’s best effort to daily tasks when illness is present.

To be all that you and I can be we must commit to play full out, to stretch the limits of our abilities, and to give our full attention to the task before us. As much as we might try, we cannot function at that level when we are weak, weary, and wounded. To the degree that you and I fail to live up to our potential the entire world loses. Conversely, to the degree that you and I strive to be our best the whole world wins.

Unfortunately, striving requires courage – something that is in very short supply today. Earl Nightingale, in his famous essay The Strangest Secret revealed a remarkable insight. “The opposite of courage in our society,” he wrote, “is not cowardice, but conformity.”

I become more aware of the accuracy of Nightingale’s observation nearly every day. The fierce spirit of independence that triggered the American Revolution has been replaced by a prevailing attitude of dependence. The determined force of rugged individualism that conquered a continent and forged one of the most industrious and creative civilizations the world has ever known has been supplanted by an atmosphere that engenders conformity and political correctness.

I see this in many arenas, but I am most aware of a stifling malaise in the realm of health and wellness. I am saddened by the degree to which individuals have chosen to sacrifice their ability to grow and thrive to the dictates of governmental programs, corporate decisions, insurance company policies, religious dogmas, societal tendencies and familial attitudes toward disease.

Dependence is the prevailing state of mind today. People are dependent upon governmental programs to provide their basic needs – “Is this covered by Medicare?” They are dependent upon their employer to make arrangements for their medical care – “I’m sorry, but my company changed insurers and you’re not on my new list. I’ll need to find a new doctor.”

Many are dependent upon their insurer to determine what steps they should take regarding their health care – “My policy doesn’t cover nutritional supplements. Isn’t there a drug you can prescribe instead?” Others are dependent upon friends or family members to guide their decisions – “I’m sorry, our family doesn’t believe in going to chiropractors.”

Few are willing to think for themselves, to explore new territory, and to open themselves to new ideas. I commonly encounter this reluctance in physicians. As a group they have an intense desire to conform, to be deemed acceptable to their peers, and to be in alignment with the current trends in diagnosis and treatment.

Drugs and other treatment modalities rise and fall in popularity like the ebb and flow of ocean waves. Any who dare to challenge the wisdom of a rising trend are ridiculed, chastised, or simply ignored, as are those who continue to ride a wave after others have decided to catch another, even though the practice has served well and withstood the test of time.

I often meet resistance when I begin to address energetic issues in recommending a program to address a health challenge. This most commonly occurs when I am addressing an intellectual who is married to the peer reviewed literature in his or her primary field of study or when I am talking to a person who confuses mysticism with rational observation. Collating and applying information from diverse sources does not make one “unscientific” nor does identifying and using means to enhance the body’s ability to absorb and utilize energy from its surroundings make one a “New Age Practitioner.”

The pursuit of wellness is a never-ending quest. It is daring to dream the impossible dream. It requires commitment, discipline, and consistency. Above all, it requires courage, a willingness to step away from the crowded roads and explore less beaten paths. It is in following these paths that you will begin to truly live, for, as Helen Keller once stated, “Life is either a daring adventure, or it is nothing at all.”

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