“Optimum health isn’t just the absence of disease but the presence of wellness in mental, emotional, physical, spiritual and social areas. Some would also include financial health.”
Optimum health is essential at all levels, from the individual to the society we live in to the environment around us. We have to begin thinking of wealth not just in terms of possession of money and properties but also the possession of mental, emotional, physical, social and spiritual well-being.
The truth is mind is the forerunner of all states.
With a proper mindset, a poor man can still be happy. Conversely, if the mindset is not right, no matter how much material possessions you may have, you may still be a very miserable person. Thus, Gandhi said, “The world has enough for everyone’s needs, but not enough for even a single person’s greed.”
So a healthy mind is one that possesses a mindset that can result in happiness and contentment with self and the world around us.
To have the ability to see things through an unbiased mind is no small feat. It is extremely difficult to note or observe the unfolding of events and phenomena without judging. Our likes for certain things and dislikes for others are closely associated with our emotions.
It is our emotions that lead us to act impulsively at times. Thus a high degree of self-awareness in this area is extremely helpful. In fact, it is essential to our well-being.
There are negative and positive emotions. Positive emotions such as love, compassion and joy should be cultivated, while negative emotions such as fear, anger and hate need to be eradicated.
When asked about this, a wise sage of India once illustrated with a story:
An old man said to his grandson, “Boy, I have two tigers caged within me. One is love and compassion. The other is fear and anger.”
The young boy asked, “Which one will win, grandfather?”
The old man replied, “The one I feed.”
Occasionally, it might seem that we don’t have any control over our emotions. This isn’t correct. The earlier we are able to note the arising of our emotions, we better we can manage them.
More and more researches are showing that our well-being is closely linked to our emotional and psychological health. Conversely, it is depressed by negative mental and emotional states. Thus, stress, worry, anger and fear are some states that may cause physical illnesses like hypertension, cardiac diseases, peptic ulcers, depression and a multitude of other ailments.
To maintain an optimum physical well-being, therefore, requires us to focus not only on our body but also our mind and emotions.
On a physical level, our body can be kept healthy through adequate sleep and rest, proper nutrition, regular exercises and a healthy environment that is free of pollution.
Through the ages, wise men have consistently informed and taught us that we are essentially spiritual beings.
Although medical science hasn’t been able to reveal to us our spiritual nature, there are lots of indirect evidence that we would be foolish to ignore. Stories from people who had gone through a near death experience (NDE), or dying people with heightened nearing death awareness, or simply a cure from an ‘incurable’ disease all suggest that there’s more to life than just the physical state.
Major religions of the world all based their teachings on the belief that we are essentially spiritual beings. According to these teachings, our physical existence is secondary.
While it could be true that we should focus our life more on our spiritual nature than our physical nature, it would be difficult for the vast majority of individuals to do so, at least not immediately. Things can’t change overnight. Mindset, however, can, and that is maybe the best place to begin.
But on a more mundane level, most individuals are still stuck on how to survive from day to day, where to get the next cheque to pay for the house installment, so on and so forth.
Practically, therefore, we need to look into ways to achieve a financial state that would theoretically free us from the constrain of ‘forced’ work. This is where the concept of financial freedom is so attractive. In accordance with the concept, one should strive for a country where we have one or more than one source of income that may be generated passively, that is, even when we don’t work.
This is what Robert Kiyosaki termed as ‘passive income’.
According to him, passive income can only be achieved by becoming an investor or a business owner, not a sole proprietor or an employee. To become an investor or a business owner, you must spend the time and money to acquire financial intelligence. Unlike IQ or EQ, you can acquire financial intelligence through self education.
To get a financial health checkup, consult an accountant, a banker or a financial planner you can trust.
“No man is an island, entire by itself.”
As a medical doctor, I am in a unique position to confront and comfort dying patients. Among the most important thing I have observed is that dying people don’t ask about their money or possessions. Rather, they focus their remaining energy and strength on trying to heal wounded relationships. It is as though there is an inherent need to get a proper closure to a relationship.
Thus, forming and cultivating a healthy relationship is important for our well-being. Unfortunately, this is something we often ignored until it is too late. If there is any forgiving to be done, or the need to be forgiven, leaving things to the last minutes may end up with an unfulfilled desire for a closure.
Knowing this now, shouldn’t we spend more time and effort in improving our relationship with our loved ones, especially with our parents, spouse, children and siblings?