For many people, the word health is represented by images of highly toned, fit people working out in a gym or competing in some kind of energetic sport.
Mention the word lifestyle and many people associate a good lifestyle with lifestyle accessories such as driving "'the right car", going on holiday to exotic locations, dining in fine restaurants and being invited to sophisticated parties.
In other words, it's about living life through material identifications. Aspiring to all of these things is fine, although we would ask you to think about what it really means to be "healthy, wealthy and wise". Can it really be summed up in someone who is physically fit, earns lots of money and has a PhD in Philosophy?
We would suggest that perhaps there is far more to health than just the physical aspects. In addition, there is mental health, emotional health, and spiritual health which can all be seen to work together. Lifestyle can be just as diverse and again we would suggest that it is much more than the money you earn or the cars you drive.
Think about the following anecdote, about a wealthy businessman who goes on holiday to an idyllic fishing village. He notices a local man sitting at the end of a jetty dressed in tatty shorts and a straw hat. The man is fishing and by his side is a pile of fish. The businessman approaches the fisherman and asks him what he is doing.
"I've been fishing" he says, "and I'm going to take these fish home and cook them for my family's supper". Amused, the businessman tells him that he should take a more commercial approach. "Build a business", he tells the fisherman. "You could develop a fishing fleet and then distribute these fish all over the world". The businessman goes on to advise him to move to the city and make so much money that he would be able to enjoy the kind of retirement that the businessman has planned.
Looking rather bemused, the fisherman asks the businessman just what it is that he proposes to do in retirement. "Oh! I'm going to buy myself a little place by the sea and spend most of my day in the sun relaxing and fishing, taking life nice and easy".
Humorous? We thought so. Ironic? Most definitely. True for a lot of people? According to the results of a poll by the Daily Mail in 2003, more than 50% of the British working population stated that they intend retiring somewhere other than the UK. Climate, cost of living, stress and overcrowding were some of the key reasons given for this intention.
Just to balance this with another thought. Perhaps life in this idyllic village could become tedious after a while and that what we are seeking in reality is contentment and a balanced life?
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Stress In The Modern World - Click here to read a very interesting stress article
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