So I contracted pneumonia. The reality is that I wasn’t perfect one day then sick the next. I was worn out in early October, then got a cold that developed into a cough. I slowed down a little, hoping to shake it. I had one big day scheduled – an all-day business Expo, meeting a new client and a couple of other errands. Plus an hour’s drive each way. A challenging day, to be sure, but not crazy.
The next day I began to feel pretty lousy, but I had the whole weekend to recover, so I took it easy. By Monday I was very sick. Sicker than I can remember ever being. I only worked half days, still hoping to shake it. By the following Monday – now into November, I knew it was bigger than me and it wasn’t going to go away on its own. The Doctor diagnosed pneumonia and I’ve been on antibiotics for the last 2 weeks to shake it.
The pneumonia is pretty much gone, but I’m still not at 100%. I still get winded and tired very quickly. I have to force myself to slow down even as I walk, or I won’t be able to make it to the end of the block. I took the 2 boys shopping on Saturday, and managed to last only ½ hour. The thought of walking the kilometer to my office, something I used to do several times a week, is inconceivable to me right now.
I started writing this a week ago. This week I actually did walk the km to my office twice; athough I’m still feeling the need to take it easy.
It’s not all doom and gloom. I have been able to read a few books, focus my attention on the important things and do some thinking. Here are some of the conclusions:
Health is important so that you can work hard as Robert Herjavec tells us to do in Driven: How to succeed in business and life. His formula for success is to do what you love, do what you know and work hard at it. Focus on sales.
Cruising through life doesn’t take much stamina, but stepping up and making changes does.
When I could only work several hours a day, it was essential that I spend my time on the most important tasks. Being sick made me focus on what’s important. I’m in the process of opening another office and hiring more people. Simple Prosperity: Finding real wealth in a sustainable lifestyle by David Wann is a great look at what is really important in life. Things like health, community, belonging, doing work that is bigger than me and life choices that make the world better, not worse.
When service is the focus of what I do, rather than money, I do better; I’m happier and, amazingly, wealthier. Here’s to doing work that helps people.
I’ve had some time to take a step back and look at the 20,000 foot view of our time in the world. I read The Great Reset: how new ways of living and working drive post-crash prosperity by Richard Florida and The Value of Nothing: why everything costs so much more than we think by Raj Patel.
Florida sets out the view that prolonged economic downturns, rather than being crises, are opportunities to remake our economy and society. He explains how the depressions of the late 1800’s and the 1930’s changed society and opened the way for new economic drivers. He postulates that this is one of those times and we can look for big changes over the next decade or so.
Patel reveals the hidden social consequences of our economic lives. He exhorts us to stop using price as an indicator of value. Economists created Homo Economicus and endowed him with perfect reasoning, believing that he will always make the choice with the highest personal utility. But the new irrational economics study has shown us that our decisions are more often based on emotion, prejudice and laziness than a careful examination of the pros and cons.
How did we get to a point where our irrational purchasing decisions are used to make societal policy? Remember the Golden Rule: He who has the gold makes the rules. That is what is happening now.
All of these writers are pointing out that we are beginning to wake up from a sleep of apathy to rub our eyes, see what is happening in our world, take responsibility and decide to do something about it. Our lifestyle decisions have far-reaching implications to the way we and others can live our lives now and in the future. What we need to understand is that we have the power. We are the ones who have given those with the gold all the gold that they have.
So health, not just our physical, personal health; but the ability to live healthy, happy lives; that’s the objective, isn’t it?