Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Finding Your Motivation

The other day I went running with a friend of mine. I am training for the Chicago Marathon and there are good training days and not so good training days. That morning, I came up with many excuses not to run the 18 miles planned.

"Unfortunately" Dr. Mark, my running partner, was waiting on me so I felt the need to meet my end of the bargain and show up. I struggled the entire run and felt like stopping every step of the way. He was clearly my only motivator that day.

Coming up with excuses or finding the motivation to do things have become so mainstream that there are even websites specific to each topic.

In our most recent newsletter Salus, our system President and CEO, Fleury Yelvington, wrote the following, which reminded me of the importance of finding our motivation:

The national debate over how best to reform our healthcare system has enflamed partisan passions along the entire political spectrum. There is broad agreement that the system is broken, but currently no consensus about how to fix it.

Some say healthcare is a basic right that should be provided to all Americans and that government should shoulder the burden of providing such care. Others say it’s a privilege and that a free market is the most effective and efficient means to provide the best care to the most people.

There is, however, one principle upon which conservatives, liberals and those in between appear to agree: a new, healthier, healthcare system will require all individuals to take greater responsibility for their own health.

Though some causes of illness and injury are beyond our ability to completely control or manage, there is still much each of us can do to optimize our health and minimize costly interactions with the healthcare system. The improved lifestyle choices we each make every day can, collectively, have an enormous impact on the cost of healthcare in this country.

It’s easy to dismiss such a claim – “Who cares if I supersize my fries, or if I spend another 30 minutes on the couch watching TV instead of taking a walk? It’s my life and my health, after all. And it’s not like what I do or don’t do is going to make or break the entire healthcare system.”

The message is clear: Our choices do make a difference. Taking greater responsibility for your own health will not only improve the health of our nation’s healthcare system, it will improve your own sense of wellbeing and the quality of your life. It’s a win-win for everyone.

I look forward to hearing what motivates you at work and in your personal life.

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