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Book Image Not Available
Book details
  • Genre:SELF-HELP
  • SubGenre:Motivational & Inspirational
  • Language:English
  • Pages:197
  • eBook ISBN:9781620952054

Why Normal Isn't Healthy

How to Find Heart, Meaning, Passion & Humor on the Road Most Traveled

by Bowen F. White MD

Book Image Not Available
Overview
WHY NORMAL ISN'T HEALTHY The definitions here for "normal" and "healthy" are different than definitions one learns during medical training. There the focus was on the absence of health, i.e. disease. Diseases were defined by objective criteria. When those moved back into normal range, the patient had returned to "health." To me that is not the same thing. “Health” here is the ability to work, to love, to play and to think soundly. That means that someone with a disease, e.g., high blood pressure, bipolar disorder, cancer, etc. can be healthy. It's not about the criteria we learned in medical school. It is about how people experience their lives: jobs, families, friends, gifts, purpose and well being. It is about staying in a developmental process throughout the life cycle. Otherwise, we can slip into a box long before we're dead. That's normal. Being normal means when stressed we often make a bad situation worse, addictions abound, 50% of marriages end in divorce, less than half of Americans are happy with their jobs, when teenagers have problems their parents are the court of last resort, we are better at competing than collaborating, honesty is not the best policy, we repress how we really think and feel while expressing just what's safe to say and we learned to be our own worst enemies! That is normal and it isn't healthy! The irony is, it isn't until someone gets sick that they make life decisions that reflect what is actually most important to them. They can even be grateful for their diagnosis. Why wait for cancer ? Open that box. It seems safe but it's a trap. You may be caught, but look. You have the key. This book can help you find it and in the process think through your problems to sounder solutions. (think soundly); have healthier relationships with yourself and others (to love); while figuring out how to get better at what you do and/or what you want to start doing. (to work) And have more fun getting better. (to play)
Description
WHY NORMAL ISN'T HEALTHY The definitions here for "normal" and "healthy" are different than definitions one learns during medical training. I do not recall much about the topic of "health"/"healthy" being addressed during training. The focus was on the absence of health or to state it more plainly, disease. Diseases were well defined for the most part by objective criteria. And if and when those objective criteria moved back into the normal range and the patient was feeling much better they were said to have returned to "health." To me that is not the same thing. So how, then, do I define 'health?" Health here is the ability to work, to love, to play and to think soundly. That means that someone with hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, bipolar disorder, cancer, etc. can be healthy. Whereas someone else without any known ailment or abnormal lab results, probably isn't. It's not about the criteria we learned in medical school. It is about how people experience the living of their lives: their jobs, their families, their friends, their gifts, their purpose, themselves and well being. It is a definition I stole from Ashley Montagu in a book titled, GROWING YOUNG. His premise is we are not meant to grow old we are meant to grow young. We are meant to stay in a developmental process throughout the life cycle, staying in touch with the wonderful behavioral characteristics of the child e.g., curiosity, playfulness, experimental mindedness, plasticity and authenticity. These help us stay vital, and yes, young, regardless of our age. Otherwise, we can slip into a box long before we're dead. That's normal. So what happened? We got educated and acculturated. And what we learned allows us to function now as normal adults in the work-a-day world: get a job, work hard, pay the rent, get married, pay the mortgage, raise children, save for their education, save for retirement and until recently, enjoy our golden years. Being normal means when stressed we often make a bad situation worse, addictions abound, workaholism is rampant, 50% of marriages end in divorce, financial wealth goes up but happiness doesn't above $65,000/year, less than half of Americans are happy with their jobs, when teenagers have problems their parents are the court of last resort, we are better at competing than collaborating, honesty is not the best policy, we repress how we really think and feel while expressing just what's safe to say and we learned to be our own worst enemies! That may be normal but it certainly isn't healthy! The irony is, it isn't until someone gets sick that they make life decisions that reflect what is actually most important to them. They begin doing what is suspiciously healthy and can even be grateful for their status quo breaking diagnosis. Why wait for cancer or the near death experience to see what we want to start doing that we haven't risked before? Why wait to start doing what is healthy for our relationships and us as well? And finally, what do we want to keep doing, albeit differently? Open that box. It seems safe but it's a trap. You may be caught, but look. You have the key. This book may just help you find it and in the process think through your problems, to sounder, suspiciously healthy solutions. (think soundly); have a healthier relationship with yourself and healthier relationships with others.(to love); while figuring out how to get better at what you do and/or what you want to start doing. (to work) And have more fun along the way. (to play)
About the author
BOWEN F. WHITE, M.D. Bowen F. White, M.D. combines the talents and expertise of a medical doctor, teacher, executive coach, speaker, consultant, and author. He travels the world conducting seminars, consulting and speaking to public and private organizations. In 1983, Dr. White founded the Department of Preventive & Stress Medicine for Baptist Medical Center in Kansas City, Missouri and the Department of Wellness and Health Promotion before leaving to pursue a private practice and a career as a consultant and speaker. He has given hundreds of keynote addresses and some highlights of his consulting experience include a six-month team building project at NCAA headquarters, three years as corporate medical consultant to the Hazelden Foundation, multiple presentations for Medtronic, Inc. (including their Medtronic Leader program), is the graduation speaker for MFS leadership training programs, multiple presentations for the Institute for Management Studies and lectures at Stanford University's Graduate School on design thinking, creativity and innovation. With a practice in organizational medicine, he is interested in the “people piece” of the workplace puzzle: Leadership, Team Building, Coaching for High Performance, Balance and Well Being, Stress, Managing Change, Sales, Ethics, and Communications. His programs emphasize the need for individuals to take responsibility for their own health and well being as he helps organizations create suspiciously healthy workplaces. Dr. White’s training programs, seminars, keynote speeches, management retreats and executive coaching sessions have had an immediate, practical application for such organizations as: St. Luke’s Health System, Yarco, Sprint, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, New York Life Insurance, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, 3M, DuPont, Duke University Medical Center, Mercury Marine, Inc., the Foreign Service Institute, Hallmark Cards, Federal Reserve Bank, Ameriprise Financial, Hydraulic Institute and Georgetown University Law School. His message is international. In addition to presentations throughout the US, he has presented at conferences in Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Germany, Austria, India, Ireland, Scotland, Spain, Panama and Israel. He has spoken to educators and business leaders in the UK (London, Manchester, Edinburgh), and to staff members stationed at the U.S. Embassy in Budapest, Hungary. The International Management Center in Budapest asked Dr. White to share his expertise with managers studying their emerging market economy. He has also discussed aspects of executive training and quality programs with industrial managers in Osaka, Japan. In addition to appearing on the front page of the Wall St. Journal and on national television programs such as CBS This Morning, Desmond Morris’ The Human Animal and the PBS series The Promise of Play, Dr. White is often interviewed by radio, newspaper and magazine journalists. He has eight years of experience as a weekly TV health commentator for Kansas City’s CBS-TV affiliate and also had a three-year stint writing a weekly newspaper column, entitled “Patient Potential,” for the Kansas City Business Journal. Dr. White is married with four daughters. He contributes his time to The Gesundheit! Institute and the National Institute for Play and is the author of two books: Why Normal Isn’t Healthy and with John MacDougal, A Clinician’s Guide to Spirituality. In addition he created two audio series: The Cry of the Heart and Dr. White’s Complete Stress Management Kit.
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