People are 300 times more motivated by what they want to avoid vs. what they hope for. Example: if you tell someone to do jumping jacks because it’ll improve their energy and cardiovascular health, they might do some when they remember one day. But if you tell them doing jumping jacks means they won’t die of a heart attack, they’ll ask you to check their technique.
The opposite of life is not death; it’s fear.
Our society is, sadly, driven by fear. We lock doors and set alarms so nobody can steal our possessions or harm our families. We segregate people and build walls. We tear down schools and build prisons. And we spend hundreds of billions of dollars per year on the pharmaceutical industry, an industry that thrives on fear. An industry that, in just the past 120 years, has reprogrammed how we view health: that it is something you need to get from the outside, rather than what is already within.
I recently heard a story about a couple who are not allowing anybody who hasn’t had the flu shot to hold their baby, family members included. Hearing this just made me sad. I can’t imagine not being able to hug that niece or nephew. I can’t imagine not letting a grandparent hold their grandchild. Believe what you want about vaccinations; we were meant to enter this world and begin life through love, not through fear.
Many patients first walk through my doors because they’re already experiencing some sort of pain or affliction. They are in crisis mode and need to step back in order to regain the health that was lost. The greatest success, in my opinion, is the moment we see perspective shift away from fear of what might happen and take a step toward life. When a patient no longer sees pain and sickness and begins to envision the great life they are capable of, when they truly grasp the understanding that their body was created for health and is already equipped with the necessary tools, and when they consciously commit to stewarding over that health – this is why I come to work every day.
A patient of mine, we’ll call her Fran, recently interrupted me as I was showing her the amazing results of her comparative x-ray. “You don’t have to show me how well I’m doing; I already know.” She went on to explain that most of the people around her are either dying or dead, while she is still living independently, socializing, and playing with her grandkids. Fran is in her 70s.
Nothing kills hope quite like fear. It wasn’t fear that motivated Fran to invest in her health; it was the hope that she would be able to play with her grandkids. This is her why; what’s yours?
My hope for you is that you will allow yourself the space and freedom to imagine and dream and hope for a life of love and health and prosperity.
Dr. Matt Tonnos
God, Family, Food, Exercise, and Health Strategy for People. Full time Doctor, Dad, and Husband. When I’m not interacting with patients, playing with my kids, or exercising at home with my wife, Dr. Amy Culver, you can find me reading books, enjoying a strong cup of coffee, and investing in new start-ups. Remember, if you’re not moving it, you’re losing it.