Welcome to the series with the most important financial lessons our school system doesn’t teach. Articles in this Don’t Live Broke Series explore in depth each of the 7 Golden Rules of Wealth Accumulation.
Hello best life seekers!
The first 5 Rules of the secret money formula focus on money management habits. Rule 6: Body of the Gods now shifts attention to safeguarding our health, an issue not usually mentioned in wealth planning advice, though with a bit of reflection we will see how essential health is to wealth building and living your best life.
Rule 6: Body of the Gods
Being ill is expensive and let’s face it, sucks. Guard your wealth and enjoyment of life by following Rule 6: Protect your health – be it mental, physical, emotional or spiritual.
Deficits in any of these areas are expensive in that they cost money to treat or fix – money that could be working for you – and often lead to an impaired ability to make wise wealth decisions. In this way Body of the Gods is protective of your wealth. On the flip side of this Midas coin, excellent health promotes wealth by providing the energy, drive, creativity and enthusiasm you need to excel.
If You Don’t Have Your Health…
How can we put this, best life seekers?
Your health is wealth.
Your body is a temple.
Most people treat it like a trash can and the results, both physically and monetarily, aren’t pretty:
- Obesity is highly linked to type 2 diabetes, stroke, cancer, kidney disease and a host of other medical conditions. More than 39.8% or 93.3 million American adults are obese today versus 11.1% in 1990. The child obesity rate in the US is 18.5%, or 13.7 million children.
- In the US, 30.3 million people have diabetes while 84.1 million or 33.9% of adults have prediabetes.
- 30 million or 15% of US adults are estimated to have chronic kidney disease.
- Life expectancy in the US dropped for the 2nd year in a row in 2018 to 78.7 years and health officials cited a jump in suicide rates as the primary factor.
These are harrowing health statistics and we barely scratched the surface of heath issues plaguing our world. How healthy are you? Where do you fall in the fitness camp? If you aren’t well, you probably know all too intimately the desire to be healthy. Steve Jobs, one of the most wealthy and successful men of all time, would have traded his entire fortune to cure the cancer that killed him in the prime of his life.
You can have all the money in the world, best life seekers, but if you don’t have your health, what is that money ultimately worth?
What Bad Health Costs You
Sickness doesn’t just rob you of health, it robs you of money, energy, and opportunities available only to the healthy. It also impairs your enjoyment of life.
Decreased Joy. Many people don’t understand the true value of their health until they lose it. When you’re in chronic pain, your life revolves around that suffering and alleviating it. Gone is a lot of the enjoyment of life the healthy take for granted. Sickness doesn’t just attack the body, it can also viciously dispirit us by making all life’s pleasures beyond our reach. How can you enjoy life to the fullest when your own health isn’t optimized but compromised? Wouldn’t you rather be managing your adventures, not managing your illness and a schedule of medicines and doctor’s appointments?
Increased Expenses. Bad health always sucks to have but the second punch in the gut is how expensive it is. Americans spend an estimated $10,345 per person each year on healthcare, the most of any developed nation, yet the US ranks last for life expectancy among the 12 wealthiest industrialized nations. Medical debt is the #1 reason Americans file for bankruptcy.
If you’re part of the hourly wage crowd, time off for doctor’s appointments or sick days costs you money since you’re not getting paid for time spent not working. Co-pays only cover so much for visits or treatments or medications. Maybe you need to pay for medical equipment out of pocket or other unexpected ancillary costs. Meanwhile your health insurance premiums go up.
Retirement Planning Implosion. We will get old and sick someday. It’s inevitable unless we somehow cure death and you can bet your grandma the pharma companies aren’t going to hand that out for free. In planning your best life, remember that we’ll need to plan too for our elderly years and the increased costs of healthcare associated with it.
Furthermore, some illnesses may require you to go on disability at a relatively young age or retire earlier than planned, throwing monkey wrenches into your dreams as well as financial goals. A chronic disease in retirement might mean you can’t enjoy the adventures you’d expected to go on.
Social Life Nixed. Illness can also be isolating. Not only can it increase or cause depression (depression being an illness in and of itself), it can rob us of the enjoyment of social activities with family and friends that we can no longer fully participate in. You want to be chasing your grandchildren around in old age, travel the world, and have adventures with your friends, run your own business or be a pillar in your community. Any of this and more. You don’t want to be sitting alone in your house because you’re not well enough to go out or lack the financial ability to because of how strapped you are from medical bills.
All of these aspects of ill health mercilessly chip away at your wealth and best life.
Remember Rule 5: Don’t Dig Money Pits? The sad truth is that most disease is preventable through diet and lifestyle habits alone. Prevention is key. Furthermore, some chronic diseases like diabetes and kidney diseases can be reversed.
Don’t throw away your money and enjoyment of life on food and habits that are making you sick. Being healthy not only protects your quality of life, it provides you with better earning and spending potential. Think of all the ways you could use the money lost from days absent from work or paying for medical treatment and higher insurance premiums. Why live an unhealthy lifestyle and risk everything you’re trying to build and achieve?
Protect your health.
Beyond the Body
But what is health?
Ask most people and they’ll talk about physical health and not having any bodily ailments like diabetes or cancer or digestion issues. What they don’t understand about health is that it covers a wide range of territory, not just your physical well-being. Physical, mental, emotional and even spiritual well-being make up your overall health. Have weakness in any one of these and you will experience a diminished sense of happiness and an increased sense of suffering. That’s not what we call enjoying your best life now.
Emotional Well-Being. If you’re an emotional wreck, anxious and stressed, or constantly angry, then you probably know on some level that you’re not at your best. Being upset all the time comes with heartburn, nausea, and all sorts of physical side effects that makes the emotional pain we’re in all that much worse. People go to counseling, take medications, and attend meditation and mindfulness classes in attempts to regain some control over their unhappiness and experience some sort of relief.
Mental Well-Being. Our thoughts and emotions are closely related. Mental well-being deals with our mental state. For instance, depression is one of the most common mental illnesses and we all experience it at some point. It can sap the energy and motivation out of a person, and in the worst instance, lead to suicide. Mental illness has other dark forms like psychoses and neuroses. Habits like drug and alcohol abuse can cause or exacerbate these conditions. Health isn’t feeling on the edge of a nervous breakdown. Needless to say, it’s hard to live your best life now if your mental well-being is off kilter.
Spiritual Well-Being. Spirituality doesn’t necessarily mean having a religion. It’s more about how you see your reality and your relationship to the universe. A nihilist or fatalist will have a very different take on the best life than someone who holds a positive view of their place in the universe and existence. Connecting with a higher purpose or something greater than yourself, whatever that means to you, can be motivating and vitalizing. There’s a reason we revere the St. Teresas, Ghandis and Martin Luther King Jrs of this world over politicians and billionaires.
This leads to another significant point about health. If your emotional-mental-spiritual system is sick or ailing, your cognitive abilities will be impaired. This means you might not have the best judgment and perception to take advantage of life opportunities or make good decisions when it comes to your financial situation, professional choices, or personal life. This costs not just your enjoyment of life but your ability to create and leverage your wealth-building talents.
Health Brings Extra Wealth
There’s being in okay health and then there’s maximizing your health and capabilities. If you have energy, vitality, clarity of thought and are engaged with life and your own purpose, don’t you have a greater advantage for wealth and happiness than someone who isn’t sick but isn’t particularly energetic or driven? Think of it this way: a fully charged battery has more life and power and can go farther than one at half-charge.
Take stock of all the aspects of your health. Maybe your body is fit but your emotions are a roller-coaster ride or you’re constantly falling in and out of depression. Maybe you’re laying on your bed, wondering what’s the point in life and striving for anything when it all seems meaningless. Thanks to any or all of this, your relationships and professional and personal life are suffering as a result.
These are not helpful or healthy states of being. They certainly won’t lead to your best life now unless you overcome them. When you do harness your emotions, calm and hone your mind to diamond clarity, and have an engaged enthusiasm for life, you will seemingly create miracles in your life.
In short, best life seekers, possibilities open up when you change yourself into your best version.
Rule 6: Body of the Gods Wrap Up
There are amazing souls who enjoy this life no matter their illnesses but no one chooses to get sick and if offered cures, will take them. Illness and poor health habits have repercussions on your bank account and life plans. If you don’t take care of yourself now, you impair your enjoyment of life and hobble your potential to build wealth and create your dreams.
Best life seekers, if you want to enjoy all that this wonderful existence has to offer, you will value and cherish your health above almost anything and research how to optimize it. You’re a power-house in waiting. Strengthen your health to become your best version. If you’re looking to wrap your head around this topic, these books are an amazingly helpful start in getting healthy and revitalized.
Next we look at the final and perhaps most important money secret in Rule 7: Hustle.
- Don’t Live Broke Series Introduction
- Rule 1: Know Your Wealth
- Rule 2: The Midas Lifestyle
- Rule 3: Make Money Work for You
- Rule 3: Debt Payoff Option
- Rule 4: Stash Your Cash
- Rule 5: Don’t Dig Money Pits
- Rule 6: Body of the Gods
- Rule 7: Hustle
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