≡ Menu

Recipe for Health: Willpower & Desire

I’ve taken time off lately from posting to collect my thoughts and refocus  my approach to patient care and health care messaging.

I’m often suprised by the lack of concern my patients display when confronted with serious medical conditions.

Clinically I am most surprised by the dismissive attitude some patients have when I share knowledge about diet and exercise as a choice for alleviating their diabetes, hypertension, or weight issues.  It’s almost as though they can’t be bothered with that type of advice.  Their lives are too complicated, inextricably involved, or unbalanced to conceive of even minor changes like not drinking a 12 pack of soda weekly.

Exercise?…ridiculous.  Diet?….sorry don’t have the time.

A colleague once told me “Sometimes people are beyond help.” Sadly to some extent he’s right.

In my experience, each individual has their own motivations.  Their personal willpower and desire for wellness varies seasonally and longitudially throughout life.

While constantly searching for the right words or solutions for each patient, I’ve come across a trait that seems universally important and motivational for those taking the necessary steps to improve or develop their health.

The trait = Focus

Focus of mind and body to a task. These individuals have a clearly defined reason why they eat properly, exercise routinely and attempt to balance stress in their lives.

These motivated patients consistently build goals, seek ways to overcome obstacles, and succeed because they know why they strive.

They wake each morning and realize health isn’t guaranteed.  Health requires activitiy and persistence.  Health doesn’t come in a bottle.  Whatever their passion a strong healthy body and mind give the greatest possibility of success.

I challenge you to look at your motivations and purpose in life.

What gives you the willpower and desire to change?

Can you start somewhere small?

Can you build on minor successes and keep improving?

Stagnation = death.


{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Helen July 19, 2014, 5:40 pm

    Dr. Curtis,
    It may be that some people believe they ‘deserve’ their diagnosis. Internal dialogue: “Well, this is what I get for…..”
    My ex-husband was a great chess player. He would play with any great chess player he could find. He had been playing with this rather dark soul, an immigrant from Serbia. This fellow has been at the track earlier, had a heart attack, took himself out of the ER, and was at our house that evening, playing chess! I couldn’t believe it. I was leaving for work, so I only had about 15 minutes to convince him to go back to the hospital. I hardly knew this man.
    I asked him if he wanted to live or if he wanted to die. He looked at me cooly, and answered that he wanted to die, and sat back down to the chess board.
    He went to his apt. later that evening, and died in his sleep.
    My ex told me later, that he was very troubled about issues with the family he left behind. He didn’t like himself very much.
    Difficult to understand, but there it is.

    • William Curtis July 20, 2014, 5:38 pm

      Sadly yes, some have a death wish….conscious or unconscious. Those individuals seem way less common than those that want a quick fix.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.