What is your first priority in life? Isn’t it your life? Many people don’t think about their life until it becomes threatened. When this happens their focus changes. Someone with life threatening cancer cannot stop thinking about it. Someone who has had a heart attack or a stroke can never forget about the devastating effects it has had on him/her. Illness changes your priorities and often the priorities of those around you.

When you look at the statistics of life-threatening diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular disease, how do you react? Do you think of yourself as a possible candidate for cancer or do you ignore these statistics? When you know that cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death in the United States, do you think it is a cause of personal concern or do you think it will not happen to you?

Why wait to become ill when so much knowledge is available. What seems to be more important at the moment? Each day, when you wake up in the morning, what is on your mind and what do you do? “Food, clothing and shelter” are basic for our daily survival. However, without good health we are limited in our pursuit of basic survival. Most of us in the United States have food, clothing and shelter. We then focus on acquiring and accumulating more and more. We spend most of our lives doing this, rather than spending enough time thinking about and practicing disease prevention. We know many Americans are overweight but not sick enough to change their priorities.

In order to change priorities, you need to know what they are. If you make a list of your ten priorities in the order of importance you would be able to evaluate them. Most people follow an automatic routine and are not aware of how they spend their time and energy. They go on day to day until the weekend and then change their behavior. When vacation time comes, they change their behavior again and then return to the day to day routine. How often do you stop to look at all of this? Where does your good health and disease prevention fit in? How often does it fit during the week? What is your level of consciousness on a daily basis?

Once again nature’s laws come into play and the cause and effect take place. Eat the wrong foods and you will have the effects over a period of time. So the choice of your priorities is yours. If you choose to look at yourself and your priorities you can evaluate and change them. If you choose to do nothing, you will keep getting what you have now. Think about it.

What you can do
Make good health your first priority and then act upon it. You know that without your good health everything else will stop. For those of you who are driven for more and more ask yourself if your priorities need reviewing. Why wait to get sick before you change priorities?

List ten priorities in your life in order of importance. The following day spend fifteen minutes reviewing their order and make any changes you want. Repeat these ten days later and then compare the list with the original one. Have you changed, have external circumstances changed or have both changed?

Excerpt from the book Do You Have the Courage to Change?: The 12 Basic Reasons Why People Don’t Change and How You Can by Walter J. Urban, Ph.D.