Saturday, May 30, 2015

Precious life

I went to the doctors last week to have an annual medical examination. It is part of a new initiative in the UK where they are trying to get as many people as possible to get a check up and see how healthy they are. I myself had never had a medical examination before, it’s not one of those things I ever thought about getting done, so I saw it as an opportunity to have someone check me and tell me where I’m in my health.

Needless to say, thanks to my change in life style over the last few years and my personal commitment to staying healthy, the nurse was very complementary and informed me that I scored 4%. If you are not sure what that means, as I was when she informed me, 10% or below is considered to be healthy, so I guess I’m in pretty good shape. I discussed with the nurse how my lifestyle had changed from giving up smoking to the fact that I was overweight only a few years ago and did not exercise.  She praised me for my commitment to the change and remarked that if I had not made that shift on my life I would have probably scored 20% or above, which is considered a health risk and she would have been referring me to a doctor to try and help me reduce the chances of dying! (She didn’t put it as blunt as that but I know that’s what she meant)

I reflected on this as I left the doctor’s surgery and walked back home; It was a nice morning, not too cold, the sun was shining and I became acutely aware of everything around me. Life is beautiful and being here is something we often forget, we often forget how precious life is. She was right, I should be proud of myself, as I have reduced the risk of dying. And staying healthy is one of many ways to ensure we treasure our precious life; keeping a balanced lifestyle free from stress and pressures is another way to make sure you see at least your 80’s birthday. There is so much we can do and it only takes a little bit of commitment. But you become more aware of how precious life is when you also realize you are not always in control and no matter how healthy you live there are external factors that may end up that precious life.

As well as reflecting on my surroundings and the positive results of my health check, I remember some sad events that took place a few days earlier. Sadly two people I knew had passed away, both unexpectedly and one of them in an accident. Hearing this terribly sad news also remind me of how important is to live your life every day as if it was your last. You can look after yourself in an effort to live a long and prosperous life, but in an instance it can be taken away from you by events you have no control over. I’ve known this for a long time; I myself was involved in a car accident years ago from which I escaped unharmed, but often we forget this and waste precious time with things that are meaningless and add no value. We get into arguments and fights with loved ones, we leave things for another day when every day the clock is ticking and we may no be here tomorrow to see them done. Yes we can do our part to ensure we live a healthy and balanced life, but life itself can be taken away in an instant, and there is nothing you can do about it. One moment we are here, then next we are gone and it can happen to anyone.

This blog is intended as a reminder to all of how precious life is. If you are unhealthy right now, you can change that today to increase your chances of a long and prosperous life. You can also start now to live today as if it is your last day; don’t wait till tomorrow, as tomorrow may never come. Enjoy, love, sing, laugh out loud, listen to the rain, feel the sunrays on your face and most of all treasure every moment you have, don’t get angry and if you do, get over it straight away, don’t waist your time, don’t give up and don’t leave for tomorrow what you can do today. Spend your time with someone precious, precious enough to share your precious life.

Remember yesterday is history, and you made it, tomorrow is a mystery and may never come, but today is a gift and that’s why it’s called the present!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

No #news is good news.

Last week as I travelled to the #USA on a business trip, I had several hours to kill and I decided to pick up the newspaper and do some reading. I like to keep up with what’s going on in the world but usually I do this through watching the news on either #BBC or #CNN.

I’m not sure how many of you read daily #newspapers but I was astonished at the incredibly amount of depressing context and news gathered together in a handful of pages. This particular newspaper, the #DailyMail, seemed to concentrate on everything that has gone wrong in the world! Literally from cover to cover all you had was negative stories focusing on the most depressing outlook. These stories ranged from anything in #Politics (which is always depressing) to all sorts of personal issues of people’s tragic lives.

I understand that what sells is sensational stuff and people want to read things that are far from their reality, but why would you want to put yourself through such a depressing time reading such negative stories? I honestly felt like giving up on the world after I put the paper down, it seem a terrible dark place. I don’t know if it was particularly this week but everything seemed to go wrong form events such as the riots in #Baltimore, the glooming #elections in the UK and the #earthquake in #Nepal but all of these an other non-world shattering stories filled the pages, one after an other, with more and more drowning sorrows and negative connotations. I swear that the editors of the paper where going for all negative news.

As I placed the paper on the pocket of my seat I felt excused as if I’d just been to the end of the world and back, travelling through dark waters and mysterious forests! I closed my eyes for a moment, I needed to find some peace within me, I was feeling down, tired and in a right odd mood. I began to think to myself, I had an 8-hour flight, it was a Saturday, I had left behind my family after a short 18-hour stopover at home to change my suitcase, I was still excused from my previous trip and I knew that after this week I had also a fly to my next destination with another 18-hour visit at home to hand over my dirty laundry and get clean shirts… MAN! I was feeling just like the newspaper, negative and full of bad news!

Most people that know me would agree that I am a fairly upbeat person and I always see the positive side of things. I was excited to be going to the USA and the Saturday flight was giving me an opportunity to meet an old friend for dinner before heading to my meeting on Sunday. I also love travelling and I have never been put off by tight schedules or crazy o’clock departure times I tend to do. And even if I just see my family for one day, I try to make the most of that time together. I believe that everything in life is an opportunity so you grab that opportunity and go along with it. So why was I feeling all of the sudden so down? It didn’t take me that long to figure it out!

For years I have been training people on the power of positive and negative thinking and how you can easily be influenced by the external world, and those around you can also change your moods. Someone gives you positive energy by his or her attitude and you feel energised, someone shares his or her negative mentality and it brings you down! Having read so many negative stories in the newspaper had a massive effect on me and had sent me to a deep negative place I was struggling to get out of. It was a strange feeling, as if I had just sat down with the most negative person and they had showered me with all of their negative power. I guess it was just that, except that instead of a person it was the written word! As soon as I realised this was what was keeping me down, I quickly searched for positive influences, burying the newspaper in the nearest bin. I turned to one of my favourite sitcoms “The Big Bang Theory” #bigbangtheory and I was out of my dark hole in no time, feeling both good and inspired (I wish I could write comedy like that) bring my spirits up.

I am sure reading newspapers is an essential part of our lives, and perhaps I picked up the wrong newspaper, on the wrong week, but one thing is for sure, I’m sticking to watching the news on TV to get my daily up-to-date dose of what’s going on in the world and I’ll leave the tabloids for those who enjoy getting depressed on a daily bases!