In the United States, obesity is a huge health challenge. According to a new report “F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America’s Future 2010″ adult obesity rates increased in 28 states in the past year. It seems that as a culture we have chosen short lived instant gratification over long term health. The problem is not limited to our waistlines but has become a mindset that invades all aspects of our lives.
In this country we have narrowed our field of vision to today. We do what makes us feel good or that which is convenient in the moment. We buy now and pay later with our health, wallets and business practices. Unfortunately, we have passed these traits onto our children. Does it scare anyone else that cholesterol drugs are now being made in chewables for children or that more than 15% of high schoolers are obese?
To make decisions that would result in a better long term outcome requires changing your mindset about the short term, and a willingness to endure some discomfort as you make the shift. We view saying “no” to the things we want today as a sacrifice, and we complain that it is uncomfortable and hard. To truly change we must come to a level of understanding that we are not sacrificing but making a choice. If you choose to continue to routinely eat food laden with sugar, salt and fat you have chosen obesity, and a higher risk for diabetes, heart disease and other illnesses. If you choose to buy things you cannot afford on credit you are choosing debt over financial freedom. You can choose business practices that deliver quick bursts of one time sales or customers but you will be sacrificing building a solid base.
This mindset has so pervaded our culture that it seems normal. Corporations choose short term profit over long term safety. Mines collapse, oil spills occur because the future was ransomed for the quick immediate hit. Television networks opt for “reality” shows because they’re cheap and easy as opposed to hiring writers to create quality content and devoting time to building an audience. You cannot even escape this mindset on social media, where users opt for spray and say spam messages rather than doing the work of finding people who need what they have to offer.
I don’t know about you but I’m in this for the long haul. I’d rather pass up unhealthy or questionable habits in life and business for a higher quality and longer length of days. In the short term, that means making choices about what really matters but in the long term I plan to still be here. How about you?