You don't need a pill, YOU NEED A CHANGE

 

In the past, I've mentioned the book "Change or Die" by Alan Deutschman because his research reveals a sad turn to the "Just wait for a pill" philosophy.

It actually doesn't work. Patients dying from preventable and reversible heart disease, even suffering multiple dangerous and painful surgeries have 9 to 1 odds AGAINST changing their behavior. Even when life is at stake, change is a difficult step for many people to make.

Turning to pharmaceuticals is hardly a solution because as many as 2/3 of patients will stop taking their statin medication within the first year of their prescription. Even though the drugs dramatically lower cholesterol levels, taking them doesn't actually bring any physical relief to the patients. So they are still unable to do the things they love (like living an active lifestyle, making love, etc...) and they are unable to hold onto a lifestyle change as simple as taking the pill.

This makes the most sense to me. America is the world's leading consumer of cocaine, Viagra... and 2nd place (to Russia) in alcohol consumption per capita. The leading cause of disability in the U.S. is depression, trumping heart disease almost 2 to 1. All the cocaine and booze isn't making us feel better and all the drugs aren't healing our literally (and figuratively) aching hearts.

People need supported change.

Resources such as positive peer support, accountability, coaching from professionals and encouragement, integrated mediation and yoga provide the mental, emotional and spiritual energy to make dramatic change and have a 77% chance of successfully beating diseases of lifestyle. Dr. Dean Ornish's holistic intervention protocol (as described above) had a MUCH higher probability of permanently treating heart disease than surgery and drugs. It also costs WAY less.

Critics of American culture (myself included, often) will mention that people just want a pill to solve their problems. Which appears NOT to be true.

Americans don't want another pill to take.

They want to be the person they were meant to be, living a vital life filled with rewarding experiences and connections, challenges and opportunities for growth. They want to be sexy and attractive and in love with themselves and the world around them. Pouring all the drugs and alcohol down our throats is the closest many people can come to that, bringing them further away from themselves and closer to disastrous consequences.

I want to share a change "formula" that makes the most sense to me.

It is: Accept. Imagine. Commit. Share. Grow. Renew.

Books have been written on all these topics but I'll give you my breakdown on what each of these means to me. For the time being, remember this: the instant solution is palliative at best.

It MAY delay suffering. MAY. It is not the inspiring solution that people are looking for and our population is constantly proving this true. If you find yourself looking at a difficult change and automatically turning towards medication, do me a huge favor.

Turn back around.