Let me tell you two stories:
So I spent the weekend just gone in London with a guy from America named “Jaerik Robbins”:
He’s the son of the world famous motivational speaker “Anthony Robbins” and he does a pretty similar job to his dad of helping people make sense of the world and how they see it.
We had a few long conversations and one of the things he revealed to me was the no.1 reason why (in his Dads experience!) most people are held back from living the life that really want.
And it’s simply this:
“I’m too young to do that”.
Very quickly becoming…
“I’m too old to do that”.
And what happens is the person saying it never actually realises the day the transition took place. Shame!
And that got me thinking about how that type of “thinking” affects people’s health.
Take another conversation I had in the town library last week with a 75 year old gentleman who sat down next me (he was reading the “Vinnie Jones” autobiography!).
He was there just five minutes after being to the “One Life” (medical centre!) where he was told by a doctor that he would need a hip replacement and he asked if we could talk (about his news) and of course, I obliged.
Can you guess what he told me?…
“I know I need this hip replacement, I’m just not 100% sure it’s going to be worth getting it done AT MY AGE!”.
Sounds a little bit like…
“I’m too old for that!” don’t you think?
Here’s what happened next:
I spent about 4-5 minutes (that’s it!) talking to him and re-assuring him that from my experience of the people I’ve helped who had a hip replacement, it absolutely is worth it – even at 75.
I told him some stories of patients who I know who have been through it, how they all had the same doubts, answered a couple of questions and described precisely what he would go through on the day – and in his recovery post surgery.
Didn’t take me long.
And by the end of that quick conversation he confirmed in his own mind that he WASN’T too old for it and all it took was a little re-enforcement from some one who has a little bit of an understanding of what he might go through – and what he can realistically expect from it.
So really, his “doubt” had nothing to do with his age.
He was loaded with self doubt – something that everyone suffers from and often holds us back from making big decisions – especially about hour health.
And if I’m honest, stories like this make me wonder why the powers that be want to give patients “choice” over their health care decisions.
If they truly understand how their patients think and feel, they’ll realise that giving them so much choice is not always good for them – in fact, it often stalls them from making ANY decision!
When it comes to health, it’s my experience that people are desperate for you to take decisions away from them. After all, who was it that went to medical school for 7 years?
Anyway, here’s the last thing I wanted to share with you:
Jaerik went on to tell me all about the 93 year old female cyclist from Europe who just last week broke the record for a 200m sprint, AND, a guy from France who is still winning mountain bike competitions at the age of 101.
I know they’re both from Europe – but you cant tell me they’re still doing that just because of a little extra virgin olive oil in their pasta!
Article printed in the Hartlepool Mail, written by Paul Gough.
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