February 9, 2014Fitness & Body FunHealth & MedicineHealth Politics
Yes, I’m Writing a Book
I started noodling with the idea of writing a book back in 2001. It took 13 years for me to get around to actually embarking on the project.
In the meantime, I put out more than one hundred issues of Experience Life magazine, wrote my Manifesto for Thriving in a Mixed Up World, launched RevolutionaryAct, worked up the "101 Revolutionary Ways to Be Healthy" mobile app, wrote a bunch of monthly columns, hosted a radio show, created a TV show pilot, gave talks, taught some online classes, took people through my Refine Your Life workshops, did a brief stint running the Healthy Living vertical at The Huffington Post and got involved with a bunch of other fun, worthwhile things.
Now, at last, the book project's time has come.
Why do I want to write this book? Well, I guess for pretty much the same reason I've done all that other stuff: I want to change the world.
I have a selfish motive for this. I want to live in a healthier, happier, more sustainable world. And I think that is only going to happen if we have more healthy, happy people showing up to address the challenges we are facing — individually and collectively.
Here's just a little of what's got me motivated to create positive change:
- Today, more than half adults in this country are chronically ill.
- Two thirds of us are overweight or obese.
- Today’s kids are the first generation in U.S. history predicted to live less long than their parents; huge numbers of them are chronically ill before they turn 18.
- Seventy percent of U.S. adults regularly take one or more prescription drugs on a regular basis
- The top-selling drugs are meds for blood pressure, cholesterol, depression and heartburn — all lifestyle-related conditions that can only be healed through lifestyle changes.
- Seventy-five to eighty percent of the money we are spending on healthcare is being spent ineffectively on obesity-linked, lifestyle-related diseases.
- Globally, ineffective treatments of chronic disease is projected to suck up $47 trillion dollars over the next 20 years (think of all much cooler and more interesting stuff we could do with that kind of money!)
- Fewer than 20 percent of us are considered to be mentally and emotionally thriving; the remaining 80 percent, according to psychology researcher Barbara Fredrickson, PhD, are “just getting by” or “living lives of quiet despair.”
- Ninety-seven percent of U.S. adults aren't practicing even of the four of the healthy habits essential to maintaining their health.
Yikes. Just stop and think about that for a minute. The majority of U.S. population is sick and/or overweight, and/or depressed. Only a relatively tiny minority is healthy, happy and thriving. And most of these trends appear to be worsening. Not good.
What does it mean to live in a society that reliably produces more unhealthy, unhappy, vulnerable people than healthy, happy, resilient ones — and tanks its own economy in the process?
It means, quite plainly, that our society is sick.That sickness shows up everywhere – in our families and communities, our healthcare system, our food supply, our businesses, our built environments, our media, our government, our schools, our religious institutions, our financial systems, our ecological systems, and especially in our relationships to ourselves and each other.
The tricky part is that fixing all this is going to require a whole lot of strong, healthy, hopeful people — people who are energized enough to bringing their A-game and swim against the tide.
Unfortunately, the world we’re living in now produces far more people so depleted that they probably aren’t even bringing their B-game.
Most of us don't really have time or energy to think about swimming in new directions, because we are barely treading water as it is.
That’s what I want to change — by empowering and emboldening people who want to change it for themselves.
And that's what my book is all about. I'm figuring it will take me a couple years to write. If you can't wait, you can read more about it here ...
Let me know what you think ...