Friday 7 September 2012

The conspiracies we support on our wellbeing

I don't generally buy into conspiracy theories - you know the ones where political and self interest motivations are given as reasons for us being manipulated into believing an event happened a particular way - like going to the moon - when in in fact the theory suggests it didn't ever happen.

For me the reason many of these theories remain as as just theories and not proven fact is because despite the evidence put forward to refute that the event ever happened:
  • There's always evidence it did
  • There's always arguments that explain away the conspiracy theorists 'evidence'
and the most compelling for me and the definition of a true conspiracy theory is:
  • No one ever comes forward and says "here's the evidence of what did happen instead" 
If this later criteria is not met then I'd suggest it's not a conspiracy theory either.

However I am starting to wonder about the conspiracy we're all buying into with respect to our well being. Perhaps conspiracy is the wrong word - but use of conspiracy at least acknowledges that we're presenting facts in a way to distort them. And whilst I could point fingers at manufacturers & pharmaceutical companies it's us that I'm accusing of conspiring together - after all they argue they're only giving us what we say we want. Why conspiracy - because we'd prefer to bury our heads in the sand and believe the stories we're telling ourselves than make the changes we know we should be making. In fact we so don't want it to be true we label the facts as 'conspiracies' and the 'conspiracies' as facts!

I know I might be at one end of the continuum on well being from others and of course I realise I may too be buying into just a different conspiracy theory but I can't help but feel we all know that too much of the following can negatively impact our health:
  • smoking
  • alcohol
  • sugar
  • salt
  • the wrong sort of fats 
  • processed foods
  • couch potato like tendancies 
and at an individual level we may also have allergies (that we generally do take action on) or intolerances or reactions to other food groups such as, but certainly not limited to:
  • dairy
  • wheat
  • nightshades - pots, toms, peppers
  • preservatives & chemicals
  • meat
  • carbs (too many of them anyway)
  • etc
It's such a shame that most of us only make changes when provided with the motivation to do so via ill health - sometimes too late to make changes that would determine a different outcome. Instead we ignore the signs along the way such as fatigue, nervousness, irritability, digestive upsets, aches and pains etc and put them down to age, too much work, not enough sleep last night etc. (Here's a blog I wrote earlier this week on the illusion of the quick fix both in well being and business.)

The impact ignoring the above has will be different for each of us because, unlike going to the moon where there is only one way it happened, we're each unique and impacted by different things. The question remains though - what conspiracy do you know you need to stop believing and what changes will you make?

Alison Smith
The Purchasing Coach
Sowing the seeds for effective purchasing and also for well being & life balance for purchasers and non purchasers alike.

Wednesday 5 September 2012

Would you trust a consultant who offers quick fixes?

Over recent years my doctor's appointments have all had the same pattern:

"This is what's wrong with you, go away, take some pills and you'll be fine"

The only difference between the visits has been the diagnosis and the pill being prescribed.

The recent visit was regarding my knee. Osteoarthritis was diagnosed and pain killers prescribed. Which is all well and good but that won't solve the problem. An alternate solution was offered - a replacement knee - but then withheld due to my age (not old enough - not sure if that's :-( or :-) ).

Many people in similar situations, if the support groups on the internet are anything to go by, have been quick to agree with the prognosis and solution provided believing:
  • Osteoarthritis is wear and tear and can't be reversed
  • It will only get worse
  • Pain killers are the only solution - until we're old enough for that major operation that is
  • I've just got grin and bear it (and talk about how bad it is with others who have the same problem)
The issue with that is that is every one of the above statements may not be true for you irrespective of what the Xray looks like - as you will see from my Pinterest board of all the potential solutions to a diagnosis of arthritis.

I've certainly been busy since that doctors appointment 4 weeks ago and have tried many things and have many more to try. The surprising thing is my knee has got soooo much better since I took wheat out of my diet. Since it's early days there may be other factors impacting the improvement but as my personal trainer said - it still proves the mobility can be regained and pain reduced. Fingers crossed the improvement continues.

I didn't go for a quick fix but that's what the doctor offered - I'm just pleased I took personal responsibility to find out what other options I had.

In business it's easy to be like many of those in the support groups - perhaps a little too quick to accept the easy quick fix answer. The problem with accepting the quick fix is the underlying problem hasn't gone away and will rear it's ugly head just as much as my knee waking me at night, refusing to bend and stopping me from enjoying life will. It also assumes that the diagnosis and prognosis are correct.

Next time you're looking for a solution - spend a little more time on the diagnosis and exploring the options - you might just deliver real and sustained benefit to your organisation rather than be putting a sticking plaster on it.

Alison Smith
The Purchasing Coach
Sowing the seeds for effective long term solutions to your problems

Egg picture source: via Alison on Pinterest