We have all heard of the guidance provided by Ben Franklin with the saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
The clarity and truth brought forth in that simple statement can be applied to various areas of our lives such as our health, relationships, work, and community.
As we look to continue to build and strengthen our character, an important area to consider is not only that we understand the concept of prevention, but that we have very practical steps to take to ensure we are dedicating a significant amount of effort on the side of prevention.
The relatively easy approach to prevention can most certainly be found in regards to our health: Eat a well-balanced diet, get regular exercise, sleep 7-8 hours a day, schedule annual wellness check-ups with a physician, and proceed with the rule of thumb around moderation in all areas. The basic tenets of maintaining physical health have been relatively unchanged over the years. Actually executing on a preventative health program is another story, but the basic plan is straight-forward.
The more challenging area in prevention is taking the practical steps necessary to maintain health in our relationships.
Life, despite its complexity, is still predominately about relationship to others. Whether those relationships are with family, friends, community, or the workplace, we are in relationship with others.
What does an “ounce of prevention” look like in maintaining health in relationship?
Here are just a few suggestions:
- Keep Commitments: Actually doing what we say we are going to do, is a simple, but massive step forward in maintaining health in relationships. “I will be there on time” “I will clean up this mess” “I will support you no matter what.” When we fall short too many times on our promises, we will need more than a pound of cure to re-establish health again.
- Focus on Serving: Serving the needs of others on a consistent basis has been shown throughout recorded history as being one of the most critical elements to maintaining health in relationships. Our personal intent to serve others rather than waiting to be served will keep us on the most effective path toward healthy relationships.
- Sacrifice: Nothing worthwhile ever comes easy. Sacrificing our selfish instincts in favor of supporting others, demonstrates to others that we recognize life is not all about us. Setting a personal example of sacrifice is contagious and helps to form a strong foundation of health in relationships.
- Physical Connection – Touch: There has been a significant amount of research done on the positive impact that a simple physical touch can have on maintaining health in a relationship. The physical connection made with the touch on a shoulder, the holding of a hand, or a genuine hug builds health into relationships.
Life is continuing to grow in complexity and intensity. In order to be able to sustain our efforts for the long haul, using “ounces of prevention” instead of “pounds of cure” will help us stretch our limited resources to ensure we have optimal impact.
As we make choices to focus daily effort on prevention to maintain health, we will build and strengthen our character and our Character Creates Opportunity® to sustain optimal physical health, to build healthy relationships, and to head down a path to build a legacy with few, if any, regrets.