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“Man surprised me most about humanity. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.” ~ Dalai Lama

In my previous post, I wrote about the need to avoid the “it-will-never-happen-to-me” mentality when it comes to health and investing.

Before I get to writing again on money and stock markets, here’s one more thought (more important than money and stock markets) I wanted to share with you.

I’m sure you must have never heard of Dr. Lester Breslow, like I didn’t till last week while attending to my ailing father and reading up stuff on keeping good health.



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Dr. Breslow was a public health leader in the US whose research gave mathematical proof to the notion that people can live longer and healthier by changing a few habits.

He was a living proof of his study, having lived till age 97 (he died last year).

Dr. Breslow’s most praiseworthy accomplishment was a study of around 7,000 people in California that examined their behavior over intervals of up to 20 years. He used quantitative analysis to prove that a 45-year-old with at least six of the seven healthy habits he chose as important had a life expectancy 11 years longer than someone with three or fewer.

In fact, he found that a 60-year-old who followed the seven recommended habits would be as healthy as a 30-year-old who followed fewer than three.

So what forms Dr. Breslow’s list of seven habits for a longer life? Here it is…

  1. Do not smoke
  2. Drink in moderation
  3. Sleep 7-8 hours
  4. Exercise at least moderately
  5. Eat breakfast
  6. Eat regular meals
  7. Maintain a moderate weight

Sounds simple, isn’t it? But many of us struggle to do even a few of these healthy practices.

Interestingly, I’ve noticed that when people engage in a bad health habit, they try to justify it by saying things like “No one lives forever!” and “If this habit cuts a few years of my life, it’s worth it for me to enjoy the moment now!”

What you must worry about…
Over the past few months, after having started The Life School project, I have been talking to a few elders on their insights on good, happy living.

As far as health is concerned, in a nutshell, here is what I have learned from them…

Stop worrying about death. Start worrying about diseases.

Death won’t hurt you after it happens, but prolonged diseases can hurt you big time – physically, emotionally, and financially.

So there’s no choice for you but to take up Dr. Breslow’s recommendations, and keep yourself away from the lifestyle diseases that are hurting urban India in massive proportions.

Just visit a hospital and you will find most patients getting treated for lifestyle diseases (as if it has become a status symbol!) like cancer, diabetes, heart disease, depression, and obesity.

I have a few relatives who have spent years killing their bodies through bad living habits, and are now spending out of their pockets to get themselves treated.

This goes so well with what Dalai Lama said in the quote above – “…he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health.”

Invert, my friend, invert
More than worrying about when your next big bonus or money-making investment is going to come from, start worrying about what will happen if you don’t take care of body now.

Remember Jacobi’s idea of “Invert, always invert,” and motivate yourself to healthy behavior based on the threat of chronic illness, and not of dying. This can be a powerful motivator for behavior change, as far as your health is concerned.

In other words, what should really motivate you is not how long you live, but how well you are going to live.

I try to remind myself everyday that the only thing I need to live long is my body – not money or status – and that’s why I must take due care of it (my body) before it is fed up of me.

You will get enough opportunities to get your money back after you lose it to a bad investment, but not a way to get your health back once it is lost.

So please follow Dr. Breslow’s seven recommendations for a longer and healthier life…

  1. Do not smoke
  2. Drink in moderation
  3. Sleep 7-8 hours
  4. Exercise at least moderately
  5. Eat breakfast
  6. Eat regular meals
  7. Maintain a moderate weight

…and two recommendations from my side…

  1. Buy life and health insurance
  2. Get a regular health check-up

Life is short, my dear friend. It passes in a nanosecond.

So whatever time you have, spend it in good health.

This would be the best investment you will ever make for yourself and your loved ones.

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About the Author

Vishal Khandelwal is the founder of Safal Niveshak. He works with small investors to help them become smart and independent in their stock market investing decisions. He is a SEBI registered Research Analyst. Connect with Vishal on Twitter.

Comments

  1. Vikasbargale says:

    Beautiful post.
    I also personally think, mind will be at peace, if body is not healthy. So don’t worry about life, but take care of your body. Mind can’t live without body.

  2. Reni George says:

    Good Morning to You Vishal
    So dear you have got the seven points….except for the last one where Iam little bit over weight….but it could be due to my overall structure…..I can say that all the points are valid….but the problem with current generation is that they skip the breakfast…which is an essential part..Skipping breakfast…gives birth to acidity and it ultimately effects the core running of the Body.

    I have seen people saying that they work very hard….some guys feel appreciated,when someone calls them workaholic…but let us bring to the fact that it is also a sort of bad habit…I have been working but I have found out that the core period of working does not constitute more than 4 hours a day…If people put on more than that…either they are not capable or they are dillydallying their time.

    People spend their health…chasing money through which they buy happiness in the form of large house,different clothes,new technological appliances…..Companies market products and people have become mannequins of that product.

    Recently one of my friend bought a Tablet worth 50000,I asked him do you travel often or due you need to make quick time presentations….he said no…it gives me a sense of status upgrade.So as you have seen,getting yourself opinionated has become a core necessity of youngsters…

    In recent generation….you could seen the age range of heart patients…it has come down to 30.At 30 suffering from a Heart Ailment…throws us various questions,that how people are treating their bodies.

    I hope all the readers here understand,what they are crucifying for the sake of materialistic superlatives.

    A Good Article…Vishal..Carry on…and Best wishes for your dad for getting well soon and again enjoying his life.

    Thanks and Regards
    Happy Investing and Happy living Life.

    Reni George

    • Your point on the tablet is appropriate. However, a lot of the technology based products are such that they create their own market. I too have been considering buying a tablet …. not because I would carry it as a status symbol (some even wed “trophy” husbands and wives… but that is different) but because it gives me better control of life like the ability to do a video talk as and when needed, plan activities, manage my data better, play wonderful games etc.
      Just buying a thing because it is the latest in town is for thrifty people a foolish thing to do while just the opposite for spendthrifts.

    • What you mention Reni, I see all around me. Youngsters falling to debilitating diseases. 🙁

      Anyways, even I need to get my weight down a bit…so we are sailing in the same boat. 🙂

  3. sanjay jhunjhunwala says:

    Hi vishal,

    Indians being overweight – our culture must take a lot of blame for that.
    Mothers think that their plump children are healthy. It is a rarity to find a mother admonishing her children for over eating. A habit of over eating, inculcated over years as a child, is hard to drop as an adult.
    Guests are obliged to have food even if they do not want. Both hosts and guests judge the level of hospitality accorded and enjoyed by the quantum of food offered and consumed.
    In both the situations, amount of love/warmth is equated to food!!!

    I have started reading your posts recently and they are “hat ke”(in a nice way).
    Thanks and regards.

  4. Health is wealth is an old adage, and you just need to have a minor ailment to discover its impact.
    Each of the points of Dr Breslow is worth imbibing. Another one I would like to add is eat less (not starve yourself) but just try to eat less and possibly at higher frequency vs the 3 meals a day. However, each body has to find what works for him or her. like I read somewhere:
    Eat breakfast like an Emperor
    Lunch like a King and
    Dinner like a pauper !
    To my mind health and education (for yourself and your dependents) are going to be major expenses apart from say buying a house.

  5. Krishna says:

    Hi safal,
    iam a silent viewer of your website. Since, you were talking about health, i would like to share my knowledge – Heal naturally without medicines. I have read a lot of books in the last years and my father is doing free service to public since 30 years based on the same theory. Very few people understood this theory and they have healed thousands of patients in the past – Dr. shelton, Anne Wigmore, Gerson Therapy, Markus Rothkranz (still alive). One can search in google to know more. In a nutshell, what i understood is, health is like a tripod, 1st leg is all about eating correct food, 2nd leg is about proper exercise, 3rd leg is enema, all the 3 legs of a tripod must be balanced to have good health. I can speak hours long on this topic, anyway I have an ecopy of a book written by Markus Rothkranz, you can download it if somebody is interested, a very incredible book.

    As a starting step, one can also watch this video.

    If anybody needs a live help, you can even write to my father at kumrao99@yahoo.co.in

    Even if one person gets benefitted by this information, i would be more than happy.

    Thanks for reading,
    Krishna.

  6. rahul panishap says:

    hello vishal,
    i wish uncle will be fine.simple and nice article vishal ji. in point 2 *drink in modration* drink is water,fluid, or alcohal..if u know it plz tell me.

    • Rahul, I am taking liberty to reply even before Vishal could answer your interesting question.

      I think he meant all liquids, including kerosene :). Even drinking more than enough water could overload your kidneys leading to their failure during the later part of your life. So the moderation is applicable for all liquids irrespective of the brand or colour or thickness in it comes.

      • I don not think water overloads, if anything it helps kidneys perform better. In a hospital I read “be nice to your kidneys, eat less salt and drink more water”.

    • Thanks Rahul! He basically meant alcohol. Don’t drink at all, or drink in moderation.

  7. Ignatius Pinto says:

    hi Vishal,

    I love your writing and you have a great talent. I couldn’t resist myself from writing this email to you.

    I am not sure if you have read the book ‘The Secret’ by Rhonda Byrne or ‘You can heal your life’ by Louise Hay. Ofcourse I came through these books accidently as well and changed my entire thought process. You can get them free on the internet.

    What I found in your posts is that people have already decided their fate in their thought (For example – “I will have diseases as soon as I turned 60”). If they have then how can they change the effect or reality?

    I did a simple exercise – to define ‘God’ and then applied the same to ‘thought’. I couldn’t believe similarity!

    I would put your sentence – Life is eternal and present! (So – time dimension is completely removed!).

    regards,
    Ignatius

  8. Bhushan says:

    Before anyone implements his second point “Drink in moderation”, I must correct that he said “Do NOT drink or Drink in moderation”

  9. You are here: Home / Company Research / Safal Niveshak StockTalk: MCX
    Safal Niveshak StockTalk: MCX

    Dear Sir,

    Numbers do not make an investment. If you are investing, one needs to go beyond the number. You recommended this scrip based on some Financial Nos but without checking the background of the promoters and without understanding the business. A business like this cannot survive based on few clients but it should get support from a mass. MCX is actually comparable to a well established FMCG brand. Like FMCG brand selling across a mass , MCX needs support from a mass of active trading members but not few people with political clout.

    Equitymaster also did the same thing with recos like DCHL, HEG,MIC,etc. Investing is not simple and does not end when you churn out certain financial nos. Especially, investing in India is difficult with so many scamsters.

    Doing a scuttlebut thoroughly like Peter Lynch helps a lot. Also, recall ” cockroach in the cupboard” by evergreen Mr Warren buffet who do not invest based on financial nos.

    Rgds,

    I really pity those guys who invested based on recos.

  10. Akhilesh Pathak says:

    Dear Vishal and Fellow Tribesmen,

    Thank you for these so simple but very useful steps for living a longer and healthy life.

    We understand the importance of something so simple only when we are forced to live without that. Ask anyone who is overweight or has diabetes or blood pressure

    ” Sariram Idam Khalu Dharma Sadhnam” – For sure we should take care of our body first, which is the means to pursuit of a better and spiritual life.

    Just thought to share what God has given us in abundance and we are ignoring the benefits of that eternal source of energy – SUN -http://solarhealing.com/

    With warm regards

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