Mike Tyson, the infamously brutal boxer known for knocking out many of his opponents within the first few minutes of the first round of his fights, said, “Everybody has a plan when they get in the ring, until I punch them in the mouth.”
Plans. We all have them. But too often, when we look back at the end of the day or the close of the journey, most plans seem to have faded into faint memories, short-circuited by the realities we had to face and the left hooks life threw our way. Personally, I have never been very good at “goal-setting.” My plans always feel so “right” in the moment, but soon seem to become an obstruction to the actual, unforeseen opportunities that present themselves as life unfolds in strange and wonderful ways. So, I decided to try a different tactic. I substituted my hardcore, never-deviate-from-the-plan goals for broad principles that would ultimately take me down the path to where I wanted to be, but leave me free to take advantage of the magnificent potentials life presented along the way.
But, what does that really mean?
Here’s a principle from my good friend, Dr. James Chestnut: “If you want to be healthy (I keep returning to this optimal life goal), then access regular chiropractic care and create a lifestyle that incorporates the theme, ‘Eat Well, Move Well, and Think Well.’” This is a lifestyle principle, rather than a set of goals, such as to be up every morning at 6 a.m., lift weights for 30 minutes, hit the elliptical for 30 minutes and then do 500 sit-ups—Oh yeah, and never have a Big Mac. The latter approach usually lasts me a few weeks before I’ve bored myself and everyone around me. Instead, it makes more sense (and is much more fun) to know that every day I want to “Eat Well, Move Well, and Think Well.” And so, instead of waking up with a list of to-dos, each morning I get up looking for the opportunities that will present themselves and allow me to stay true to that principle. Wow. That’s not only much more inspiring and sustainable, in the end, it actually gets me to where I want to be—healthy. This issue of TCL is full of principles, ideas and lifestyle inspirations that I hope will encourage you to move away from the strictly charted course and see what wonderful places the wind may take you. If you let your principles be your guide, chances are you’ll end up exactly where you want to be.
And the same is true for our profession. Chiropractors should be guided by a set of basic, uncompromising principles, and then remain open to possibility. At LIFE, we believe that the body is a conscious, self-developing, self-adapting, self-healing organism. We relish the idea of working with the body, rather than overriding it with drugs and surgery (except when necessary to save a life). We believe deeply, and have research to document, that there is a delicate and profound relationship between the spine and the nerve system. We call this relationship, when aberrant, “subluxation,” but we remain open to new possibilities and discoveries as to how that mechanism works. And so, we get to witness world-class professional athletes save their careers when they utilize the services at LIFE. We get to see teenagers in comas respond positively to our care and return to their lives and families. We get to work with autistic children who obtain phenomenal results, and we get to see tens of thousands of patients every year for subluxation, as well as corrective and wellness care. This is exactly where we want to be.
So, should you have a plan? Of course—plans help to mobilize people toward an important vision. But we should all be careful not to let our goals become so all-consuming that we lose sight of that vision. Hold tight to the principle itself, and allow the path to your goals to unfold in front of you.
If you do, I promise you’ll get there—even if you have to take a few punches along the way.