The NEXT QUESTION

As we are finding ourselves back to the fulfillment of our needs, we are now looking for the needs leading to self-actualization, and only in-directly to happiness. In "Quality Terms" we have changed the specification, and therefore the perceived quality.

So the next question is: "What are our (real) needs?". By posing it this way, we can latch onto our "Uniqueness". Each person is individually different from anyone else. We all have different abilities, talents, and handicaps. This means that we all have different needs, and actually different goals in our life. All of our goals and needs are tailored to our own specific unique self. That is called our "Karma", our task, our set of opportunities. That is why two people under the "same" circumstances or conditions, will act and re-act totally differently, yet, totally naturally!


Let's take a break and take a side trip to Needs, Desires, and Wealth.


Physical Well-being

Before we can talk about Physical Actualization, we must first reach the level of physical well-being. This is the basic level of functioning well at the physical level. Here we meet the minimum level of the Quality of Life. It involves setting our bodies up and maintaining them well in our chosen environment.

Our physical world contains our body and our environment. To maintain our body we require food (including air and water), and exercise. We draw from our environment all the resources needed to feed our. We have learned to make things out of these resources that not only satisfy our elementary needs, but also our desires. We have learned to make tools that make our life easier, so that now we need tools to make it easier to exercise. When we lived in the jungle, we had all the exercise we needed. Now we sit at our tools, we need skis, snowboards, windsurfers, tennis rackets, hockey sticks, and even a Norditrack(TM) to keep in shape. Mind you we now think we are having fun, and we do. We are improving the quality of our life! But are we? I guess we do. And at what cost? I hate to think of it!

Yet, as long as we don't turn into couch potatoes, we have at least accomplished something in this society.

Lifestyle

Our quality of life depends for a great deal on our lifestyle, because our physical health depends on how we live: Our Nutrition, Physical Activities, Sleep and Rest Patterns. As my mother used to say: "You can't burn the candle on both ends". By that she meant that unless you restore your body regularly, you will drain it and deteriorate it, and eventually to the point of no return. That is when you get ill, and ultimately die.

You cannot change your personality, but regardless whether you are a workaholic type A or a careless type B, you can learn from type C to apply Time Management, to exercise Change Control and to change your attitude to be more positive, rational and flexible. The most rational thing to do is to feed yourself properly. Yet few people seem to be motivated to do so.

Aging

Aging is actually the reason why the term 'Quality of Life' came into being. With modern medicine our average age has been going up. We are keeping people alive today that would have died much earlier in a less developed environment. But what good is a long life if the quality of that life is poor during the latter 10 years or more? Can we improve that quality of life by improving our lifestyle?

The reason for failing to develop a healthy lifestyle seems to lie in the fact that most people do not take aging seriously until they are over 40 or even 50. By that time most of the damage has been done. This means that the 'Quality of our Later Life' is in jeopardy as a result of carelessness in our Early Life. We don't seem to recognize that our whole life is related out future depends on our past. We create our own future as we are progressing through the present, leaving the past behind. Or we could say that anything that happens today was created by us in our own past.

Aging creeps up on us slowly and surrepticiously. Already after the age of 20, we start changing, slowing down and losing some of the vitality we had as teenagers. Just looking at the Olympics we can see that, for many sports, the stars are at the end of their career at the age of 35. Not just hormones change, but also the ability to use muscles. Flexibility in all muscles slowly disappears. Eyesight calls for glasses. Bone surfaces wear, lubrication starts failing. Tennis Elbow, Squash Knees, Carpel Tunnel Syndrome don't just drop in, they slowly develop while we don't notice them. Until there is noticible pain. We always have some pain so we don't distinguish between aging pain and exercise pain. Our hair turns gray, not usually overnight (that does happen too), so gradually that we don't notice it untill we look at pictures of ourselves. Wrinkles come ever so slowly as our skin starts losing its flexibility. We don't feel older, just less capable.

Aging is unavoidable. It is our 'memento mori', our message that eventually we will have to say goodbye to this life. But the way we age, our Quality of Life at a later age, depends on what we did in our early life.

Are you accepting that responsibility? Doesn't that give the modern term "Get a Life" a whole new meaning?


Back to where we left off in QOL, Nutrition

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