I woke up the other night with an epiphany (get your mind out of the gutter – an idea). Have you ever had an epiphany? OK, let’s stop that. The truth: I woke up to go to the bathroom and at some point during that nightly ritual a lightning bolt of an idea hit me.
There it was. Clear as day. A stupendously simple way to get everyone, and I mean every-single-person on the planet, eating better and exercising regularly. The whole planet a blue zone.
It was soooo simple. Astonishing, really. It was right there in front of us the whole time. It didn’t cost anything. Anybody and everybody could easily do it. And most importantly, it was fun.
I knew right then, in the dark of night what that long ago cave girl thought when she discovered the concept of the wheel. “The men are going to totally screw this thing up.”
Why Couldn’t I See This Simple Solution Until Now?
My good friend and Renaissance man, Klaus Berner, once told me (as we were losing truck loads of money on a wacky business idea I had thought up), “The simple solution presents itself last.” It wasn’t the most well-received insight at that moment, but he was right. And then suddenly, there’s the solution to a vexing, seemingly never-ending problem. Right in front of you. You wonder why you hadn’t noticed it before? It’s because we’re always thinking solutions have to be complex.
But sometimes the solution is so basic, you can’t get your mind around it. This midnight epiphany was “a blinding flash of the obvious,” as my Texas Ranger friend, Tim, who is also living in the wrong century likes to say.
Obviously, I have once again stumbled upon a clear, new direction for the world. It’s a concept so steeped in common sense and immediate understanding you could just picture millions of people buying into it on-the-spot. Life can finally be a healthy experience for all of human kind.
I couldn’t wait until morning.
Complexity Distracts Us from the Obvious
I always cringe when I hear wellness pundits tell us that workplace wellness programs need to be comprehensive to be effective. This means wellness has become so complex and confusing that it now takes a self-anointed, smarty pants to help you figure it all out for an investment banker’s size fee.
The biggest obesity problem at workplaces is wellness program fees and their layers of, well, programming. It reminds me what my wife’s lifelong friend, Sheila, often says, “Sounds like a lot of farting around to me.”
“Hey, Connors! Please, I am begging you. Can you make a small attempt not to piss everyone off and stay on message? It would be nice to get this over with before the summer solstice?”
Umm. Yes, of course. Whoops. Where was I? Ahh, “complexity.”
Now when I hear the word comprehensive tied to the topic of wellness I think, maybe not! Maybe something simple and beautiful about health can transcend differences and bring us together in a holistic experience.
If you’ve stood in awe in the middle of the Rocky Mountains, or enjoyed an Atlantic Coast sunrise, (or a tequila sunrise), I’ll bet you didn’t need a data set, algorithm, consultant, or appraisal to understand the meaning and joy of health.
Anyway, I crawled back into bed, shut my eyes, and completely forgot what that idea was. Sorry about that. WELCOA® doesn’t know either, even though they may have an award for it.
Maybe you can help me remember it. It was. . .
My advice for now:
- Drink a tall glass of cold water before bed.
- Keep a pencil and paper on your bed stand.
- And please call me first if you think of it.
Now what did I do with that epiphany about eliminating the nation’s financial debt?
Shawn is the President and Founder of Hope Health. For over 30 years, his work has focused on bringing clear, easy-to-read and watch health messages to the public via workplaces. He bills himself as the “Best C+ Student in the Wellness Biz” because, as he says, “I like to challenge the notion that there is no such thing as a stupid question.” Shawn is on a mission to tie workplaces into their surrounding communities to share resources and ideas in an effort to improve the health of all Americans.
You may reach Shawn at sconnors@HopeHealth.com or 800-334-4094.