By Dr. Victor S, Sierpina

Here is a quote by Phillips Brook that emphasizes the value of taking on new challenges in our lives:
“Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers. Pray for powers equal to your tasks. Then the doing of your work shall be no miracle, but you shall be the miracle.”

For any of us to grow into a newer, better version of ourselves, we must accept challenges which by definition require us to stretch our limits into our unexplored and possible selves.

Just picture a toddler learning to walk. No longer satisfied with just crawling or cruising the furniture, he or she takes a tentative few steps and then, with a wide-eyed look of delight, plunks down on a soft bottom only to get up and try again. And again. Trip, stumble, fall, get up, get up, and then, miraculously, they just keep going until parents, grandparents, and other loved ones can barely keep up with the little speedsters.

Challenging ourselves to achieve wellness is a similar process.

Start, drop, stop, try again, again, believe, achieve.

A wellness promoting life is dedicated to whole person excellence and is at the positive end of a spectrum that might start with low level worseness, middle level mediocrity, or intermediate level tinkering with health.


hallenging ourselves to embrace wellness is far better, more motivating, and energizing than just following medical prescriptions to treat and avoid disease, disability, and death.

Dr. Donald Ardell states that high-level wellness incorporates the following:

1. Implement a personal wellness plan

2. Conscious commitment to excellence

3. High self-esteem

4. Integrated and balanced lifestyle

5. Development of a supportive environment

6. Personal responsibility to health

7. Orientation to positive payoffs.

So start today. Change your mindset to promoting good health rather than just not being sick. This will involve trusting the ability of the body to heal itself, incorporating small but persistent changes in lifestyle, diet, movement, and meditation.

You can live a wellness lifestyle even if you have a chronic illness and have made some less than optimal health choices in the past. These don’t matter as much as starting today with a consciousness focused on challenging yourself to be your personal best.

Developing a wellness plan can include a physician, nurse, chiropractor, dietitian, health coach, tai chi or yoga instructor, acupuncturist, massage therapist, exercise physiologist, sports psychologist, or energy healer.
It might just be a good friend to walk with and talk. Reflect on what you need and who can help you get there. Realistically assess your resources of time, energy, and commitment.

No matter where you are on the worseness to wellness spectrum, you can start the challenge today. Be brave and take those first baby steps to a rewarding, wellness-oriented lifestyle.

As you start your journey, recall this inspirational quote from Thomas Carlyle: “Our main business is not to see what lies dimly at a distance, but to do what lies clearly at hand.”