Miranda Phillips DO, FACEP, FAAEM is the system medical director for Saint Francis Hospitals in Oklahoma, and will retire in December, years before her 40th birthday. She attributes the ability to retire to investing wisely. Read on learn what she has to say about all areas of wellness.
Are you actively and purposefully pursuing elite health in all aspects of your life right now – mental health, physical health, spiritual health, social health, financial health – or are you headed for burnout and/or death at an earlier age? Do you have people around you that want and need you to be alive? Do you have a life purpose to fulfill before you die?
Setting Goals for Success
We set goals for ourselves whenever we feel passionate about accomplishing something. Goals help us know what we need to focus on so we can identify distractions and deal with them appropriately. Every action we take in life is either moving us closer to a goal (purposeful action) or further away from it (distraction). Are your actions helping you or hurting you? Are your actions taking you closer to, or further away from achieving your goals and living the life of your dreams? Everything we say and do falls into a category of health. Those five main life pillars are mental, physical, spiritual, social, and financial. What does success look like for you in each of those?
Five Pillars of Health
Mental health boils down to positive emotions and negative emotions. Positive emotions result in a cascade of physiologic events that make you live longer whereas negative emotions result in a cascade of physiologic events that shorten your lifespan.
Physical health is encompassed in taking action in ways that preserve your physical body and enhance its ability to recover from trauma and illness.
Spiritual health in its most basic form refers to your life purpose. When you are fulfilling your life purpose, you are feeling very positive emotions and happiness, which is prolonging your life.
Social health results from the types of relationships you have and foster, which are either healthy (positive) or unhealthy (negative). You interact with other humans every single day. Are you prolonging their life with positivity or are you bringing mental and physiologic harm to them by inducing negative emotions within them?
When it comes to the category of financial health, it’s not the money you want, it’s the time freedom produced by money that you really crave. Money is not the end goal, it is only a means to an end. The end is the time freedom to live the life of your dreams. If you feel limited by time or money, then you won’t feel as though you are able to give adequate attention to the things that matter most.
Contrary to what conventional wisdom and the middle class mindset might suggest, living a consumer lifestyle is risky business. Consumers trade their time for money and use that hard-earned money to finance their life and liabilities.
Choosing to live the lifestyle of an investor is making a conservative decision to live a life of choice and freedom. Investors take their hard-earned money and put it to work for them in such a way that their money is making money. This is called passive cash flow. Passive cash flow decreases the need to trade time for money. The wealthiest people in the world already know this and live it daily. Do you know the difference between assets and liabilities? Do you work hard for your paycheck so that you can buy the golden handcuffs that will trap you and commit you to a life of obligation, or are you working hard to buy cash flowing assets that will pay you and allow you to retire early so that you can focus your time on your life priorities and goals?
Addressing Physician Burnout
Anytime wellness is discussed among healthcare professionals, one particular question always comes up. Where does physician burnout come into play in all of this and how can we address it?
Burnout, according to the Oxford dictionary, is the physical or mental collapse caused by overwork or stress. If you are working so much that you aren’t getting any exercise, you aren’t eating right, and you aren’t getting an average of seven hours of sleep per day, then you are playing Russian roulette with your physical health, no matter how excited you are about your work. It’s only a matter of time before you lose.
Stress is the experience of negative emotion. When you experience more negative emotions than positive emotions, burnout is the result.
So how do you take control? You take control by changing your mindset, change your actions, and change your life. Set goals for yourself within each of the five life pillars. Become a true investor and get your money working for you so that you’ll have the time freedom to be very purposeful with how you spend each moment of your time. Stay true to and leverage the personal values of intellectual honesty, positivity, and personal development. As you take daily action that moves you closer to achieving your goals, you will increase the amount of positive emotion that you experience and ultimately witness your entire life change before your eyes.