Risk & Business Magazine McFarlan Rowlands Magazine Winter 2018 | Page 13

HAPPY TO BE HEALTHY health. For many of us, health like money contributes to happiness mostly in the negative; the lack of it brings much more unhappiness than possessing it brings happiness. It’s very easy to take money or health for granted until it's gone. My husband recently had surgery on his knee. Minor surgery, something many people have done, not risky, a very ordinary procedure, didn't take long. But boy, the experience of setting foot in a hospital made me fervently, passionately, explosively grateful for my health. Of course, I was also grateful for the good hospital, the insurance, the doctors and nurses, the relief from pain that my husband got, his uncomplicated recovery. So I was also very grateful for all that. But most of all, I was reminded that I should never to take good health for granted -- my health, or anyone else's. To be able to take a deep breath, to hear, to see, to walk, to eat, to be free from pain... it's so precious. Another positive consequence of gratitude? When we're grateful, we tend to want to make sure that other people share in whatever we're feeling we're feeling grateful for. If I'm feeling grateful for the beauty of Central Park, it makes me think about how much I want other people also to be able to experience the beauty of a park. Feeling grateful often spurs us to turn outward, to think about the situations of others. The trip to the hospital reminded me of the importance of health for me, and for everyone. It made me think about insurance, medical care, availability (and of course habits, just about everything makes me think about habits) and what steps I can take in my own life, to help others have these building blocks of good health. A good gratitude reminder. Do you find it hard to remember to be grateful? Do you have any strategies to help prompt gratitude? People use gratitude journals, screen-saver reminders, photographs and giving thanks before meals...what else? I write about my own gratitude exercise in The Happiness Project. Gretchenrubin.com In Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's famous story, "The Adventure of Silver Blaze," (which includes the now well-known phrase "the curious incident of the dog in the night- time") Sherlock Holmes perceived a clue in the fact that a dog didn’t bark. I find it hard to be grateful for the problems that aren't there. Today is a day that I don't make a visit to the hospital a happy day. I'm also reminded of a hilarious scene from one of my favorite movies, The Princess Bride. I've watched the scene where Count Rugen and Humperdinck discuss the important things in life, and it makes me laugh every time. "If you haven't got your health, you haven't got anything." It's a cliché, because it's true. Gretchen Rubin is one of today’s most influential and thought-provoking observers of happiness and human nature. She’s known for her ability to distill and convey complex ideas with humor and clarity, in a way that’s accessible to a wide audience. She’s the author of many books, including the blockbuster New York Times bestsellers The Four Tendencies, Better Than Before and The Happiness Project. She has an enormous readership, both in print and online, and her books have sold almost three million copies worldwide, in more than 30 languages. (The Happiness Project spent two years on the bestseller list.) On her top-ranking, award-winning podcast “Happier with Gretchen Rubin,” she discusses happiness and good habits with her sister Elizabeth Craft. She’s been interviewed by Oprah, eaten dinner with Daniel Kahneman, walked arm-in-arm with the Dalai Lama, had her work written up in a medical journal and been an answer on the game show Jeopardy! Gretchen Rubin started her career in law and was clerking for Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor when she realized she wanted to be a writer. Raised in Kansas City, she lives in New York City with her husband; they have two daughters (a college freshman and a seventh-grader). Credit: Michael Weschler 13