By: Dr. Jonathan Tait

On a steamy, summer night in Philadelphia 241 years ago there was a meeting convened where Richard Henry Lee of Virginia presented a resolution with the famous words: “Resolved: That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.”

This was the launching point for what would eventually become the Declaration of Independence penned by Thomas Jefferson. It was signed into being by the appointed representatives of 9 of the 13 colonies at that time. (Pennsylvania and South Carolina voted no, Delaware was undecided, and New York abstained from the vote) 

What they were declaring to England’s King George was that they would no longer be told what to do and how to do it. They would no longer be forced to live in fear of ongoing conflict and control by a dictatorship far removed from understanding the challenges in the lives of the citizens of the United States. They chose to take control of their, and our, destiny.

On July 4th, 1776, they declared our Independence as a developing nation, and we commemorate that today.

With that Declaration you were given the greatest imaginable gift, so often taken for granted – freedom to continue to choose your destiny. This includes the ability to make independent health choices to improve your well-being.

With that Declaration, brave men and women of our military have voluntarily and valiantly defended your country from dictators and tyrants and maintained that freedom for the last 241 years.

What have you done with that freedom?

What is your destiny?

What do you aspire to do and be?

It is common for people to reach a point in their lives when they decide, either subconsciously or consciously, that they are comfortable, that they have “made it”, and that they are not going to push any harder or farther.

5 ways to be average:

  • Accept a job you do not like instead of taking the risk on a new one.
  • Accept the myth that your are “always going to be overweight” rather than finding the support you need to change that.
  • Accept that you cannot return or continue the activities you love because your body will no longer cooperate.
  • Accept the choices that are made for you – by politicians, health insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, etc.
  • Accept that others are just “better off” or luckier than you.

Do not accept this.

You did not wake up today to be mediocre!

You did not wake up to be average, to be like everyone else, to get lost in the crowd.

It is easy to be average. Never rise to the challenge. Never ask more out of your life. Never expect anything better.

It does not take much effort to stay where you are in life, however, you are never truly static. You are either moving forward, getting healthier, growing personally or professionally, becoming better in some aspect of your life each day – or else you are slowly sliding the other way.

5 ways to be anything but average:

  • Accept that it takes hard work and sacrifice.
  • Accept being uncomfortable as you challenge your self-limiting beliefs.
  • Accept that you are doing something great for your community that will have a lasting impact.
  • Accept the support of like-minded individuals who will pull you towards your best self.
  • Accept (and wholeheartedly believe) that you are in control of your future.

Five years ago I did not like what the healthcare system chose for how I should see and treat patients. I could see the future and it was bleak – for patients and providers.

I had larger aspirations and goals for the greater Tucson community.

I had to make a change.

So I made a choice to create a better healthcare system for myself and my patients.  Was the road hard the past couple of years? You bet. The road for the next couple will be as well. I’ve accepted that challenge.

Your health is no different.

Not what you would like it to be?

Time to make a change.

Too many people blame their genetics for what is probably 10-20% of the equation. The other part of the long-term health equation is your lifestyle and environment – and those are the choices you have the freedom to make each day.

To change your situation, the change has to happen first in your mind.  You must create the vision of the health you want, and then take daily action steps and choices to achieve it.

I can want that for you, help and guide, but it will not happen without you taking action.

There is a simple truth in life. 

Inactivity rarely leads to realizing your full potential.

If you are not where you want to be in life then you probably have not prioritized your time and sacrifices that must be made to get there.

Whatever your health, personal, or professionals goals may be, you have to carve out the time, make the sacrifices, and you have to put in the work.

Do not allow government dictators or tyrannical insurance companies to dictate your health – because they do not value your health!

Instead, declare your Independence to decide what you will do for your health.

Every day you wake up with your freedom and a choice.

Do you want to be the same person you were yesterday and the day before that?

Or, do you want to attack life, reach your full potential, and live with vitality, vigor, and purpose for the rest of your days?

Reflect on your freedom, thank our brave service women and men, and pen your own Declaration of Health Independence.

Have a great 4th of July!

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