You know the story: In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue, coming to a vast, virtually untouched continent inhabited by small numbers of people consisting of nomadic tribes living lightly on the land.
But what if you were to learn the reality was quite different? What if the latest research and scientific techniques discovered there were more people living in the Americas in 1491 than in all of Europe? Or that some cities had running water, botanical gardens and were more populated than any European city at the time? Or that up to 97% of the population of 25 million people were wiped out, not by the armies of Cortes or others but by Smallpox and other epidemics?
These and so many other revelations from Charles Mann’s deeply researched book, “1491” (kudos to whoever came up with the perfect title, by the way) are stunning. It’s well written and certainly worth adding to your book list. However, what does any of this have to do with health and wellness or coaching?!?
Simply this: We may be wrong… about quite a lot of things.
Maybe biometric screenings aren’t the most effective starting point for employee wellness programs. What if SMART goals weren’t the best way to approach goal-setting? Perhaps 10,000 steps/day makes no sense whatsoever for certain individuals? Could it be possible sharing facts or information with people has little to no impact on their lifestyle decisions? What if sugar turned out not to be the root of all evil? Consider the possibility that “personal choices” are more dependent on an individual’s “life homeostasis” (dictated by finances, supervisors, family members, and societal impacts) than actual personal choices?
You get the idea. If you’ve spent much time in the world of health and wellness, you’ve heard – and likely shared – a long list of strategies, hypotheses and assumptions that simply are no longer (or never were) accurate. When that happens, what is my response? Am I open to hearing new evidence? Better yet – am I SEEKING OUT the new evidence? Or am I functioning based on data collected and assumptions made 10, 20, 30 or more years ago because it’s the path of least resistance?
It’s easiest to go with our default settings in life – especially when we’re busy. The mental energy required to go beyond the status quo wears us out. At the same time, if we’re truly going to make a difference – to be a catalyst – in the lives of those whom we serve, it’s a path – it’s THE path – worth taking.
If you’re a part of the Catalyst Community, you know we do our best to reduce the friction involved in making that choice.
We recently released our 225th episode of the Catalyst Health, Wellness & Performance Coaching Podcast, which provides both employers and coaches the latest evidence-based insights from some of the brightest minds in the world and has been released every single week without exception for over four years.
Our weekly CATALYST 5 comes out every Tuesday morning with highlights of five new ideas/strategies/techniques you can read in less than 60 seconds (with links to additional details if desired).
For coaches, the Health & Wellness Coaching Forum on Facebook provides a place for you to interact with others and curiously explore #BetterThanYesterday.
Those are all freely available and can be supplemented by additional low-cost components such as the annual Rocky Mountain Coaching Retreat & Symposium in Estes Park, Colorado each September, organized study sessions for the NBHWC national board exam or ongoing continuing education courses and more.
Yes – the ocean was likely quite blue back in 1492 when Columbus made his journey. But much of the accompanying story didn’t happen the way we might think it did. The same thing is true – and will continue to be true – in our world of health and wellness. We must choose whether to put our head down and continue forward on the path we’ve always taken as employers and coaches… OR whether we will choose to seek out the insights that will help us create lasting, meaningful change for those we serve in a world that needs us more than ever.
Are you ready to be a catalyst?
Looking for weekly tips, tricks and turbo boosts to enhance your life? Sign up for the CATALYST 5 here, a brief weekly bullet point list of 5 ideas, concepts or boosts Dr. Cooper has discovered to improve your personal and professional life!