Dangerous. Risky. Unsafe. Perilous.
Those words are meant to scare you, but after you read this, you may learn you don’t take those words (or many of your actions) as seriously as you think. You may find this especially true when it concerns your health and money.
And where did I come up with this scary idea? It was all thanks to two days of frightening lightning that never happened.
This season I committed to coaching track at my daughter’s high school. This required me to clear my schedule from about 2:30pm to 6pm each day for the next few months. Each day we have the training planned and as a coach I am optimistic about our athletes and their potential progress. One thing this season that has slowed that progress has been the weather and, in particular, a safety system called Thor Guard.
I first heard of Thor Guard last year when I was coaching the team. I remember hearing a buzzer and then all the kids running inside the school saying, “Thor had spoken.” Intrigued by how a Norse god had direct communication with our high school, I found out Thor Guard is a system that monitors static electricity and lightning strikes or the potential thereof in the surrounding area. When Thor Guard has signaled, the team must wait inside a minimum of 30 minutes from the initial signal or until Thor Guard eventually gives the “ok” it is safe to go outside.
This week, although we never saw or heard any lightning crashes, two practices were missed completely because we were never let out of the building by the God of Thunder. Even when it was sunny outside, I guess the potential was still there. And, of course, no one fools around with lightning. And no one should.
When there is a risk of lightning, you go inside.
When there is a shark sighting, you get out of the water.
Although the chances of getting struck by lightning or getting attacked by a shark are minuscule, you still take them very seriously. Unfortunately, as you will learn, there are many things more dangerous to your health and wealth that you may completely ignore even in the face of the sign posts and warnings.
Because Thor will probably not be showing up on your doorstep with his magical hammer to warn you with 20 things you should be doing to protect your health and wellbeing, I will have to suffice. I just hope you trust me enough to listen because it could just save your life and your bank account.
You probably believe your life is a lot less hazardous than it is.
Before I give you the list, I am sure you think you have been “playing it safe.” Here are 10 classic examples that may fool you into believing you take your hazards more seriously than you think:
1. You wear a seatbelt.
2. You quit smoking. (and if not, what are you waiting for?)
3. And if you did smoke, you surely don’t do that while filling up your gas tank with your car still running.
4. You lock your house.
5. Your fire alarm batteries are charged and the risk of carbon monoxide levels are low.
6. Your outlets and locks are childproofed and chemicals and medications are kept out of reach.
7. Your kids ride in a car seat until a certain age and weight.
8. They also wear a bike helmet and elbow pads when their training wheels come off.
9. You change your passwords to avoid the perils of the “dark web.”
10. You clean your hands with a container of antibacterial lotion that is never far out of reach.
When it comes to “hazards,” you might be more negligent than you think.
If you do more than 5 of the list above and are feeling good about yourself and your “hazard prevention,” don’t pat yourself on the back too hard just yet. Before we cover the 20 things to live a happier, healthier and wealthier life, this next list may have you kicking yourself in the pants instead. Read these 15 things and see if you have done any of them. If so, the final two lists should help you expand your views on what is truly “hazardous.”
1. You use whitening toothpaste, but don’t floss.
2. You buy in bulk and use Amazon Prime for free shipping, but you spend much more.
3. You bought exercise equipment that becomes either a collector of dust or clothes hangers.
4. You order a kale salad only to bury it in 500 calories of dressing.
5. You are never late for a movie, but can’t get to sleep on time.
6. You go to movies yet pay a monthly cable bill for a 1000 channels you don’t watch.
7. You won’t drink water out of the tap, but you will guzzle down energy drinks filled with chemicals you can’t pronounce.
8. You check your social media “likes” more in an hour than your vital health statistics in a year.
9. You don’t make time to lift weights because it could make you “bulky,” but eat fast food because you are in a rush.
10. You won’t drink milk a day after it might go bad, but maintain a relationship that has been bad for years.
11. You are happy your new store credit card has 0% APR for the first 6 months. Then you pay the minimum anyway.
12. You make sure your Starbucks reusable cup is always full of joe yet have less concern for your own hydration level.
13. You change phone plans to “save money” and end up spending more on a new phone.
14. You spend hours a day sitting with “text neck,” but make sure to retake your selfie on Snapchat ten times to make sure your posture looks perfect.
15. You wont waste an extra minute and fast forward through a DVR commercial, but spend decades at a job you don’t like.
You simply miss some hazards because you don’t give them the same importance.
Did the second list put a nervous smile on your face? If you have been guilty of performing any of those actions above, you should agree it is time to perform a hazard assessment on your life. To help you do this, I created two top 10 lists that should help you to update what you think should be hazardous to the appropriate levels. Want to lead a hazardous life? Then keep worrying more about drinking out of your faucet or the mercury levels of your swordfish dinner than you do the list below:
Top 10 Most Hazardous To Your Health
1. Having No Regular Checkups
If you make regular checkins at the gluten free aisle, but not with your doctor, that needs to change. Checking your health with a weigh in, stress test, and blood workup is critical.
2. Leading A Sedentary Lifestyle
If you spend most of the day sitting and don’t have an exercise plan or routine, time to take action. Get a plan for daily movement and make sure weights are part of the equation.
3. Eating Too Much
If you sure your microwave plastics are BPA free, but fill them with too many calories of processed food, time to count calories. While you are at it, make sure your food comes from good sources and drink more water.
4. Staying Sleep Deprived
If you are tired, that is not a badge of honor. That is a health hazard sign of the highest importance. Get 8 hours a night, don’t hit the snooze button, and get away from your phone an hour or more before bedtime.
5. Texting And Driving
No LMAO text or snapchat streak is worth your health or the health of someone else. Learn to view this as important as fastening your seatbelt.
6. Skipping The Sunblock
Sunscreen isn’t just for a vacation at the beach. If you can put on wrinkle cream and exfoliate with a mask, you can mask yourself from the sun too.
7. Keeping Your Hands Dirty
Getting your hands dirty might be a cool idea when it comes to work, but dirty hands spread germs and disease. Wash them regularly and do it right.
8. Doing Something You Don’t Love
It’s not noble to suffer through a job you hate just because it pays the bills. If you are over overworked and stressed, heed the signs and make a change.
9. Maintaining Unhealthy Relationships
If you know all the characters in a Netflix show, better than the characters in your life, time to get back to the “real world.” Reconnect with your family and if you cut carbs, you can also cut unhealthy people from your life.
10. Living Passion-Free
If you aren’t too busy to express yourself on Facebook, but too busy to express yourself with a hobby or talent, time to spend time on yourself. Pick an interest and dig in.
Wealth is often seen as the things you have. Real wealth, can often come not from having a new pair of shoes or nice car, but not being deficient in any of the areas below. The following list of 10 things are the stuff you really have to “own.”
Top 10 Most Hazardous To Your Wealth
1. Not Having A Budget
Finish this sentence: “Failing to plan is…” You probably answered “Planning to fail!” With a smile on your face. That smile will probably go away when I ask for your financial plan to get out of debt (and “save more” is not an acceptable answer here.)
2. Not Having A Plan To Get Out Of Debt
You must want to be out of debt more than you want the new outfit. Debt can cost you thousands over your lifetime and/or the chance at a house or the life you desire. Remove it.
3. Not Having A Difference Between “Wants” and “Needs”
A high car payment and getting more house than you need is not a status symbol. Neither is the extra coffee or takeout a day. Both can actually hurt your status in the long run if you can’t afford them.
4. Not Having Investments Or Savings
Don’t have any money to do this? Simple formula. Spend less than you earn and get started. You have probably heard “save 10% of what you make.” You also probably heard eat less calories than you expend.
5. Not Having A Fear Of The Negative Side Of Compounding Interest
If you don’t do #4 today, you miss out on the power of time to compound your savings. In the reverse, if you don’t pay attention to #2, you will learn the way an interest rate can compound debt against you.
6. Not Having An Emergency Fund
This does not concern the spare change in your sofa for pizza. Things break. Injuries happen. Kids need cars and outfits. Make sure you are planning ahead.
7. Not Having A Will
You plan for the weekend, but not for the end of your life? Sound morbid? Not as morbid and you losing everything you worked so hard for to the state because you were lazy.
8. Not Having Insurance
If you are insuring your phone and not your life, time to check your priorities. Here’s a quick list to see how you are doing: Health, Life, Disability, Home Owner’s, and Auto. Missing any? Get nervous.
9. Not Having Your Credit Score
If you are more concerned with your score on a video game or app and not your credit score, stop wondering why you aren’t financially secure.
10. Not Having Developed Yourself
Your career is how you earn money. Are you taking care of this asset and constantly making yourself more valuable? Think about that next time you brag about completing another season of a Netflix show.
Don’t safeguard your social media more than your waistline and bank account.
Just like the siren on Thor Guard, this was meant to alert you to some hazards of which you might not be aware. In fact, the last two lists were meant to scare you. After all, that is how hazards work right? Now that the siren has sounded, it is up to you to heed the warning.
Can you do the 20 things on the two lists? For sure. Will you do it? That will depend whether you believe they are hazardous enough. As one final push to get you to address the lists, here is my last guarantee:
If you don’t heed the warning signs, lightning will eventually strike.
Yours in Strength,
P.S. Want to know all my coaching secrets and help others reach their goals?
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