So many people are searching for their place in the world. That imaginary situation is usually a job or career that they love and are successful in. Very few people can claim that the job they have actually is a position that gives them fulfillment and also allows them to have the standard of living they desire.
The Title – What’s in a Name?
Too often employees make the mistake of looking for a job or career based on the name of the job. “Teacher” is a good example of a job title that has numerous definitions and environments or levels. There are pre-school teachers, elementary school teachers, middle school teachers, high school teachers, college/university teachers, as well as teachers who work in business and industry. There are teachers who teach in public schools as well as those who teach in private schools. Corporations hire teachers all the time, but they are called trainers or instructors. So a job title can be very misleading.
“Coach” is another broad sweeping title. There are football coaches, basketball coaches, personal trainers, life coaches, and business coaches. Coaching is not restricted to sports, it really encompasses a wide range of specialties. Did you know, there is even such a thing as dissertation coaching?
“Nurse” is another job title that has many domains and specialties. There are nurses who work in many different areas and departments in a hospital such as: emergency, operating room, critical care, to name a few.
Other nurses work in obstetrics, cardiology, infectious diseases, cancer wards, or pediatrics. Of course there are nurses who work in schools, clinics, and doctors’ offices. There are also nurses who are teachers, instructors, and professors, who help others in the craft. Therefore the title, nurse, is not really specific enough when one is considering a career as a nurse. Most every job/career has many variables, conditions, and areas that are quite different from one another.
So how does one decide what job to prepare for?
Each of us needs to know our likes and preferences. What we care about. What our values are. Let’s start with the basic three categories of work: people, things, and ideas. With all jobs there is a primary focus. In the above examples both teachers and nurses work with people as their first priority. Heavy equipment operators deal with things. Computer programmers work mainly with ideas. For the most part workers deal with all three types of work, but the thing to remember – where is the bulk of the time consumed?
Another consideration is the work environment. Some people like to work outdoors. Others prefer indoors. Many individuals are more comfortable when their job duties and responsibilities are precisely outlined. On the other hand many people are like me, and they need the freedom to work at their own pace and enjoy great mobility. Working as part of a team makes many people comfortable, while others prefer a great sense of independence as they do their work.
Time considerations can be very important when deciding on a job or career. If it is urgent that you obtain a job right away, then you can still factor this into your decision-making. If you are looking at employment opportunities in the long term, then you can consider the time, effort, and cost to get the appropriate training or education. This is considered career planning when all these factors, topics, and issues are analyzed together; and you put yourself in a great position to get the job or career that really works for you. So go out there and get it!
Richard Nelson Bolles, What Color Is Your Parachute? A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters & Career-Changers.
Richard Nelson Bolles, The Three Boxes of Life and How to Get Out of Them.
Manuel London, Career Barriers: How People Experience, Overcome, and Avoid Failure.
Whiton Stewart Paine, Job Stress and Burnout.
Vitamin D has been overlooked as a valuable aid to health by the average person for a long time. The fact that the sun gives us vitamin D automatically and is known as the “sunshine vitamin” may contribute to us taking it for granted.
What Makes Vitamin D Important?
In her book, Defend Your Life: Vitamin D3, A Safe, Easy, and Inexpensive Approach to Improving Quality of Life, Susan Rex Ryan states, “Recent medical studies indicate that low vitamin D levels are associated with increased risk for cancers including breast, colon, and prostate, as well as a host of other serious medical conditions, including heart disease, multiple sclerosis, autism, bone disease, and diabetes.” This statement should get our attention. Ms. Ryan backs up this claim with dozens of scientific studies.
To be more specific, what does vitamin D do in the body that makes it so important to our health? In the prestigious Alternative Medicine: The Definitive Guide, Larry Trivieri, Jr. and John W. Anderson add specifics to the role of vitamin D because it is “essential for calcium and phosphorus metabolism; required for strong bones and teeth; important for the health of the developing heart and nervous system, for proper thyroid function and for normal blood clotting; useful for the prevention and treatment of diminished immunity, calcium deficiencies, osteoporosis, and conditions involving the eyes, including conjunctivitis and glaucoma.”
As you can see vitamin D3, which has the most bioavailability among the D vitamins, is critical to our health and well-being. Hundreds of scientific studies have been conducted by reputable researchers around the world demonstrating the role of vitamin D in disease prevention and treatment.
What Can You Do to Assure That You Are Getting Adequate Amounts of Vitamin D?
Almost all vitamin D3 supplements are packaged and sold in international units (IU) and 1,000 IU equals 25 mcg. So the IUs can be a bit confusing to the average shopper if you are looking for supplements. Some leaders in the field speculate that the use of international units has confused the public.
If most people know the tremendous value of vitamin D3 and started taking supplements, their health would greatly improve. The ideal way to know how much you should take is to consult with a licensed nutritionist or dietician.
In addition to vitamin D supplements there are plenty of foods containing this vitamin, namely: milk, soy-milk, egg yolks, mackerel, salmon, sardines, shrimp, tuna, cod, oysters, and mushrooms. When we eat for health and not just for taste, the result is almost always better health.
Other Sources of Information on Vitamin D
John Cannell, The Athlete’s Edge: Faster Quicker Stronger with Vitamin D.
Laurie Winn Carlson, The Sunlight Solution: Why More Sun Exposure and Vitamin D are Essential to Your Health.
Michael F. Holick, The Vitamin D Solution.
Craig A. Keebler, Know Your D: Optimizing Your Health with Vitamin D.
Michael D. Merrill, Vitamin D: Antidote to Winter and the Darkness.
There are places in the world where the average person lives an unusually healthy and long life. These areas have come to be known as Blue Zones. Dan Buettner in his book, The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who’ve Lived the Longest, he discovered four parts of the world where people live very long lives, namely Sardinia , Italy ; Okinawa , Japan ; Loma Linda , California ; and Nicoya Peninsula , Costa Rica . Is it possible that we could benefit from these long-lived people by incorporating some aspects of their life-styles into our daily practice?
Nine Lessons to Learn
Here are the lessons Buettner suggests that need to be implemented in order to benefit from the experiences of these people:
- Move Naturally. Increase your activity as much as possible into your daily routine. Instead of looking for the parking place as close as possible to the entrance to the department store, park a considerable distance away at the end of the parking lot. Try walking up one or two flights of stairs instead of taking the elevator.
- Hara Hachi Bu. This term comes for the Okinawan elders, which means to stop eating when your stomach is 80 percent full. As I write this I am reminded of the Thanksgiving meal I had yesterday. I was with family and friends. As most of us were finishing with our meal, one of the hosts offered, “More turkey. There’s more sweet potatoes and green beans.” She was being polite by encouraging us the have second helpings. It would be good for our health and longevity if we all could resist eating until we were full and adopt the hara hachi bu philosophy.
- Plant Slant. It is best stay away from meat and processed foods. These long-lived people rarely ate meat. Buettner states: “Beans, grains, and garden vegetables are the cornerstones of all longevity diets.”
- Grapes of Life. Add a glass of red wine (in moderation) as part of your meals. It has been shown that those who regularly drink a little red wine have less chronic inflammation. It “contains artery-scrubbing polypherols that may help fight arteriosclerosis.”
- Purpose Now. Understand your purpose in life so that you can see the real meaning in what you are living for. We all have a purpose. Some people look deeply into themselves and seek to discover that purpose. And when they settle on their life’s purpose, the quality of their life improves.
- Shift Down. Find ways to relax and minimize stress. Pay attention to that old adage, “Stop and smell the roses.” By slowing down we almost automatically feel better. I recall when I was living in Fallbrook, California, a small town with many two-lane country roads. Some drivers would be impatient with me because I was driving too slowly even though I would be driving the posted speed limit of 45 MPH. They would tail-gate me for a while and eventually pass me to zoom down the road. Sometimes after a few turns I would catch up with them at the red light on the corner. There high speed risky driving had only gained them one car-length in front of me. This kind of driving has to contribute to stress. It could be so easily avoided by relaxing and enjoying the drive. We could say this about life in general. Relax and enjoy your life.
- Belong. Get involved in a spiritual community. Churches are an ideal place to start connecting with God and people. In Dr. Gary Fraser’s book, Diet, Life Expectancy and Chronic Disease: Studies of Seventh-day Adventists and Other Vegetarians, he found that by attending church services regularly there are a number of benefits that can come your way such as: (a) more likely to engage in healthful behaviors; (b) become more physically active; (c) less likely to smoke, do drugs, or drink and drive; and (d) encouraged to do more self-reflection, decompression, and meditation. All these advantages come from prayer and simple act of being in the church service.
- Loved Ones First. When we give the highest priority to our family, we tend to have a more enjoyable life. Our spouse and children are safer because we are there to care for and protect them. With this approach to daily living there is a greater chance that the family will have at least one meal together. During the dinner meal some families have adopted the tradition of asking each person to share one thing they learned that day – what little life-lesson did they each experience? By talking about these topics together, it makes it easier to feel closer to each other.
- Right Tribe. Maintain a strong association with other like-minded people who share your Blue Zone values. Buettner discovered that Seventh-day Adventists tended to associate with other Seventh-day Adventists and vegetarians were mostly around other vegetarians. When we associate with other like-minded individuals, it is much easier to keep our life enhancing behaviors.