Deepak Chopra MD
Deepak Chopra MD Author, Founder of The Chopra Foundation, Senior Scientist, The Gallup Organization
The way I'm looking at it with other people is the elements of holistic healing start with everything external. Career well-being -- if you hate your job -- 36 percent of people die on Monday morning at 9 o'clock because they hate their jobs. Career, and unhappiness with career, is a big cause of illness.
So I work with Gallup; I'm a senior scientist at Gallup. We ask people one question: "Do you enjoy what you're doing every day?" Only 20 percent can say, "I do." "Are you using your strengths every day?" Only 20 percent can say, "I do." "Do you enjoy the person you work with?" If your supervisor ignores you, your rate of disengagement goes up by 45 percent, and you get sick sooner or later. If he doesn't or she doesn't ignore you but actually criticizes you, you get better. It falls to 20 percent, because you'd rather be criticized than ignored. Now you exist.
You know, humans have a deep need for attention. On the other hand if he notices your strengths -- and we have a way of actually figuring out what your strengths are, putting you in the right seat at the right place on the bus -- your disengagement goes up to less than 1 percent, your health improves and your immune system takes a boost. Now nobody looks at that.
Social wellbeing -- how many people do you engage with that you trust every day? Do you have friends that you can rely on? In fact, if you want to lose weight, if you want to go on a specific diet, if you want to support somebody else who has breast cancer and you hang out with them, your survival doubles. But we're not looking at that in standard medicine. So career wellbeing, social wellbeing, financial wellbeing, community wellbeing, physical wellbeing are included.
But then when you look at physical wellbeing, we look at things like sleep, which has been ignored, but in fact is the time when the body goes into self-repair mechanism better than any other time. Look at stress management. Look at phytochemicals or phytonutrients, which are the healthiest foods on the planet. Look at personal relationships and social interactions.
In fact, every day on Twitter, where I have almost 700,000 people, I score my wellbeing. I say my wellbeing is 94 today. I do it every day. You know, there are a few questions you answer and anything over a 70 is thriving, 40 to 70 we say is struggling, less than 40 is suffering. And we score individuals, communities, businesses and even nations. And then you look at the scores and you see, "Why is Sweden and Denmark up there?" and, "Why is Togo out there?" And you look at everything from hospital admissions to crime rate to unrest.
We were watching the wellbeing only in Tunisia, in Egypt, in Libya, and we knew beforehand what was going to happen, because everything correlates with wellbeing, whether it's jobs or satisfaction with the leader or unrest in society or hospital admissions or crime rate; it all relates to wellbeing. This is holistic wellbeing. If you scored more than 70 in your wellbeing assessment -- so every day what I do is I say, "This is my score. It's 94. If I lost 10 pounds, it could be 98, OK? So that's the only thing that's missing right now. And I'm pretty close to it."
But then I say to my Twitter followers, which goes up by 1,000 every day, I say, "So what's yours?" And I send them to the site, and we are now creating global communities of wellbeing through our non-profit foundation by just giving them the right information. And then I give them a daily challenge: Did you get your teeth cleaned? When's the last time you had that done? Because of the following reasons -- are you on a good diet? What are you going to do today? And we engage people.
There's nothing like people wanting to be engaged, and now because of the social networks, I think we are seeing the extension of a new planetary mind. I think we have it with -- information is the most useful thing you can give to a person right now. You can have more information about what you're struggling with, whether it's Parkinson's or Alzheimer's or heart disease or cancer, than your doctor, and you better, because it's your life. It's not your doctor's life.
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