After 45 years as a GP, Goulburn district's Dr Robert Favaloro ponders on what it takes to build a wonderful life. How happiness can be grown and tended like a good crop. It's all about following The Rules of Life.
Previously I covered rule number one : Always be Honest. This week's rule, rule number two, is just as important: Like yourself the way you are.
In my youth I remember never liking my frizzy black hair. Cool people had shiny straight hair. I wasted money on gels that never gave me anything shiny or straight on my head. I wasted energy too worrying about my hair.
I looked at models in ads, their hair always looked so good. They seemed so perfect. I like that word 'seemed'.
My friend had cerebral palsy. He noted that his disability was obvious but our disabilities were less obvious. He was right, no one is perfect. We all have less desirable parts to our being.
I had a patient in the past who looked to 'have it all together'. Then he developed a melanoma and was badly scarred by surgery. No one has it all together.
I see people have cosmetic surgery - men and women. The illusion can be that we will be happier if we can look closer to perfect. Not true. We can be happy now if we wish - it's a choice. I now love what's left of my frizzy grey hair.
My firm belief is that we are programmed to like ourselves. No energy is wasted when we accept ourselves just as we are. We can train, study and eat a healthy diet. These will give us some satisfaction and even a sense of worth. They don't replace that inner self worth that we all desire.
As we follow the rules of life, we follow our programming and we stop fritting away our daily allowance of energy . We like ourselves more. Our mental health depends on our energy level.
It has been said that life is 10 per cent what happens to us and 90 per cent how we respond to it.
Let's nurture our energy and follow our programming bravely.
Rule three to follow in two weeks.