Updated: Oct 31, 2019
Hopefully, you’ve noticed there’s more in my approach to Different than simply “getting a better job,” “making more money,” or “launching your own business.” While I hope some combination of those noble goals are part of your plan for Different, none of them alone will create a truly satisfying life.
As I’ve noted before, there are a lot of moving parts in the life you want. Money, work, relationships, hopes, and dreams all have a role, but no one of them is the final answer.
Yet, despite lip service to the contrary, most “better life” gurus focus just on individual parts, not the whole.
Scratching a Niche
If you’ve studied anything about the online world—whether blogging, e-commerce, or social media marketing—you know that experts focus on niches, sub-niches, even micro-niches (Nutches with Niches?—apologies to Dr. Seuss). I’ve actually read that it’s impossible for online sellers and writers to “over-niche” themselves.
Last week, though, I was confronted with the importance of keeping an eye on the whole by a good friend who also operates a fine blog site (marktwhitten.com, mentioned in last week’s blog post). Mark alerted me to a counter-trend, now in its infancy, that could turn the current “conventional wisdom” on its head.
He pointed out that the world desperately needs generalists—people who can put the parts together in a coherent whole. “Sages,” he called them and even implied that he just might consider me one.
At first, I was falsely humbled by his comment. But perhaps I am a sage. And perhaps the even bigger idea is that we all need to become our own sages.
In a world fragmented by target marketing, niche selling, and assorted ways of “drilling down,” we need to put together our own whole views of life.
Another friend of mine is a “holistic dentist.” Fully trained in modern dental practices, he began to recognize years ago the problem with focusing on just the mouth to help his patients.* The mouth, he discovered, is the bellwether of what’s happening in the rest of the body.
Our wondrous physical selves are not just a collection of individually operating components. They mesh in one system of interdependent subsystems, all of which affect the functioning of each other part. So, he realized, intelligent medicine needs to treat the entire body as a system, not just the individual parts as so much of modern medicine ends up doing because of extreme specialization. (I heard recently of a surgeon who operates only on left hands!)
My wife, too, long ago recognized limitations of that approach to medicine and has blessed our family by taking us down a path of self-care through nutrition and alternative treatments. As cold weather approaches, for instance, most of us are bombarded with commercial messages telling you to “get your flu shot.” Last week while shopping at Kroger, an ad on the PA encouraged me to swing by the pharmacy while in the store and “get protected.”
Nancy, though, has been coaching people throughout the summer months on finding and
preparing elderberry syrup—a natural, immune-boosting preparation that won’t compromise your body’s natural processes. Meanwhile, it protects against a wider variety of sicknesses than an individual flu shot can handle. (Check out this article of hers for more—and to get the recipe.)
So, more than ever before, it’s time to become your own sage.
While you think about Different for you, consider all of your life.
What lifestyle do you want? Including: how you do family, income-generation, health, significant-other relationships, and even your place in the community. That’s the whole way to create your own better life.
* If you live in Middle Tennessee, you should check him out for your family dental needs. Send me a message through my Contact Page if you’d like more information.
I’m currently looking at ways to expand Different on Purpose to help the self-saging process—even including health alternatives, for instance. I’d love to know what you think of the idea. Contact me here with your comments.
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