Most of us are familiar with the many things we’re told to have checked—our cholesterol, our weight, our blood pressure, our hearts, and so on—and we know that if something comes up “wrong”, we’ll be told something we need to take or do. But how many of us know how to avoid something going ‘wrong” in the first place? Is this even possible?

Recently I heard Lynn Grabhorn say on a tape of her book Excuse Me Your Life Is Waiting, “’s fashionable to talk about what’s wrong with everything instead of what’s right…”, and I stopped to write this statement down. Focusing on what’s wrong is exactly what we’re trained to do in medicine, which is where most of us turn when we’re concerned about our health.

How does that serve us? It can assist us in motivating us to change our course—much like the warning lights on your car alert you that something needs to be done, and done quickly, but is there another way to approach your life and your health than determining your action based on warning lights? How do you feel making your choices and living your life based on what might go wrong?

Wellness is a total paradigm shift from how we’re taught to think about our health in the medical arena. Rather than focus on “what’s wrong” or “what could go wrong”, wellness involves focusing on what’s right, what you want, and developing and increasing that in your life rather than the opposite.

Science has discovered that our mood, even our laughter, directly impacts our immune system and our health. Additionally, as evidenced by the famous Greek tragedy Oedipus Rex, man has explored throughout history the concept of “self-fulfilling prophecy”, how what we expect and believe can actually affect our actions and cause us to bring about the very thing we fear.

For a moment, forget your diagnosis, your abnormal lab test, your medications and questions, and your fears; if you are reading this, you are living and breathing, and there is an aliveness about you that can be fanned in to vitality and health. Begin to shift your focus—what are you thankful for? What’s going well with your body, your health, your life? What did you do well today? Did you get out of bed—celebrate that! Did you eat or drink something nourishing—celebrate that! Did you walk, work out, or exercise in some fashion—celebrate that!

You may be saying, “Yeah, but I still feel lousy” or “My doctor still says my cholesterol’s too high”—or maybe it’s your blood pressure or your blood sugar. That’s okay—that’s where you are today. That’s your starting point—but it doesn’t have to be your endpoint unless you do nothing to change. However, if you’re with me this far, you’re reading because you want to change—you want an answer other than what you’ve gotten so far. You want to stop focusing on what’s wrong, and begin to take note of what’s right, and build on that.

So let’s begin. Pick one thing you did that was healthy today, even if it was simply that you took a breath—celebrate that, commend yourself, and then choose one thing that you will do tomorrow for your health—will you go outside for a walk, will you eat an apple, will you do something else you’ve been meaning to do but haven’t done yet? Take that first step. Change your focus from what’s wrong with your body, from what you didn’t do, and even from what you should do but aren’t, and start to focus on what you’re thankful for, what you love, what inspires you, what gives you life and energy. In this way, you take your first steps toward wellness. Welcome to the journey!

Author's Bio: 

Ben Lo, MD, is a board certified family physician and a national wellness coach, writer, and speaker.To sign up for his free weekly wellness letter or for more information on wellness coaching,visit or email