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What Do You Believe? Discovering our “Why”

EVOLV / January 5, 2015

By Frank Barone, MD, FACS

Most of us start each New Year with resolutions.  Most of those resolutions involve our physical and emotional health; lose weight, exercise regularly, stop smoking, reduce stress. Unfortunately,  studies confirm that less than 8% of us are successful in achieving and completing those well meaning and important resolutions…less than 8%!  This year we would like to challenge you to  ‘think different’  in order to help you succeed in your goals and become the best ‘you’ you can be.  We are convinced that if you truly believe in the ‘why’ of your resolutions it can lead to long lasting and effective change and improve your quality of life.

The evidence is overwhelming and compelling.  A recent Canadian study on 4,000 subjects over an 8 year period revealed that just being significantly overweight alone can take up to 8 years off our lives.  Adding related diabetes and cardiovascular disease can result in as much as 20 or more years of life lost.  Scary stuff.

What would you give to protect another 20 or 10 or even 1 more year of life for yourself and your family? Most of us know what to do and many of us understand how to do it.  But very few truly believe and feel the why of this behavioral modification and lifestyle change.

I have been fascinated by the new science involving what drives and controls our actions and feelings.  If I may simplify, it turns out that just knowing something and understanding the logic and reason, even if they make perfect sense, are often not enough to change behavior…we have to feel and believe it. Our choices and actions may be influenced by our analytical ‘thinking’ brain (the ‘outer’ neocortex), but what really drives most of our behavior and choices comes from our emotional ‘feeling’ brain (the ‘ inner’  limbic system) – all of which is affected by what we believe.

In my own profession of plastic and aesthetic surgery and medicine, many people assume (in some cases rightfully so!) that it is mostly about vanity, self absorption and money.   But that is not the true mission or purpose of the specialty.  The drive to want to look naturally more attractive and healthy is not mere vanity or a gender phenomenon but a human condition that is hard wired into the biology of our mammalian brains…being more attractive and desirable improves our survival advantages.

My staff and I have experienced first hand the power of a properly done and naturally appearing aesthetic or reconstructive procedure or program in improving a patient’s lifestyle and health by increasing self-esteem, confidence and personal satisfaction.  That is the ‘why’ for us.  Happy and confident people are more motivated and successful, especially in making and maintaining healthy lifestyle choices.

Helping improve someone’s quality of life and potentially their physical and emotional well being thru your profession is a wonderful and powerful experience. My patients have taught me a great deal, especially about thankfulness and gratitude. I believe in what we do and why we do it.

So this year as you approach your New Year’s resolutions, ask yourself the why.  What’s your cause, what’s your purpose,  what’s your belief?  Find out what you truly feel and why you believe it.  Be open to and aware of why it makes you happy.  If you can discover those answers, I believe you just may experience more happiness and success with your life and health.

Happy New Year from all of us at Frank Barone MD and evolv Medical Aesthetics……..Live longer, better