“The critical ingredient is getting off your butt and doing something. It’s as simple as that. A lot of people have ideas, but there are few who decide to do something about them now. Not tomorrow. Not next week. But today”.
— Nolan Bushnell, founder of Atari
I am very fortunate to have a father that instilled a can-do attitude in his children. While we often hear parents telling their kids what they can’t do, my dad has always told us to pursue our dreams. At the age of 14 when I started sailing, I told him that one day I wanted to be a champion. He told me that anything was possible, but to be a champion I would have to give up lots of things I liked doing and really dedicate myself to the challenge. If I wanted to be a champion all I had to do was to try harder than everyone else. Dad told me if I wanted it bad enough, that I would have to stop playing football with my mates in the street each night and instead I would have to exercise the right muscles to handle my boat in strong winds. He told me I needed to go running in the mornings before my paper round and that I would have to eat nothing but healthy food.
It was at this early point in my life I learnt the phrase ‘if it’s to be it’s up to me’. I learnt that anything is possible if you set yourself a target and commit everything to achieving it. I learnt the more we give up, the more we discover how deep our passion is. I learnt that you have to give to get. In sport, as it is with our health, quite simply the more we are prepared to give the more we are likely to receive.
It’s true that every action has an equal reaction, for example:
Eat bread = get fat
Eat protein = get strong
Eat probiotic yogurt = healthy gut
Intermittently fast = putting body into recovery mode
The more health principles we are prepared to adopt, the more we will control our own health and happiness.
A few years back, in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean with my two sons Matt and Jack, plus my personal assistant Barry, my dad, my father-in-law and my brother-in-law, our ability to take control of our own destiny came to the fore. We were eight days away from potential safety when a huge gust of wind hit us and the main sail came crashing to the deck. We had two options: we could drift around for days or weeks hoping to get rescued or we could find a solution. We had to find a way to re-hoist the sail, but all of the brackets had disintegrated in this freak incident. So my dad looked at me and said, ‘if it’s to be it’s up to me’ and instantly I knew what he meant. We both searched the boat for anything we could find to construct a makeshift bracket that could last us for another 1,500 miles. Blue Peter style, we lashed together a drill bit with some cutlery and eventually managed to hoist the sail and continue on our way.
Likewise, getting our health back on track is never plain sailing, there are going to be bumps in the road and times when we want to pack it in. But with an overriding ‘if it’s to be it’s up to me’ attitude, we will discover that these storms make us stronger. Or as Franklin D. Roosevelt once said, “a smooth sea never made a skilled sailor”.
If we really want to be healthy and to live a long happy life, then by and large our destiny is in our own hands. Nobody is going to do it for us, nobody is going to force us to take control and start steering our ship to the destiny we want to reach – we have to make the decision ourselves. As was said in the film The Shawshank Redemption, “get busy living or get busy dying”. I know that may sound a little harsh for a health book, but this isn’t a dress rehearsal, this is it. Either make the most of it and really live your life or just slowly move inexorably towards death.
We only get one shot at life. Realise that you, and only you, control your outcome. As we have already read, very little of the blueprint of our health is in our genes. Therefore it’s not destiny to we are helpless- ly travelling to, but ultimately a destination that we control.
My six older children must be sick of hearing me constantly muttering, ‘if it’s to be it’s up to me’. I am a real believer that those of us who have been fortunate enough to be born with good health and in a land that is prosperous, all have the ability to control our own health, happiness and longevity. The question I encourage everyone who asks for my advice is ‘where is your attitude going to take you?’ We all need to understand that our current situation bears a direct correlation to our past attitude. Where we find ourselves today in terms of our health and physique is simply an accumulation of our past attitude. Unfortunately, before you read this book, your past attitude was largely shaped by misinformation and brainwashing from corporate advertising.
Author and adventurer Bear Grylls advises us ‘to be the most enthusiastic person you know’. I truly believe he is right and that anyone who is enthusiastic, passionate and has an ‘if it’s to be it’s up to me’ type of attitude, with the acquired knowledge of the secrets behind Primal Cure, can more successfully control the destiny of their own health, happiness and longevity.
I have no formal qualifications, am dyslexic, often suffer from concentration issues and wasn’t born into a rich family, yet I have somehow managed to get you to read this far. How? I was lucky my parents instilled in me both a can-do attitude and the understanding of controlling my own destiny. Well, I am giving you the exact same advice right now. Take it or leave it, that’s your choice, but I promise that by sticking two fingers up at the authorities and corporations and by swinging the pendulum of control back to your side, you really can greatly improve both your health and happiness.