A podcast where Dr. Joey Kramer and his guests discuss, debate, and explore trending topics in the health and wellness field. These topics surround the idea that health is a complete state of mental, emotional and physical well being, not merely the absence of disease or infirmaries.
Over the last few weeks, I have developed a slight curiosity with J.R.R. Tolkien - the author. Many of you will recognize the name from his writing of "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings." A podcast I listen to on a rather frequent basis featured a professor who spoke for 3 hours about his character as a man and how that provided for him the opportunity to craft the world of The Lord of The Rings. You see, Tolkien was a man of virtue, and one virtue shone through specifically in his life: that of Fortitude.
Now, if you have never heard of fortitude or a virtue that is okay. I have found that when working with words and definitions, it is best to go directly to the source of their origination.
According to the Cambridge dictionary: virtue is a good moral quality in a person
According to the Catechism: Fortitude is the moral virtue that ensures firmness in difficulties and constancy in the pursuit of the good. It strengthens the resolve to resist temptations and to overcome obstacles in the moral life. The virtue of fortitude enables one to conquer fear, even fear of death, and to face trials and persecutions. It disposes one even to renounce and sacrifice his life in defense of a just cause. “The Lord is my strength and my song.” “In the world you have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
In short, fortitude is the ability to choose what is right even when everything inside of us and outside of us is telling us to run away in fear. It is the ability to stand firm in pursuing good in the face of danger and potential suffering. In our pursuit of personal self excellences, fortitude is a non-negotiable.
While western society seemingly collapses in the moral and social pursuit of what is good, it is up to us to be the change.
Over time, the idea of personal self excellence has cultivated in me the understanding of what it means to pursue the basics. The basics are the virtues of life. Fortitude, Prudence, Justice and Temperance. These are the basics that have been eradicated from our modern pursuit of cultural relativism and agnosticism.
Instead, I have learned that when we choose to continually develop these virtues in our everyday life, we begin to see people who are of good cheer who have overcome the world. We see people of Hope who are committed to the process of developing self excellence in every area of their life.
Or as brave Samwise Gamgee states:
'But that’s not the way of it with the tales that really mattered, or the ones that stay in the mind. Folk seem to have been just landed in them, usually – their paths were laid that way, as you put it. But I expect they had lots of chances, like us, of turning back, only they didn’t. And if they had, we shouldn’t know, because they’d have been forgotten.'
Instead of being forgotten, make your life a tale that matters, pursue the virtues daily and you will be amazed by the tale that is told when you arrive.
Planting and Watering
For the majority of history, humanity has communicated using stories. Stories that have been passed down between generations. Stories of our own lives and personal history. Stories of challenges we faced and stories of challenges we lost. What is most important about the story format, in my opinion, is a two fold answer. First, they give us the opportunity to imagine ourselves (something we rarely do today because the dumb phone does it all for us) in the position of the character and how we would respond to the given circumstances. Second, they allow us for introspection about our own journey and where we have been and more importantly where we are going. What is most interesting to me, in the year 2023, is the story we are told regarding health. I believe that this story is convoluted mostly because truth is suppressed or avoided, theory is idolized, fear is capitalized upon, and the victim is you. Health care companies are making record profits off prescription drugs and state of emergency therapeutics that are all tied to political agendas. Health has become: a diagnosis, a symptom, a label, an identity, a political tool...the list goes on and on. However, if you really look at health, health is actually an expression of an interior state manifested in an external body. It is a complete state of well being in mind, body and spirit. It cannot be reduced down to the story of a symptom that we are presented with by mainstream media and legacy medicine. Hence, the story of farming...you cannot gather a harvest if you refuse to do all the work before hand. Unfortunately we have put the cart before the horse in western medicine causing a majority of people to surrender their trust for a solution that rarely works. Instead, I propose to you the allegory of farming as a great way to plant the seed you seek to harvest - especially as it relates to the level of health you desire.
Last week a poll was dropped by an MD that I follow that asked the following question: When will America pass the 50% obesity rate? Excuse me? You mean to tell me that approximately almost 150 million people, yes...million, are obese in America. I was blown away - I had to go "fact check" this and sure enough, we are approaching the 50% obesity rate rather quickly. Why? In my opinion, an all out war on indoctrination and social conditioning has taken place over the last 40 years to create an environment in which we are all fat sick and nearly dead and reliant upon the medical industrial complex to solve all of our issues. If you have a disease or a diagnosis we have a pill, potion or a surgery to solve all the problems! Remember ozempec? The miracle obesity drug? That suddenly is pulled from the market from the remarkable amount of people getting paralyzed stomachs from it...yeah. The truth is, as a people we have become too comfortable, almost to the point of being a zombie. In today's episode I break down the basics of how we win back our health with the cold hard truth about what it takes to win the war against the conditioning of the medical industrial complex.
It takes Courage
Humanity is a story of suffering compounded with a story of courage. The first story is the massive odds we have faced and suffered throughout the centuries of our existence. The second is how courageous we were to embrace the suffering and plow forward regardless of the odds against us. However, I have recently become shocked by the narrative that is conditioning and indoctrinating the greater percentage of westerners to believe that we are not meant to suffer or face any challenges, especially with our health. I don’t know if it is the Hollywood dramatization or the effective social engineering campaign by the pharmaceutical companies and big medicine but over the course of my time in health care, I have encountered more people with a false sense of hope that a cure still exists that will eliminate suffering in the form of a pill or a surgery or an injection. Nothing could be further from the truth. In order to heal and to break free from the social indoctrination that we have gone through, it takes courage and suffering. It will require both of these to pursue the level of health you desire. In order to suffer for a cause, you must have courage. In my world, suffering = growth. Growth in physical performance. Growth in mental capacity. Growth in patience and commitment. Growth in honest feedback. Growth in the areas we had exploring because they cause us to feel exposed. IN fact, if you are not feeling the suffering in these areas, are you really pursuing anything worthwhile? My challenge to you today is to embrace the suffering and the courage required to pursue self excellence. Suffering is the default. Courage is the standard operating mindset. And most importantly, hope is not lost because you know that to achieve your dreams, you have to embrace these two principles. Embrace suffering. Have Courage. Pursue self excellence and win the life you desire.
It's okay to doubt
It is quite natural for the human experience to be filled with doubt. From the moment we are born, we are continually exploring our environment and learning from it. This experience is a testing of boundaries that can be filled with multiple opportunities to encounter doubt. As we grow and become adults, we seem to believe that all of a sudden everyone has our best interest in mind, they are truthful, and boundaries are no longer tested because they are professionals. Nothing can be further from the truth. It is said two of the most anxiety driven professions surround health and money. For those of you who have been sold (conditioned) to the dream of western medicine, I guarantee that you have had plenty of opportunities for doubt to be instilled in your journey. Since the machine of business surrounding the health field in western medicine has been invented, we have been conditioned to believe that health is simply the absence of disease are infirmaries. If this is your definition of health you might as well build your house on sand in a flood zone and pray for rain. As you know, health is a complete state of well being, not merely the absence of disease or infirmaries. And when we are conditioned to believe the latter, doubt begins to be planted into our lives and leads us down one of two paths. Tune in today to figure out why I believe to doubt is probably the greatest experience ever, especially when it comes to your health.
Seventy One Percent
Last week I was struck by a post on social media that a friend shared with me. It was a simple statement. 5/7 = 71%. When you show up 5 out of 7 days, don't expect A level results, you didn't earn them. Damn. How many of us does this resonate with in more than one way. Too often I catch myself in the same conversation and goals list on Monday. However, come Friday night, these goals are somehow thrown out with the weekend and next thing I know, I fall into the 5 of 7 category of people. And yet, I continually wonder why I am not hitting my A level goals. Well, some simple mathematics (which aren't my strong suite) solved that problem for me. 71% is a number I will no longer accept in my life. You see, back when 75 Hard was introduced by Andy Frisella, the idea was straight forward. Win every single day for 75 days straight. 75/75. If you did 74/75 you had to start over. Failure. So, why not implement the same concept into our own life. If we truly want to achieve A level results in our health and well being then stop living a 5/7 lifestyle. Start embracing the 7/7 lifestyle. Maybe the occasional 6.5/7 when your kids want a Sunday Ice Cream date. But you get the point. Stop questioning why you aren't getting 7/7 results when you are living a 5/7 life.