This is it. This is what we get.

By Andrew Appleton / April 2, 2020 /

In times of struggle our minds rebel. We think things should be different and lament them not meeting our expectations. We ruminate on the past, wondering why we didn’t see this coming, or at least prepare for it. We look to the future and see nothing but a bleak horizon, with little hope. We do…

Read More

You can’t control everything. That’s OK.

By Andrew Appleton / April 1, 2020 /

We all like to be in control. We wonder why people don’t see things our way. We feel it’s unfair when the world seems to be against us. The problem here is not someone or something else, it’s us.  The stoic philosophers, like Marcus Aurelius and Epictetus, wrote about the dichotomy of control. Essentially, they direct…

Read More

On Being Disappointed in Oneself

By Andrew Appleton / March 13, 2020 /

We’ve all experienced disappointment in many forms. Disappointment is the feeling of displeasure when something doesn’t turn out as expected. Perhaps the most insidious form is self-disappointment. It’s insidious because it occurs within the privacy of our own minds, subject to our inner monologues, badgering us relentlessly. I find the notion of being disappointed in…

Read More

We Must Create Space

By Andrew Appleton / February 14, 2020 /

To give ourselves the best opportunity to optimise well-being, we must create space. There are three dimensions in which this space is to be created: time, physical, and mental. In a previous post I explored how time is simply a tool of measurement. We use it create order in our lives and our memories. We…

Read More

Sorry. Not sorry.

By Andrew Appleton / January 24, 2020 /

Has someone ever demanded an apology from you? Have you demanded one from someone else? Have you refused to forgive someone? I am willing to bet you have experienced all three. You’re not alone. But, the way most of us think about apologies and forgiveness is wrong. Apologies and forgiveness are not for the person…

Read More

How hospitals consistently fail vulnerable patients

By Andrew Appleton / November 24, 2019 /

An 85-year-old woman is being sent home from hospital today. She had pneumonia, spending five days on oxygen. It was complicated because she already had heart failure and diabetes. Her medications were adjusted. She needs a walker. She lives alone. Her son is a two-hour drive away. She’s scared. A version of this story plays…

Read More

Wellness Reductionism

By Andrew Appleton / October 9, 2019 /

Let’s begin with a subtle distinction between terms that are often conflated; well-being vs. wellness. I proposed a definition of well-being in a previous post. In short, it’s the sense of fulfilment, satisfaction, happiness, or alignment that we all seek. Wellness refers to the things we do to move toward well-being. This is important to…

Read More

The Vacation Fallacy – Part 2

By Andrew Appleton / September 24, 2019 /

In wonderfully coincident timing, the Farnam Street Blog recently published a piece (click here) on how to think about your travel experiences. Their thesis aligns with mine (confirmation bias alert) in that vacation should be used as an opportunity to experience the diversity of the world and promote different perspectives. In keeping with their theme…

Read More

The Vacation Fallacy

By Andrew Appleton / September 17, 2019 /

Disclaimer: I love vacations. I really do. Vacations aren’t achieving what you think they are. If your life was just the way you wanted it, you would only go on vacation for one reason; to experience the richness and diversity the world has to offer. This is not why most of us take vacations. We…

Read More

Be kind. Be curious. Be useful. And create.

By Andrew Appleton / August 28, 2019 /

My children are too young to have nuanced conversations about philosophies of life. Yet, I often think about the type of advice we should be giving them on how to live a meaningful life. While they may not recognize advice for what it is, at this point, I am mindful that we are already modeling…

Read More

Two hard truths to set you free

By Andrew Appleton / August 15, 2019 /

We think we are more important than we actually are. I mean this in the individual sense. Afterall, our own thoughts are the only ones we can think. Try as you might to, “put yourself in someone else’s shoes,” the experience will undoubtedly be coloured by your prior thinking and cognitive biases. Why does this…

Read More

Take a Moment to Consider Your Moments that Matter

By Andrew Appleton / July 9, 2019 /

We spend most of our days busily going about things that need to get done. Each day is fairly similar to the one before. If we aren’t focused on the task at hand, we are usually thinking about a recent occurrence or something we have yet to do. It is rare to block out these…

Read More

Have you ever considered your relationship with Time?

By Andrew Appleton / May 22, 2019 /

There are several theories on how people go about changing health behaviours. My favourite is Social Cognitive Theory. It discusses self-efficacy, outcome expectations, goals and sociostructural factors that either work for or against us on our quest to behave in a healthy manner. This is a useful theory to apply when designing public health campaigns,…

Read More

Redefining Health and Well-Being – How the WHO has it wrong

By Andrew Appleton / May 13, 2019 /

What is health? Nutritious food and exercise quickly come to mind.  Being healthy makes us think of doing something. We have a healthy diet, lead a healthy lifestyle, have healthy relationships. “Healthy”, the adjective, is easily understood as a good way of doing something. It’s more difficult to define “health”, the noun. Presumably doing healthy…

Read More

How to set SMART goals

By Andrew Appleton / May 4, 2019 /

Goals are necessary to help us achieve our desired ends. People need to see progress to derive meaning and success. In matters of health & well-being goals are effective and motivating tools. We consistently compare ourselves to benchmarks, internally and externally. If we don’t deliberately set appropriate goals for ourselves, we are destined to feel…

Read More

How to Practically Assess Health Information

By Andrew Appleton / May 3, 2019 /

You may have heard the term ‘evidence-based medicine’. This refers to practicing medicine with a solid grounding in scientific research. In medical school, we were taught how to critically appraise the evidence. Like any skill, this needs to be practiced. Hence, groups of doctors often assemble at a nice restaurant to discuss scientific journal articles.…

Read More

Your problem is you don’t know what your problem is.

By Andrew Appleton / March 28, 2019 /

Life is full of problems. In fact, we spend most of our time solving problems; everything from deciding what to eat to figuring how much to save each month for an early retirement. In our pursuit to solve, two common glitches occur: We apply solutions in search of problems; OR We solve the wrong problems.…

Read More

Guiding Principles

By Andrew Appleton / March 20, 2019 /

When thinking about matters of health and well-being it’s helpful to have a set of guiding principles. Ultimately, we are always trying to inform our actions by deciding what is good or bad for us. The impossibility of this effort stems from the constant barrage of information and opinion about how we ought to conduct…

Read More