gratefulBuilding Health By Dale Peterson, MD

November is here and Thanksgiving Day is rapidly approaching.  It’s a time to express our gratitude for the many blessings we’ve received throughout the year.

The Princess Bride is one of my all-time favorite movies. I’ve seen it enough times that I can quote most of the lines from memory, yet the dialog never gets old, I always find myself laughing, and I feel energized and unstoppable when it’s over.

The primary reason I like the movie so much and feel so good after watching it is that it constantly sends the message that nothing is impossible. Even if the hero is dead – well, mostly dead, there’s a big difference between mostly dead and all dead – there is still hope. There is still the possibility of a miracle. There are times I need to be reminded that nothing is impossible, provided that I do the right things long enough, consistently enough and never give up. It’s a terrific message.

As the plot is approaching its climax the hero, Westley, and his two companions are faced with a seemingly impossible task. They must storm the castle where Westley’s true love is being forced to marry the villain, Prince Humperdinck. Westley is still so weak from his ordeal that he is unable to stand. The castle gate is locked and guarded by sixty armed men. Westley asks what they have to work with. “Your brain, my steel, and Fezzik’s strength, replies Inigo.

“If only we had a wheelbarrow,” muses Westley.

When Inigo and Fezzik reply that they know where to find a wheelbarrow nearby Westley responds sharply, “Why didn’t you list that among our assets in the first place?

Nothing will destroy a person’s health more quickly and more completely than a feeling of hopelessness. No food, no nutritional supplement, no wondrous herb or amazing drug will restore health if an individual lacks hope.

We tend to head in the direction we are looking. My driver’s education instructor in high school taught that the most important step when approaching oncoming traffic is to look straight ahead in your own lane, because the car will have a tendency to travel in the same direction you are looking.

I believe that one of the reasons many people do not view their future with optimism is that they fail to list all their assets. They view life from the vantage point of scarcity. They habitually list what they lack and rarely take an inventory of what they have. As a result, their lives, like a car with an inattentive driver, head in the direction they are looking: toward more scarcity, greater pain, and added sickness rather than toward an ever-increasing level of wellness.

What are your assets?

It’s not necessary to wait until Thanksgiving Day to consider what you’ve been given with a grateful attitude. Take an inventory today.

List ten assets that are at your disposal.

Your list might include such things as a sound mind, flexibility, a supportive spouse, a loving family, good food, creativity, a personal relationship with God, nutritional supplements, a strong work ethic, and a sense of humor, or it might be entirely different.

List your assets. Do the same tomorrow, and the day after that, and the day after that.

Make it a habit, and then apply them to whatever challenges come your way. Don’t wait for someone to ask, “Why didn’t you list that among your assets in the first place?”

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Dale Petersen MD

By Dale Peterson, MD- Building Health

Dr. Dale Peterson is a graduate of the University of Minnesota College of Medicine. He completed his residency in FamilyMedicine at the University of Oklahoma. He is a past president of the Oklahoma Academy of  Family Physicians. He had a full-time family practice in Edmond, Oklahoma, for over 20 years and was a Chief of Staff of the Edmond Hospital. He was active in teachingfor many years as a Clinical Professor of Family Medicine through the Oklahoma University Health Sciences Center.

Dr. Peterson left his full-time family practice in 1999 to consult with individuals who are seeking ways to restore and maintain their health through improved nutrition and other lifestyle changes. He founded the Wellness Clubs of America to give people access to credible information on supporting and maintaining their health.  His monthly wellness letter, Health by Design, and his Health by Design E-Newsletter provide helpful information to individuals interested in preventing and conquering health challenges.  He is the author of Building Health by Design:  Adding Life to Your Years and Years to Your Life .

Dr. Peterson speaks regularly on subjects related to health and nutrition. He hosted a weekly radio program,Your Health Matters, on KTOK in Oklahoma City for five years. For the past nine years he has addressed questions from across the nation on his Your Health Matters weekly teleconference.He offers a free video LifeXtension course at

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