The Graveyard Is Full Of Indispensable People

The Graveyard Is Full Of Indispensable People

Growing older I now know my mother was right about many things, notably “Be glad you’ve got your health”.


As a student I worked hard in the union and the library, taking few breaks.  When not there I’d be in the pub, or eating cream buns for dinner, standing around in the Glasgow winter coatless.

I chose not to see how my lifestyle made me ill.  Snot would leech out of every pore, as I ate Smash and drank copious coffee.  Mum would quote de Gaulle: “The graveyard is full of indispensable men.”

Graduates in my old ad agency didn’t get it either.  They stop exercising, eat meeting leftovers, the only fresh air is going for a smoke. They are often ill.

The CIPD Absence Management Report 2008 records the average sick days as eight per employee per year.

if you are ill it is an interruption of what you are doing.” John Adair  


So it stands to reason you should try and stay well.  I ask those I teach to picture how much they could achieve if they could not only get back that eight days of being ill in bed, but also perform at maximum effectiveness when they were up and about. 

There are 20 easy wins to improve your health and increase effectiveness but today just choose to eat a bit better.

Despite what The Daily Mail says there is a general consensus about what foods are good for you and why.  It should be no surprise to you that broccoli is good for you.  (George Bush Snr said I do not like broccoli…And I’m President and I’m not going to eat any more.”  We can all see how well that worked out for him.)Or that cheesy puffs are not nutritious.

Yale University’s ‘Overall Nutritional Quality Index’ says:

Foodstuffs score high for dense amounts of nutrients such as vitamins and protein, but lose marks if they also contain baddies including added sugar, salt, saturated or trans fats.” (The Guardian 22nd October 2008)

So oranges (100) oatmeal (88), salmon fillets (87) are better for you than white bread (9), hotdogs (5) and fizzy drinks (1).

To improve your brainpower and energy I suggest:

  • Get enough vitamins B, C and E – helps memory due to their roles in nerve function.  Eat more spinach, strawberries, sunflower seeds, avocados, cod.  Broccoli has endless nutrients – folic acid; potassium; calcium; magnesium, iron; zinc; vitamin B2, A, C.
  • Eat more Omega three – oily fish are best. The jury is still out on its role in improving concentration, but it won’t do you any harm.
  • Go to work on an egg – yolks contain lecithin which helps improve brain function
  • The explorer Shackleton set great store by hot food.  “The glow of warmth and comfort produced by the food and drink made optimists of us all.”

Finally, eat prunes.  The elderly hero of Disney film UP smells of prunes – presumably how he is able to drag his floating house so far!


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