Health Crusade Now

I just started my new blog, Health Crusade Now, at http://healthcrusadenow.wordpress.com where I will share with you information and strategies for living a healthier, happier, and more prosperious life.

Join the health crusade now,

D. Scott Elder

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Published in: on September 15, 2009 at 2:39 PM  Leave a Comment  
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Health, Happiness and Prosperity

When I started Online Investors Advantage (which later became Investools and was recently acquired by TD Ameritrade) I was on a quest to teach the average person how to invest their own money in stocks and options. In 1997 Ross Jardine had taught me how to use stock search and analytical tools available on a web site called Wall Street City to trade my own stock portfolios. (It’s when we merged with Telescan, the owner of Wall Street City, that we changed our name to Investools.) Because of the experience I had, Ross and I decided to start a company so we could teach others too. This company grew to become the largest stock education company in the world… beyond what we imagined when we started it out of my home office. Too bad we sold out too soon. 😦

But we did well enough that no one is going to feel sorry for us. I could hunker down with my family and live out the rest of my life without having to work. And as much as I enjoy hanging out with my family and spending time at our cabin, the thought is tempting. However, I feel driven to learn, live and test the principles of health, happiness and prosperity… and then to share what I’ve learned with others.

Two key principles of prosperity that I have learned and shared are Personal Business Ownership, and Personal Investing. With both of these you control your financial destiny. Both are key to achieving financial freedom. But for me it hasn’t just been about financial success. For me it needs to be a harmony of good health, happiness and financial prosperity. Sacrificing health and happiness are not worth the cost of fiancial success. I’ve met many people who are very wealthy… and very unhealthy and very unhappy.

One of the reasons I left Investools early is because it was having a negative impact on both my health and my happiness. Once it became a public company and was run by a former Wall Street banker CEO and controlled by a board of Wall Street veterans, the company was no longer in sync with my values and my vision. The number one objective of the company had become to “increase shareholder wealth” — which was at odds with our original objective of providing the most value to our customers as we could. In fairness, the number one objective of just about every publicly owned company is to “increase shareholder wealth.” Unfortunately the need to meet quarterly earning estimates drives public companies, and what’s in the best interest of hitting these numbers is many times at odds at what’s in the best interest in providing value to their customers.

While at OIA/Investools I gained weight, my hair turned gray and thinned out on top, and I got cancer. I’m fortunate to say that I’ve been cancer-free for 8 years now; and that I’ve lost weight. My hair is still gray and thin, however. My wife likes the “distinguished” look so I won’t color it and I want take drugs for thinning hair because I don’t like taking drugs.

But during this experience I gained a personal conviction of how important good health is; and so I started learning the principles of good health. I’ve been a vegetarian for many years, I don’t smoke or drink alcohol, I didn’t drink a lot of sugared or artificially sweetened drinks, and although I’m a self-proclained sugar addict, I try to avoid cookies, candy, cakes, doughnuts, ice cream and all the sugar and flour concoctions that are so bad for us.

I’ve become a student of organic whole-foods, whole-food concentrates and natural vs synthetic vitamins. What I’ve been learning is frankly shocking. When I started OIA, I was on a crusade to educate the average person that they were better off controlling their own investing than to put themselves at the mercy of the professional brokers. I am now on a health crusade to educate people that we’re being duped by the food industry, the nutritional supplement industry and the drug industry. Big money, big corporations and powerful lobbyists influence most of what we eat. And unfortunately most of what we eat is not only not providing the nutrition our bodies need, most of what we eat is doing harm to us.

There is a growing awareness to this fact that is creating a move accross this country to expose this sham in the food and drug industries. I am part of that move. To get some insight into what I’m talking about, go to www.foodincmovie.com

My crusade now is to educate people about health, and that like investing, you need to take control and responsibility of your own health. The big food producers and the drug industries are not looking out for your best interest. These are publicly owned companies whose number one objective is to “increase shareholder wealth” even if it’s not in the best interest of their customers’ well being — which is you.

Stay tuned… I will be sharing more about my “health crusade now!

“Employ they time well, if thou meanest to get leisure.”

— Benjamin Franklin

Most people are, by nature, lazy. It is human nature to expend the least amount of effort as possible to get through the day, the week, the month… even our lives. We have to make a conscious effort to discipline ourselves to overcome this natural tendency of laziness. I know a few individuals who seem to have boundless energy, who can wear you out just by having a conversation with them. But these people are the rare exception. I fall into the category of the majority… lazy by nature. But I haven’t let my natural laziness keep me from achieving my goals; and you shouldn’t either.

To give you an idea of how lazy I am, I determined at an early age that I did not want to work for the rest of my life. I accepted the fact that I would have to work part of my life to put a roof over my head, food on the table and clothes on my back. But I didn’t want to have to work for money all of my life. At some point I wanted my money to work for me… and the sooner the better.

So I did the math. One option was to get a good job with good benefits and a good retirement plan and hope that by the time I turned 65 my retirement savings and Social Security would carry me through the rest of my life. However, there was too much evidence that this plan doesn’t work out for most people; that most people my age will most likely need to continue working beyond the traditional retirement age.

The other option was to take control of my financial future and learn to discipline myself to save and invest my money so that I could be financially secure and retire at 55. My strategy included keeping myself in good health so that I could be active and have fun when I retired. I was willing to trade some leisure time along the way to get a lot of leisure time at the end, because I really did not want to work for the rest of my life. The math showed that making this trade would result in much fewer years of work with this strategy. So, to get out of the extra years of work, I decided to put in a few extra hours a week to build my own businesses and learn how to manage my own investments. A friend of mine puts it this way: “You have to peddle before you can coast.”

This year I turned 51 and I am ahead of schedule. I could retire now, but since I had 55 set in my mind I’m going to keep working. I love what I do, which is helping others achieve the lifestyle that I enjoy. I have also managed to keep myself in relatively good health as well, so 55 doesn’t seem as old as it once did. I’m shooting for 100 so 45 years of “leisure” will probably be plenty. I say this tongue in cheek as I know I will never have a life of leisure. I enjoy projects and I enjoy reading and learning.

Published in: on June 2, 2009 at 10:41 AM  Leave a Comment  

Find time for exercise or for illness… it’s your choice.

“Those who think they have not the time for bodily exercise

will sooner or later have to find the time for illness.”

— Edward Stanely, Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

I have been a student of the principles of health, happiness and prosperity for most of my life. Financial wealth without happiness is not appealing to me. I know rich unhappy people and poor happy people. I would rather be poor and happy. Fortunately I also know people who are rich and happy so I know you can have both.

I also know wealthy people who have very poor health and would give up all of their wealth to have their health back. The sad truth is that for most people, good health is a lifestyle choice. The decision to exercise and eat a healthy diet early in life will make a huge difference in the quality of your life later on. I know that there are some health challenges that are hereditary. I have a friend who recently passed away from the ravaging effects of diabetes. Although he exercised regularly and ate a healthy diet, this was a disease he had for most of his life and even his substantial wealth couldn’t keep it from eventually taking his life.

The good news, barring hereditary diseases and some cancers, you can enjoy a life of abundance filled with good health, happiness and prosperity. It’s simply a matter of becoming a student of these principles and applying them in your life. Many years ago I had the opportunity to visit the Cooper Clinic in Dallas Texas. Dr. Ken Cooper is known as “The Father of Aerobics.”  At the Cooper Clinic I learned that there isn’t a whole lot that we can do to extend the number of years that we’ll live. To a certain degree that’s built into our DNA. Of course smoking cigarettes, drinking a lot of alcohol and taking harmful drugs will shorten your life.

But I also learned that we do have control over the quality of our lives in our older years. Exercise and diet will have an impact on your functional fitness as you age. For example. let’s say you’re going to live into your 80s. If you exercise regularly and eat a healthy diet most of your adult life, the chances are good that you will be physically active up until you pass away. If you don’t exercise regularly and eat a poor diet, chances are good that you may be in a wheel chair or be bed-ridden for months or years before you pass away. The exercise and diet habits you have today will be a big determining factor in the quality of life you will enjoy in your older years.

Scott’s 10 Prosperity Ps

A few years ago I decided to make a list of  key principles, life skills if you will, that attribute to living a healthy, happy and prosperous life. Of course list came from many years of personal observation, learning and doing. And now I’d like to teach them to you.

I noticed when I started writing them down that all but two started with the letter p — responsibility and action. This was an easy fix. I added the word personal in front of responsibility and the word proper in front of action. Because in reality the responsibility must be personal and not just any action will do, it must be the proper action.

I’ve posted these in past blogs and have received many nice comments. And so once again, my 10 Prosperity Ps. Enjoy…

1. Perception. You must be aware of the opportunities around you. Contrary to a popular expression, I don’t believe that “your ship comes in only once in your life.” I believe you have opportunity ships coming in all the time. But until you believe that and start looking for them, you’re missing opportunity ships on a regular basis.

2. Personal Responsibility.You must take personal responsibility for your life. You have to stop blaming others or circumstances for where you are in life. You need to be accountable for your decisions and actions and not allow yourself to fall into the downward spiral of “victimitis” where one thinks that the world, and everyone in it, is out to get them.

3. Purpose. When you find a big enough “why” you will find a way. What drives you? What are the desires of your heart? When you live life on purpose, doors open and miracles happen.

4. Plan. Planning helps you chart your course. When your mind can see a clear and logical path, your imagination can be inspired with hope and creativity to help make it a reality. It’s been said that a journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. The journey actually begins with the idea and the plan to take the journey.

5. Preparation. With a plan in hand you can begin preparing yourself to achieve it. This might require learning new skills; specialized training; getting the right tools or equipment; building up your savings account; etc.

6. Proper Action. Taking just any random action will not help you carry out your plan. In fact it might hurt you. Your actions must be the proper actions.

7. Persistence. Once you start your journey, you must persist “until” – until you succeed. Everything worth doing, everything that brings about a substantial reward will not be easy. You will not have “over night success” you will not “get rich quick.” But if you persist you will eventually succeed.  It’s like Dory said in Finding Nemo: “Keep on swimming.” Challenges and trials are the test from life to find out if you’re really serious about achieving your desire. If you’re not, you will drop out early.

8. Patience. Even when you’re doing everything right, achieving success in any area takes time. If you know you’re not going to quit, then you know you are going to eventually arrive at your destination. When you know this you can turn frustration into anticipation and get excited knowing that with each obstacle you overcome you’re another day closer. And as Benjamin Franklin said: “He that can have patience can have what he will.” You can’t have it all right now, but you can have all that you want eventually if you persist with patience.

9. Perspective. Keep your failures and successes in the proper perspective. You are learning and growing as you persist with patience. It really isn’t about how much stuff you can acquire in this life, it’s how you can use your experiences to grow and progress as a person… and help others to do the same. At some point along the way you will realize that you can acquire as much material stuff as you want. The test after that is to stop wanting to, and to start using what you have learned to help others enjoy lives filled with abundance.

10. Prayer. I used to say that this step is optional depending upon your religious beliefs. But I can’t really say for sure if it’s optional because it’s been a vital part of my life in helping me to achieve the desires of my heart. And because I’ve not gone without prayer in my life, I can’t say for sure if it truly is optional. I can say for me that it isn’t optional. I believe prayer is instrumental in helping me to do the other nine. I believe in a higher power, a Creator of worlds and people without end who cares about me and is willing and able to help me achieve the righteous desires of my heart. 

Published in: on May 18, 2009 at 1:43 PM  Comments (2)  
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Observe… Learn… Do… Teach

On this journey we call life we learn from our personal experiences as well as the experiences of others. A common desire of virtually everyone is to live a healthy, happy and prosperous life.

Unfortunately most people live unhealthy, unhappy and unprosperous lives. The sad irony is that the principles for living a healthy, happy and prosperous life have been with us for thousands of years. 

At the age of 11, I began my quest to learn the secret to health, happiness and prosperity. Of course I wasn’t that clear on what I wanted, but I can clearly remember that I wanted to be healthy, I wanted to be happy and I wanted to be wealthy when I grew up. I figured that, barring a tragic accident, I was looking at 70 or more years of life ahead of me. This seemed liked a long time to live each day unhealthy, unhappy and financially struggling. I remember thinking that I just would rather not live out my life like that and that I needed to learn what I needed to do so it wouldn’t be like that for me.

Back then I learned mostly through observation. Even at that young age it was easy to see which behaviors resulted in good health, happiness and prosperity; and which behaviors didn’t. It was so obvious in fact that it was a mystery to me why so many adults with many more years of experience and observation continued to behave in ways that resulted in poor health, made them unhappy and kept them struggling financially.

I began looking at people as crystal balls; that the sum total of each person’s experiences and behaviours were a way to see what my future would be like if modelled that person. So I began looking for healthy, happy and prosperous people to model.

I learned how to be a consequential thinker and to tie certain behaviours to certain consequences. If health, happiness and prosperity where the consequences of  certain behaviours, I wanted to learn and do those behaviours. When I observed the opposite consequences, I wanted to avoid the behaviours associated with those negative consequences.

Although a simple plan, it seemed to make a lot of sense me. I remember thinking that maybe it was too simple and I was missing something. After all I was only 11 years old and very inexperienced in life.  I decided to give it a try. I thought of my plan as a great, life-long, experiment; and that at some point in my life I could write about my results. Either it worked, or it didn’t.

So here I am 40 years later. And although I still have many years yet ahead of me (hopefully), I feel at this point in my life that I can say with confidence that the simple plan conceived in my 11 year old mind has worked well for me.

My desire is to share the behaviours that I have observed and the principles that I have learned and applied in my life that have attributed to the healthy, happy and prosperious life that I now enjoy.

Published in: on May 14, 2009 at 3:16 PM  Leave a Comment  
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