My workout partner today told me that he's been surprised to find out how fit he's gotten, and that at the age of 51, he's in the best shape of his life. Paddling his surf board out to a nearby island the other day, he said he wasn't even winded and could have gone back and forth, unlike in past years when one trip out there would leave him exhausted. He keeps track of the miles he runs each day, whether exercising his young Border Collie, or on the treadmill in the gym before we lift weights. This new level of aerobic fitness was to him a surprising side effect of all the stuff he's been doing.
As we worked out today, we reflected on the nature of side effects. All activities have their intended reasons, and often they also have unexpected side effects, especially when it comes to habits, or repeated patterns of action. The question we should be asking ourselves is whether the side effects of our actions are likely to be beneficial or damaging.
Prudent actions, rational actions, or to use a more modern concept, healthy actions are those that take place in the golden zone of beneficial results, whether intended or unintended. We should always be examining our habits and asking whether they're firmly within that golden zone or not.
Golden zone actions lead to good results, and sometimes to great surprises.
May we all stay healthy and golden.