In Ancient China, medicine and doctors played a very different role. Instead of paying for the cure, the Chinese paid the doctor to keep them healthy. They adopted a more preventive approach compared to modern medicine.
Doctors are paid only if their patients remain healthy. It’s like a monthly retainer that’s paused when their patients fell sick and resumed once they are healthy again.
Even though everyone agrees that prevention is better than the cure, not many have the discipline and conviction to follow through. It’s just much easier to passively ignore the problem and fix it later, rather than actively trying to prevent it.
This is why diet plans and get-rich-quick schemes are so prevalent. Everyone is looking for shortcuts and hacks, whether its for their health or wealth. Why bother with a balanced meal when you can just pop a pill to cure your problem?
In our pursuit of productivity and efficiency, we favour the short term fixes to get ahead in our career. After all, we may not be with the same company in a few years time, so it doesn’t make sense to invest all these effort and time.
The danger with this sort of thinking is that eventually, we will look for shortcuts in all aspects of our lives. We train our mind to constantly look for yet another thing to optimise and hack. Instead of trying to understand the problem, all we care about is the solution.
To live a healthy life, there’s more to it than consuming a certain diet. It’s about a balanced diet, regular exercise and sufficient rest. To achieve financial independence, it’s about savings and proper planning rather than betting it all on some guaranteed-return investment schemes.
I think we should learn from the approach of doctors in Ancient China. We should consciously pick the long term solutions whenever we can. Shortcuts and quick fixes should not be our default solutions and we should strive to understand as much as we can about the problem.
This is not to say we should never use any shortcuts and always take the longer route. Rather, we should first understand the underlying problem before trying to fix it.
You should pick vegetables over pills not because it’s a better fix. You pick it because you understand that eating your broccoli will prevent you from ever needing those pills in the future.