Prioritising Health

Prioritising Health
This post was written by Arne Dörries


Very few people would disagree that health is incredibly important. And especially as people get older and start to experience the lack of health and optimal body functionality, the appreciation for health usually increases significantly.

But why is it that most of us have to get old and sick first, before starting to properly appreciate health and build up the "motivation" to take action?

This post is an overview over why health is so fundamentally important, why we fail to take it seriously early enough and ideas for how to start prioritising it in your everyday life.

This post covers...

  1. ❓ Why health is (almost) everything
  2. 😔 Why we fail to prioritise health
  3. 🛠️ How to prioritise health
  4. 🌍 Conclusion

Why health is (almosts) everything

Health, explained in the most non-scientific way, is everything for two very simple reasons:

Firstly, it is the deciding factor of the length of your life (quantity).

And secondly, it is the deciding factor of the quality of your experience of your life (quality).

And whilst there may still be other supporting factors playing into both of these aspects, together, these two points above make up the majority of your life's experience. And doesn't that seem like kind of a big deal?

Why we fail to prioritise health

Knowledge and awareness are great, but they don't naturally lead to practical action. And unfortunately, when it comes to health, this is no different. Here are my four reasons, why most of us fail to prioritise health:

🍼 The youth fallacy

The youth fallacy suggests that we fail to prioritise our health early enough because youth deceives us in a multitude of ways.

When we are young, our bodies are the most resilient to stressors. But also, as young individuals, most of us are so caught up with living and exploring life that we lack the perspective for the entirety of our lives and life phases.

In summary, being young life feels like a infinitely ongoing game of playing around without any major consequences. And inevitably, health is not something on our mind and surely not something many prioritise.

⏳ Delayed consequences

Similarly to the youth fallacy, there is this fundamental problem with health and related actions, both positive and negative: delayed consequences.

When we do something that is good or bad for our body, it usually either takes us to long to experience or realise the consequences or we are simply too blind to see the relationship between an action and a corresponding consequence.

😭 Overwhelming complexity

Like with any other aspect of life, it sometimes just gets too complicated or at least seems so. With health, everyone seems to be an expert, each one with a different strategy, each one with a different magic bullet, each one with different advice.

Not only does this make the attempt of prioritising health extremely frustrating, it also causes distortions and mistunderstandings of what health even is and therefore where to set the sails.

🧠 Lack of experience of amazing health

What I consider one of the biggest problems - something I am only in the process of learning more about myself - is that it seems like most of us don't even know what amazing health feels like.

Most people define health as the absence of disease or noticable pain. And as a result, we don't keep pushing on improving our health further, once we reach a point where we don't struggle with disease or pain anymore.

What we might be missing out on: health not just as a protection of disease and pain but as an enabler of livelyhood and lightness.

How to prioritise health

Like with all aspects of life, the hardest bit is practical action. And whilst everyone needs to find and develop their own personalized way of going about cherishing and prioritising their health, here are a few ideas that might help you get started:

🗣️ Clearly defining health as a priority

Easier said than done for many: clearly defining health as a priority. This goes both for your own perspective of trying to prioritise health but also for communicating this priority in the various different social environments you live out your life in.

Practically, it's printing out a sheet of paper that says: "My health is my number 1 priority in life" and hanging it up on the wall.

When somebody invites you to a whiskey night out, it's saying: "Thanks for the offer! But my health is my number 1 priority in life which is why I am going to have to decline."

✍️ Setting up a health protocol

Introduced by worldrecord longevity athlete Bryan Johnson and his concept of the autonomous self, setting up a health protocol is about outsourcing maybe not all, but a large part of the mental friction of taking care of your health.

Such a (daily) protocol - including morning and evening routines, corresponding subroutines for specific aspects like skincare or exercise, meal plans and recipes for healthy nutrition and health testing routines - may take some time to set up.

Once that is taken care of though, it's a great position to be in for committing to the journey of healthy living and to build and improve as you go along.  


Health is incredibly important, but most of us either understimate it or simply fail to cross the bridge between awareness and respective action.

But what if we somehow managed to actually prioritise our health? How would that change our lives? And considering how much our health impacts and determines both the length and quality of our lives, might it not be worth raising the investment?

This blog-post suggests to take health radically serious and to experiment with methods and strategies to overcome all the obstacles in the way of healthy living.