Dung Beetles, Telomerase, Meditation, and Health

In Vic Strecher’s new book – On Purpose, he takes us through a journey inspired by the death of his 19-year old daughter.  This journey looks at a variety of research presented in a creative way, a graphic novel.  At the end of the story, I left with several interesting observations.  (For more on the book and the app he developed, go to www.dungbeetle.org.)

  1. Having meaning in your life can impact your health.  (see research and more research)
  2. Meditation can help limit stress (which impacts our health) and impact telomerase growth.  (see research)
  3. Using “fear arousal” to drive behavior change only works if people have “self-efficacy” which is really important to the carrot versus stick discussion.


The book also reinforced several things:

  1. Our decisions and behaviors influence our health.  (80% of health care costs are driven by 8 factors)
  2. Our decisions and behaviors are influenced by where we live.  (your zip code influences your health)
  3. Motivational interviewing is key to health care engagement. 

So, as you look at your New Year’s Resolutions and your priorities for 2014, it might be worth looking at On Purpose and understanding why the Dung Beetle was chosen to symbolize focus in the book.  

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