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If you plan to age, prepare yourself — it's later than you think. The challenge of aging well should be taken seriously, but not grimly! Whatever your age, it's never too soon, or too late, to learn and apply the fine art of aging well, really well. Discover what aspects of aging can't be changed and improve the rest that can. Mold your own realities with REAL wellness, Ardell-style.

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by Donald B. Ardell, Ph. D.
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Wellness in the Headlines
(Don's Report to the World)

Seven Questions About a New Paradigm for Worksite Wellness Designed to Cultivate Cultures that Flourish

Wednesday May 24, 2017

Introduction
Surely you have had the experience of being at a lecture or workshop and wishing you could ask a question, add a comment or offer an objection to something the speaker has said—or should have said. How many times have you wanted not only to speak your mind aloud, but to hear and then consider what others in the room, not necessarily the speaker, might say about your bottled up insights, unexpressed wisdom and/or promising hypotheses about how to make the world a better place? Many times, I’m sure. It’s not easy being patient at such times, longing for a chance to interrupt a rant to refocus everyone’s attention on that which really matters?

Grant Donovan and Don ArdellWell, everyone will have this opportunity at the upcoming National Wellness Conference (NWC) June 20th in St. Paul, MN. On this occasion, I will partner with the reliably outrageous Polymath of Perth, the inestimable Dr. Grant Donovan. Instead of long-winded speeches, we will facilitate a session called, “In Search of a New Paradigm for Worksite Wellness” as an interactive dialogue about the seven most consequential questions of human existence.

Well, perhaps that may be overstating things, but the seven provocative questions will surely excite conference-goers focused on the theme of the 3 1/2 day event, namely, “Cultivating Cultures that Flourish.”

Most important, nobody will have to sit and wait for an opportunity to speak—most of the time available will be devoted to audience participation. (Most is the key word in the preceding sentence.)

Engage, Entertain, Inform, Educate and Motivate
Grant and I will speak briefly at the beginning and conclusion of the session. With supportive quotations, illuminating slides and stunning, possibly hair-raising proclamations about our REAL wellness beliefs (i.e., life is meaningless, you can’t do it, wellness orgasms or DBRU equivalents as keys to happiness and wellbeing and so on), we will initiate dialogues on each of the seven questions. This is how we plan to engage, entertain, inform, educate and motivate attendees while doing our modest part to create our own little culture that flourishes.

If you are planning to attend the conference, you won’t want to miss this quest for a better paradigm. Think how you’d feel if you were right there, in St. Paul where it all happened, but failed to attend the watershed workshop after which the NWC was never the same? How would you explain it to your grandchildren?

Tolerance-Building Highlights
Before turning over the floor to attendees, we will offer up seven sacrificial sacred cows. These are intended more as benign provocations, not pronouncements on high. Neither Grant nor I has any interest in defending our provocations during the session, however much we believe in the evidence that supports each unsettling zinger.

The seven assertions up for discussion are:

    1. Do worksite wellness programs really matter if life is meaningless, if most can’t manage to sustain wellness lifestyles and if we’re all going to die anyway?

    2. If, as some studies (e.g., Dunedin) strongly suggest, worksite wellness dollars are being egregiously wasted, what else might be done and to what ends?

    3. Can we create a physics-like (e.g., E=MC2) wellness formula for a theory of happiness? (P.S. We have one, should anyone be interested and we’ll assume everyone is, therefore we will extend our formula and invite the group to embrace it or come up with a better one.)

    4. Is there anything more important than the dimension of exuberance worth promoting with worksite wellness besides, of course, reason, athleticism and liberty?

    5. Human sexuality has never been a featured element in worksite wellness. Can this be justified in a truly free society and what might participants be missing as a result of this religion-inspired suppression?

    6. We believe the word “spirituality” should be stricken from the English language and will invite everyone to join in the cause or, better yet, to discuss the reasons we’ll put forward in support of this position.  

The seventh provocation of this workshop is being quarantined until the commencement of the session on June 20th. If you are somehow in possession of this information, be advised that leakers will be prosecuted!

So, that’s a preview of our session. Hope you can make it but do not despair if not, for negotiations are underway with a major motion picture studio to make a film of the gathering which will soon enough appear at a major theater near you.

All good wishes.

Signed Don Ardell

(Ed. Note: Views expressed in this and other columns are those of the author and not necessarily those of the SeekWellness Editorial Board.)

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