To help explain why your heart wants you to look in the mirror, I’m sharing an excerpt from the new book I co-authored, AgeProof: Living Longer Without Running Out of Money or Breaking a Hip:
Your morning is a whirlwind. You wash your face, fix your hair, floss your teeth for two minutes after a twenty-second brushing of your teeth (at least that’s how you should be doing it, while you practice balancing on one foot), make the breakfast smoothies, get the kids going, brew the beverage, peek at your phone to see the status of Barbara’s sick pup, on and on. And, then you do this (maybe five times): you check yourself in the mirror.
How does your hair look? Your makeup? Your clothes? Your skin? Your hair again? Everything? You assess, you make changes, you assess again, and you go on about your day. You perform this very basic test throughout the day because (1) you care about your appearance and how you project yourself to the outside world, and (2) nobody likes buzzing about the day with a peppercorn-decorated incisor.
What’s the point?
Every day of your life, you perform a diagnostic test on yourself to evaluate your current state of affairs, because you inherently know there’s a value to the process of self-evaluation. You assess, you evaluate, you adjust. Then you repeat as necessary.
But in health care you may not want to know your data because you dread seeing your doctor or measuring your blood pressure, or you simply don’t visit the doctor. But avoiding the metaphorical mirror means that you’ll never notice when you have lipstick smudged across your face. That is, you’ll never know if something is off—or how badly it’s off—if you haven’t taken the time to look. Hiding from the truth doesn’t mean the truth doesn’t exist.