05/22/2013 12:19 EDT | Updated 07/22/2013 05:12 EDT

5 Things You Should Know Before You Die

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On Thursday May 9, I was one of 10 speakers who was given the opportunity to grace the stage of the Winter Garden Theatre. This was the "Top Ten Event," in support of Autism Ontario. Each speaker had 10 minutes to offer words of wisdom on the "one thing you should know before you die!" Read on for my five survival tips.


Photo Credit: Notable

1. Get one thing right in life.

Too many of us have an all or nothing approach to life. This can lead to a domino effect of negativity. For example if you're following a strict diet then you "blow it" you feel like a failure. It usually leads to uncontrollable bingeing setting the stage for a cyclical life of dieting. Diets are not focused on health but numbers on a scale. This makes rational people, totally irrational in their decision making.

Firstly I blame the food manufacturers for hooking us on salt, fat and sugar. Processed food is killing our population through diabetes, heart and stroke, obesity and cancer.

Getting one thing right is the key to long term success in any of your endeavours. It may be as simple as modifying your daily "double-double" coffee. If you switch to one cream and one sugar, at the end of 365 days, you could lose 16 pounds (and won't miss the added fat).

2. Stop blaming your genes.

Most of us view our health as unpredictable, based on "luck of the draw." This is often used as an excuse for some not to take control of their health. Stop blaming your genes! Genes account for only 25 per cent of your health, the other 75 per cent we can control. That's quite empowering. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle gives you more energy and can influence the natural disposition of genetic disease and change its path.

3. Have passion.

If you love what you're doing, you'll never work a day in your life. The earlier you "get it," the happier you'll be as you age, which can translate into better health. I have been influencing my fellow citizen's health through diet over the past 20 years. At times if often feels like an uphill battle, but I am greatly comforted by a proverb that says "If I can save one life, I've saved the world."

4. The harder you work, the luckier you get.

Over the years I've learned that you can never be over-prepared. It helps in remaining calm, cool and collected. I shoot for perfection but have found it's a moving target. Never stay too content. What I learn today effects how I view my previous accomplishments. Remember that it takes years to build a reputation, and a second to sink it.

5. The recipe for life is balance.

Is there such a thing as balance? I believe so. The important elements in life don't all have to be in separate compartments in terms of health, family and happiness. It's very easy to get too self-absorbed and focus on one matter to the exclusion of all else. Guard against this tendency

My final words are that "Success is not the key to happiness; Happiness is the key to success." If you love what you're doing, you will be successful."

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