What is the difference between a sleek sports car with a low centre of gravity as opposed a large box-like truck? Obviously, their structures are totally different and as a result they operate differently. How a house is built determines things such as circulation, humidity and temperature. If you want an energy efficient house, it needs to have different materials in its structure and it needs to be oriented to make most efficient use of sun and shade. Change the structure and you change the behavior.
There are three areas where this principle has important application:
1. Health Many years ago I was taught the principle that structure governs function. During my chiropractic studies, I became aware of how the alignment and structure of the human spine affected the nerves that emanate from the spine. I also learned that faulty alignment put abnormal stress on muscles and ligaments around the spine which resulted in a disturbance in the ability of a person to function optimally.
It you have flat feet, as I have, that tends to cause an increase stress on the inner part of the foot and ankle. That stress it transmitted up through the knees and even into the hips. That alteration in foot structure affects how it functions. It is considered so important that in some countries, it precludes a person from entering the military. The solution is to wear orthotics that alter the structure which changes the biomechanics of the foot and ankle.
2. Finances What about your financial structure or empire? Is the foundation stable and balanced or is it teetering with debt and lack of a sound base? Many find, that as they approach retirement, financially security is like an upside down triangle, barely staying upright and ready to topple with the slightest push.
Structuring our finances is more than something that we give lip service to; it is a way to ensure that our finances work (function) in a manner that enhances our lifestyle. There are professional financial advisors who can help you to create that structure. If you are inclined to learn and study financial principles, along with different investment vehicles, you can take direct control of your financial structure. When we try to increase our finances without stability, that is when we take chances and increase our risk for financial disaster.
3. Retirement I bet that many people think of structuring their retirement around money. Everything in retirement seems geared towards finances. However, there is so much more to retirement than finances.
Building a retirement structure means initially creating a blueprint. Would a builder construct a house without a blueprint created by an architect? Would the house be 160 square meters or 300 square meters? Perhaps the bricklayers could just “play it by ear” as to size and number of room. The house might not turn out that well.
Retirement entails structuring our lifestyle. Do we want to travel regularly, play sports, dine out weekly or create a new and inspiring business venture. These are all things we need to address. What about the place where we live? Do we want to live in the centre of a city, in the suburbs or go for the country life?
When we create a plan we have a foundation that will carry us through for many years into the future. That will allow us to experience a functionally rewarding life into the future.
So remember whether it’s your body, your money or your future, without a rock-solid structure, you cannot perform at your optimum.
Editor’s Note: Dr Adele Thomas, semi-retired medical doctor, and Dr Ely Lazar, retired chiropractor, are on a new mission as the Passionate Retirees. They are dedicated to inspiring the over 50s to live fulfilling and adventurous lives, so that “the twilight years will be the highlight years”. Their book, “Travel Secrets For Seniors” was released in early 2014. With more than 80 years combined of professional experience, their articles, books and workshops cover a range of topics from travel, health, relationships, sexuality and finances for seniors.
“Adele and Ely have always impressed me with their exceptional knowledge, professionalism and positive attitude. Mention their name and the one word that always comes up is respect.” – John Ross, Master Networker