I recently bought disability insurance for myself and while going through the process, I could not help but feel like the idea of doing this seemed unnatural. I thought to myself, “why would I buy disability insurance?” I am young, I am healthy. This money is just going to be wasted.

But as I thought about it, I realized the reality of what would happen to my life and the life of my family should illness or disability strike and I were unable to work. In the end, logic prevailed.

Afterward, I continued to think about the idea of preparing for illness or injury, and I realized that if I was willing to pay a monthly premium to prepare for this, then I should be willing to budget at least this same amount, if not more, to prevent it.

The idea that our health is our most important asset to me is a fundamental truth. Being healthy is a prerequisite for a meaningful life. We cannot be productive or contribute to the world, we cannot be there for our loved ones, we cannot have diverse and fulfilling experiences if we are burdened by illness and disease. I would go as far to say that freedom itself is not possible without health. For many of my patients who are frequently hospitalized, the IV lines and bedrails may as well be chains and prison bars, as they realize that illness is preventing them from living their life.

Yet at the same time, people’s day-to-day decisions about how they choose to live tend not to reflect this. Buying vegetables, spending the time to cook, maintaining and exercise regimen, using high-quality nutritional supplements, having a knowledgeable health advisor. We are so quick to dismiss these as too expensive, both in terms of our money and time. Yet when we think about it logically, we all know that we should.

So why don’t we? Why are we willing to buy the premium cable plan, but not the personal trainer?

I think part of it is that we undervalue our health as an asset. It’s just not something we think about on a daily basis… we take it for granted. When we are sick with the flu, all we can think about is how miserable we are in that moment, but the moment we start to feel better, it’s like it never happened. We only see “health” as an idea when we don’t have it. If we were to see health in the same way that we see our bank accounts, stock market portfolios, and businesses, we would realize how ridiculous it is to not invest in our health.

As with any type of investment, it is important to have guidance from someone who is knowledgeable in that area – an expert to guide you through the process of achieving optimal wellness and staving off illness. If that person is your doctor… great. But it can also be a nutritionist, a trainer, a coach, a weight loss program.

Your health is your most important asset. We know this intrinsically as a fundamental truth, yet how we choose to invest our time, energy, and money does not reflect it. Learn about health yourself and surround yourself with advisors who can enhance your knowledge keep you on track. Because you do not want to wait until you lose your health to realize how valuable it is.