Do We Really Need an IDEAL?

I’m reading a fantasy, sci-fi novel titled Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson. In it a band of heroes is fighting to dethrone the evil ruler of Newcago who has the power to turn inanimate objects into steel. He’s also almost impossible to kill. Megan, a member of the band, objects to destroying Steelheart because life is better under his rule than it is any other city in the country. Prof, the band’s leader, argues, “Everyone talks about how great Newcago is. But it’s not great, Megan. It’s good by comparison only! Yes, there are worse places, but so long as this hellhole is considered the ideal, we’ll never get anywhere. We cannot let them convince us this is normal!1

This passage jumped out at me. I hadn’t thought much about the need for an ideal before.


What would life be like if there were no ideals, no standards of excellence? Everyone would play to lowest common element. That hasn’t worked well in our society. People who try always to bring other people down to their level sink lower and lower. Progress and innovation slow to a crawl. Eventually life becomes meaningless and hope is lost. We need a pinnacle to look up to, to strive for.

Our society has fed us a twisted, distorted ideal when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle. Society focuses mainly on appearances, using supermodels and elite athletes as the standard. Those may be ideals for models and athletes but they aren’t ideals for regular folks.

So, what IS the ideal, the pinnacle of health, we’re striving for? To start with, I know that it involves Mind, Body, and Spirit. Not just body.

I want to hear what you think. Let’s talk about it!

What does the ideal healthy lifestyle look like to you? When you think of optimal health, what do you think of?

Share your thoughts in the Comments section below. We’ll figure this out together.

1 Sanderson, Brandon. Steelheart. New York: Random House, 2013. Print.

Published by Pam

I am a writer and a pretty good cook. I overuse exclamation points and dark chocolate. I LOVE God and my family the most! I know from experience that life goes much better when we help each other. I'm writing a book about becoming your best self. I think of it as one of many ways I can help others and be helped by them.

2 thoughts on “Do We Really Need an IDEAL?

  1. I feel my best each day when: 1. Pray daily, 2. Study scripture daily, 3. Help others, 4. Exercise at least 5 times a week for more than 30 minutes, 5. Eat healthy, 6. Spend time productively, 7. Hug loved ones daily, 8. House is neat and pretty clean.


    1. That is terrific! We really do feel better, more happy, when we do the things that are good for us. The things that make us feel fulfilled and successful. Thank you for sharing your perfect day. :-)


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