I recently searched the internet to see if a man I met once in 1989 was still alive – David Murdock. He figures briefly but importantly in my book “Into My Father’s Wake” (www.intomyfatherswake.com) as the source of a particular piece of wisdom. In a brief interview in Honolulu in 1989, defending his development – or despoilment, depending on your point of view – of the island of Lanai, Murdock said people who want to do anything meaningful with their lives must “act to be!” He meant that as you behave, so shall you become. He was also saying that having an ego is not bad, it’s not having an ego that’s bad.
It turns out that David Murdock, somewhere in his 60s when I interviewed him, is among the 150-200 richest men in the world, according to Forbes, and developed more than land and hotels. He has also become a champion for consuming fruits and vegetables in copious quantities as a source of health. Now 87, he claims in the last two decades to have avoided colds and flu altogether and not taking so much as an aspirin. How? A fruit and vegetable-rich diet. You can find out much more about this through www.dmhri.org, the research institute to study and promote nutrition as a source of health and longevity of which Murdock was the principle benefactor.
I discovered this in my search as I was trying to reach Murdock directly. I wanted to send him a book and thank him for his deeply affecting impact on my life, which although brief, caused me to think about “act to be” and ultimately to promote it in my consulting practice, Best Partners (http://www.bestpartners.cc). See Number 4.
And Murdock in his way also set off another cascade of personal events this weekend. At a routine doctor’s visit last week I had learned that while my blood pressure is down to normal from unhealthy levels a year ago, my triglycerides and “bad cholesterol” are up. Stop coffee with milk and sugar, she said. Take fish oil and vitamin D daily. Come back in a month to see how you are doing.
Well, okay. I started that (sort of). I had consumed some fish oil and vitamin D supplied by a concerned friend but had not yet bought my own supply. (Will do that later this weekend, I swear.) But I did think about Murdock and his fruit and vegetables and did a little more research of my own. Consequently this morning I bought a Vita-Mix (http://www.vitamix.com): three oranges, four grapefruits, a lime and made my first fruit smoothie. My son complained that “it burned,” which it did, but it seemed like a good burn.
Is it the start of something? Maybe. I am calling it “Act to be – longer.” We’ll see how it goes. And I think I am going to owe Murdock another word of thanks.
Maybe it all depends on how I act.