“You have a moral obligation to do that.. the world becomes a much worse place if you don’t take care of yourself… You need challenge and struggle. If everything is laid out it creates an environment of stagnation and incompetence. Treat yourself like someone you are responsible for helping.” – Jordan. B. Peterson


I had quite a long ramble last week, so I’ll attempt to make this weeks blog a little shorter!

The second chapter of JPs book tackles the surprising issue that we as individuals are more likely to administer the suggested medical care for a pet or loved one, than we are to ourselves. Furthermore, he suggests that we have an obligation to figure out how we would like to be treated, and to treat others this way also. He sums this process up quite efficiently by suggesting it to be as if you had a small child, and people would treat them however you wished. Of course, you’d want t people to be nice, but then of course you wouldn’t wish others to fall at their feet and give them anything they desired, that would create a pathetic, incompetent individual. So, figure it out for YOUR SELF. You need challenge to stand up to and grow, as we discussed in Rule 1, but you certainly don’t want to feel oppressed and worthless. You are already carrying the burden of self consciousness.

To me, this brings about an obvious question, and a more subtle realisation that pertain to the world of physical practice and training.

The Obvious.

In a scenario in which an imbalance of calories leaning towards a greater intake than output occurs, it is extremely likely that an individual will be putting on weight. Now, aside from those that use this ratio to aid in their specific goals of increasing mass for competition, this is most commonly a disaster equation. Simply put, calories are the measurement symbolising the energy used by the body to function. If the body functions burn up the intake of calories, the system is working efficiently and in equilibrium; but when the scales tip, shit hits the fan. Adipose tissue quickly fills your wardrobe. Obesity beckons.

This may seem like an over exaggeration, but given current obesity statistics alone, I think you’ll agree it’s anything but.. So, why do some individuals allow the scales to tip, and begin on this downward spiral even though they have the formula to halt and improve the situation. Moving = increased calorific output.

Is it some preformed trauma? Is society providing the means to simply ignore the problem at hand? Are we becoming lazy as a race? Is there not enough education at the front end? It the fitness industry spending too much time on the performance end, and in turn diving the gap between inactive and active even further? Are we missing something?

Maybe it’s simply the fact that people don’t have the motivation to improve themselves? Why should they, with all the instant gratifications currently in built into society and daily life.. Well, what about if I suggested that motivation isn’t the orientation of most use.

What if I suggested instead, to orient yourself on the idea of MOMENTUM?

Motivation is seen by the average individual as binary. You either have it or you don’t. It’s black or white. Potentially not such a useful mindset when attempting to traverse the slippery slopes of life and improve yourself. Especially when comparing yourself to who you were yesterday, when yesterday was filled with motivation and today you don’t want to leave the confines of your bedroom?!

Momentum however, is built upon the idea of continual gains. The more work put in, the more work put out. However, to obtain momentum there must be moments of inertia. Tough times that challenge the task at hand, maybe before it has even begun,  maybe right as it is about to be completed, disaster seems to have a habit of striking. However, have no fear. These moments give the task worth. If it was easy and without great challenge, there would be no point in doing it. There is no value moving forward for the individual with such; and make no mistake, that is what we are doing, moving forward. Stagnation is not a place to aim for.  

Breaking through such challenges gives an individual reason to hold their head up high, and gives momentum to keep on rolling. The momentum you gather keeps you going, through the long periods of physical and mental toil, the ups and downs. Progress is never linear and as you know, it takes prolonged consistent effort to bring around the goals you have deemed of worth. You do know this, right?

So rather than basing your ideas off of binary motivations, trust in cultivating momentum. Ride it when times are good, and strive to overcome the moments of inertia whenever they may appear. Stay consistent and strive upward, towards your star.

The Subtle.

I’m going to jump a little left field here.. shock.

The omnipotent god is always present. He is the self. The problem of self consciousness is that we are completely aware of our downfalls, bad choices, imperfections. You carry them around as a burden each and every day. To lessen the burden, seek to make good choices that are honest to your personal values. This choice compounds into every area of life. Take for example a scenario with your family. Your mother cooks a wonderful meal, which you very much enjoy. Upon finishing you have various options.

  1. Rush off leaving the dirty dishes.
  2. Sit on your phone, disinterested in conversing with your loved ones.
  3. Take your own plate to the sink, and wash it.
  4. Take yours and every other plate to the sink and wash them.
  5. Sit conversing with your loved ones, until you see a break in  and chance to carry the dirty dishes to the sink and begin washing.

Rather than choosing the option which suits you now, take a moment to notice your choices. What do you want? What would help most profoundly in this situation? Take the chance to make the better decision. You know it’ll be there, in the depths of your mind if you don’t.

This was a key realisation for me. You see, I train the majority of the time alone, which can sometimes be hard, and especially mentally challenging as there is no social gratification, there is no enjoying others efforts and bouncing off each others energy. When I was younger I would find myself cutting corners, and giving up a little too easily. It would frustrate the hell out of me, but I could never quite stop myself. The little voice in my head, my omnipotent (conscious) self knew. It added to my burden,

What gave me the strength to continue? My ‘god’. Self. Me. I. The ONLY all seeing, all knowing power I have come to recognise. I now understand, it is ‘I’ that see’s and hears all I do. Not an old man in the clouds.

Every action I make, I notice. If I don’t fulfil my true potential and act up towards my star, I know it, and it hurts. Every time. If I cut a corner, or tell a little white lie, or waste some time where I could have made my life a little better, I’m aware. I have this internal voice urging me to keep going, to make the better choice, because if I don’t the burden will only increase and drag me down. I can see that now.

Of course, this is not easy. It is certainly not do-able 100% of the time. You have to take each moment as it comes, seeking the lines between giving and being taken advantage of. Accept bad days and the nature of life. But accept the load, responsibility for our OWN dreams. We are the only ones who are able to do this, for us..

“I remember when her heart broke over stubborn shit,

That’s no way to be living kid,

The angel of death is ruthless”

Dermot Kennedy

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