I’ve been listening to a series of lectures over the past few months around culture, ideology and fairness or equality. As you can well imagine, there is no end to the opinions to the debate on what this all means, but what is more interesting is the foundational reason why we take our various views on the world.
One of the challenges that we have in social media, which has become a massive problem, is that social media only feeds what you are interested in, which is fine when we are talking about shoes and travel, but not so good when it comes to matters of politics and religion, and everything that may come underneath those headings.
What allows us to formulate an objective point of view is when we clearly understand our stance and the viewpoint of another, but we also understand the reason why they and we feel that way (assuming we and they have worked that part out before we and they professed our opinions). But social media doesn’t present both sides of the argument; it only shows you what “you are interested in”, and you become fed a constant stream of information that helps solidify your point of view.
But the only way to truly know you are on the right track is to try and tear apart your presuppositions in an effort to see if they will stand up to scrutiny, and to be okay with the possibility that you may be slightly off track, which is good to know, so you don’t waste too much more time investing in an idea that is fundamentally flawed, not always comfortable to know but valuable.
And how do you measure your degree of “rightness” of your particular stance? I took an idea from my years as a fitness professional and the idea was simply this, “if we did not work on developing your basic core structure and posture, so that every time you moved, your core controlled your movements, you were not likely to be successful long term, and more than likely to be injured repeatedly.” Most of the problems people encounter with gaining control of their fitness from an orthopedic standpoint would be greatly reduced if the effort was put first into developing a strong core, then the road forward would be much more predictable and with less suffering.
Similarly, to the development of my core strength, which has allowed to me to stay fit and strong, working on my philosophical core, is also helping me to stay stronger and to act less out of anger, reaction, and bias. A strong philosophical core makes you inherently stronger, you become more reliable and predictable to yourself and to others, and it gives you something to build on which is important.
One of the things I am returning to is predicated on the simple notion, and that it is simply that, “what I choose to believe and to act on must be good for me, it must be good for those around me, it must be good for my community, and it cannot be time restricted in that it should grow and mature in line with the preceding rules”.
So in fitness, if I take the time to develop my core, to make it strong, it is good for me, it is good for those around me, as I remain healthy, functional and independent so that I can become more of a contributor to my community, and I am able to do more and become more due to the strength and predictability of my core strength over time.
What has been my criticism of the personal development industry for a while now, not that the information is invalid, but the “core aspects” of the message is not being received effectively, and the public is moving from one book to another in the hope that it will land, and how different is that those who go from one diet to the next, one fitness program to the next, never once really developing the “core strength, understanding or values that are required to be successful in anything.
If we are able to strip away our bias, or fears, our opinions, what will we find at our core? Maybe we all need to go back to the very beginning and ask why we started the journey to begin with, and with a few adjustments to our physical and philosophical core our efforts will net a much more rewarding price, alignment, and congruency.
Your Fellow Traveler,
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