The Hater’s Prison

In Methods & Success Mindsetby Matt

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Damn, our fitness culture can be full of haters and people who love to jump down any idea that doesn’t jive within their own narrow beliefs.

It seems like everywhere I look, people are hyping, touting and lambasting one diet or training strategy or another.  One day it’s “you’re not a real man unless you do olympic lifting” and the next it’s “functional training won’t give you the physique you really want.”

It seems like everything is the best, greatest and most essential method to use. To discard anything can be seen as almost a sin and a loss of potential gain.

Always keep in mind that we live in a finite world. We have finite lifestyle resources we can spend towards getting in shape. Not to mention that other things in life such as family, friends, hobbies, career and various other interests also demand such resources. You could potentially give up your family, friends and career aspirations and dedicate every aspect of your life towards fitness and still never do everything you “should” be doing.

You can be in great shape and condition yourself for anything. You just can’t condition yourself for everything. No matter how hard you work and how much you dedicate yourself, you won’t be able to cover all of your bases. The more you try to excel at a few things the more you’re going to pull resources and potential progress from other things. It’s simply the nature of a finite world.

I know it’s hard. It’s hard to turn down opportunities to explore the new fitness trends or to invest in the latest equipment. The latest yoga and explosive band training program is going to bring a lot of great results to a lot of people. It’s tough to sit back and let the train pass you by.

Some people take refuge in being a hater. They look at the successful and popular trends and try to make excuses for why they don’t do it. They call it foolish, silly and just plain stupid. It’s not because they actually think that, it’s mostly because they want to justify to themselves that it’s okay not to jump on the bandwagon.

All of this sort of thinking just builds the walls in your self imposed prison even higher. It paints you into a corner that you can’t get out of. Saying a method or trend is stupid is a great way to force yourself from being able to have the freedom to choose to partake in that method or not.  The refuge of the weak is to build a lifestyle upon helpless limitation and then call it commitment and discipline. Nothing could be further from the truth. Commitment isn’t about walking one path while closing off all of the others. It’s about walking the path by choice rather than default.

The strategy of the insecure and of those who lack discipline and commitment really is a self imposed prison. They feel threatened by the popular trends. They feel compelled to spend more lifestyle resources or face the risk of losing out. In a feeble attempt to regain control, they become haters and try to convince themselves they are better off not doing the new method.

Such a tactic doesn’t put anyone in control. Ultimately, the hater is the one who’s in the prison. They are the ones who are left without the choice. They want an excuse to hide behind their methods of choice, but they ultimately convince themselves that they don’t have the option to explore the different methods.

The solution is to simply do what you want and to discard what you don’t. If you don’t want to do yoga, then don’t. If you don’t want to do cardio or Crossfit then don’t. There’s nothing wrong with making your choices based entirely upon what you like and don’t like. Doing so puts you in the position of the one who’s in control and still retains personal freedom. The only requirement is the fulfillment of the root cause of your goal. Outside of that, everything else is simply up to what you want to do and what you don’t want to do.

Sure you’ll have people say you’re missing out. You’ll maybe even have folks saying that you’re a fool for discarding their sacred cow. Don’t pay them any attention, they are the ones in the prison of their own design. They’ve convinced themselves that their way is best and that it’s foolish to do anything else.  Just as the hater is in their prison of self imposed rejection, the fervent follower is in a prison of self imposed acceptance.