Optimization 1 • Interest

The following article is an introduction to the ignorance that destroys the desire to develop as a human. By generating awareness of this ignorance, the potential for further suffering will be reduced.

Alright potatoes. To the average person, the concept of personal development is a lot like an iceberg. Over 90% of its mass is below the surface, submerged in a sea of ignorance, so it is only reasonable that we address this ignorance first.

The problem with a person who is acting out of ignorance is that they are also ignorant of the ignorance itself. I personally am very ignorant, however I am aware of it, therefore I’m not ignorant at all…

The first step in helping someone who believes they know alot while in reality knowing comparatively much less, is to approach them with a genuinely empathetic and compassionate attitude. Acknowledge that this ignorance is possessed through no fault of the individuals and that under more conducive circumstances they may have otherwise been generously endowed with wisdom. This is a helpful approach because if you know someone like this, telling them that they’re ignorant almost definitely will provoke a negative response.

Generally, people receive the word “ignorant” as an insult. So instead of taking an aggressive approach, be patient with them. If you can see a discussion or debate arising about nutrition or anything else, just take a deep breath and let them spew out from the global weather system of mainstream media the ensuing shit-storm of deluded misinformation. Fake being interested if you must. Eventually they will exhaust their vast stores of knowledge and you will have an opportunity to talk. 

Be tactical and bring their attention to something else, such as explaining some of the defining characteristics of a truly intelligent person, one of those being that intelligent people always maintain an amazingly humble attitude. No matter how educated or how masterful they become in what they do, they never let go of the thought that they could be wrong at any moment and that there’s always something new to learn. 

If your friend could consider themselves to be intelligent in any way, they should be intelligent enough to consider the possibility that they know fuck all. This is absolutely the attitude you should adopt when approaching the nutrition of your body and if you don’t, if you think you have nutrition figured out and theres nothing to worry about, fuck you.

if I had to identify one thing that mattered most to my own development, it would be my INTEREST, the nucleus around which everything I know and do to develop revolves. Without this one quality there would be no action.

If you are pursuing any sort of goal in life and harbour no intrinsic interest in what you’re doing and are extracting your motivation from some shitty idea like toning up for summer, you will almost definitely face failure and because you have no genuine interest in the activity, the road to whatever progress you do make will not be enjoyed and you will end up in the same situation next spring, chasing the same petty aspirations. 

Taking an interest in your personal, mental and phyisical development starts with learning.

There’s something awesome about learning that is especially applicable to training and nutrition that has the power to engage you. Even if you are a person that previously took little interest in it. If you take the initiative to start poking around on the internet, you can find endless motivation.

Eventually, when the desire to improve takes root, motivation becomes unnecessary. At that point the person you are and your whole lifestyle can undertake a total metamorphosis with what will feel like very little effort. Thats the magic of interest. If you adopt a genuine interest, it becomes effortless because it gets to the point where you are just doing it for enjoyment.

For me, developing a decent amount of wisdom in the area of my personal development has taken ten years and was enjoyably meandering, however there was a specific event that helped get me started.

I was 21 years old, it was 2008 and I was living with my girlfriend of about 2 years. As a couple we weren’t a very social unit and generally we kept to ourselves and were very involved in our own world, probably more so than is healthy for a young couple. At that point in life I was unfamiliar with nutrition and fitness and couldn’t have imagined the culture I was about to become a part of as I very awkwardly approached the front counter at the local gym. It was a huge gym, one of the bigger franchise establishments of the Goldcoast and Australia in general. It was busting at the seams with instagram worriors and self aware Lorna Jane mannequins. In hindsight, I feel like I can applaud my resolve that day. The moment those doors rolled open and I didn’t turn around and scurry away at the sight of what faced me was a pivotal moment in my life.

Its amazing to ponder how the tiny and seemingly insignificant actions and events we experience, or don’t experience for that matter, can be such a defining influence on the chain of following events that makes up our lives. When you think about it, every moment experienced along your continuity of awareness is a direct link to the moment immediately ahead of it in the future, that is yet to arise. So this very moment in which you are reading these words could be said to be directly connected to the rest of your life, this moment, as insignificant as it may be, is influencing the path your life will be on for decades to come 

Imagine you are observing yourself from a fly on the wall perspective, you’re looking down watching yourself reading and thinking about this article. At the same time, you have the ability to be looking down at the same situation happening in an alternate reality in which you are not reading this article but doing something else, like watching TV. Now, the thoughts and mind-states present in these two realities are totally different to each other and the lives following these two versions of you will be completely different. Think about the responsibility this puts on you to be aware of every moment of your conscious life, and aware of even the thoughts in your head within these moments, because the future events awaiting the TV-watching you, for example, could cause the death or deaths of your loved ones, but then again, the future awaiting the current you, who is reading this article, could also result in the deaths of your loved ones. Maybe it would be helpful if you just accepted that every one of your loved ones will die regardless, and relax. This gives a profound meaning to the otherwise cliché sounding saying “the choice is in every moment”, doesn’t it?

So there I was, no fucking idea, skinny, lanky Joel sitting with a personal trainer who was vacantly processing yet another casualty of the pseudo-fitness world. He was looking at me rubbing his hands together thinking “look at this dweeb, 12 months at 50 bucks a fortnight, what a dumbass”. In that 12 months I went from 75kgs at 190cm and about 17% fat to 95kgs and about 8% body fat. Every ounce of it was done naturally and not a single moment in that gym felt like a struggle, I loved it thoroughly. But, while every minute spent in the gym was bliss, there were times of great pain experienced outside of it, and although I couldn’t have known it then, those painful experiences would become my most valuable assets.

Two weeks later my girlfriend cheated on me with one of our friends. This is the catastrophic event that plunged me headfirst into my world of working out. I was traumatized for about nine hours on the night I found out she was doing it. I didn’t get to sleep until about 7.00am the following morning and when I woke up that afternoon I went to the gym and trained. I trained so hard it probably wasn’t even physically beneficial, but I noticed something that was… While I trained, my mind was at peace, and because my life outside the gym was in a state of chaos, the peace of the gym became an addiction. Every minute spent outside of it was spent thinking about my next hit. Working out would come to be a life commitment and God knows what would have happened to me if I didn’t have the guts to walk through those doors.

So, I suppose I got lucky. A catastrophic event came along at the perfect time and launched me into a new world. But what about all the people out there who haven’t faced their catastrophic event yet? Who are working nine to five, paying the bills, feeding the kids, saving up for holidays, busy people whos passion is their family life. What will they do when their kid dies, or their partner fucks the neighbours cat, or their house explodes? Well I’ve been thinking, they have kids, they have wives, they have houses and THESE are the passions, THESE are the hobbies…. So if a catastrophic event is going to happen, its likely that for an event to even qualify as catastrophic to someone like this in the first place, it will have to involve one of these things i.e. the wife, kids, dog, etc. Maybe this can be the motivation for being more active, maybe the POTENTIAL for a catastrophic event can substitute an actual catastrophe.

If you’re one of those people living the family life and struggling to make time to workout or even using it as an excuse to avoid working out, you are in really urgent need of a shift in consciousness.

Instead of thinking stuff like “oh no way, I just don’t have the time with everything that needs doing at home.”, try thinking about how training like a crack-head will on the contrary maximize your time-efficiency, granting you the mental and physical capacity to work harder for longer in all facets of your life, and as if that’s not enough of a bonus, working out will definitely help save your wife and kids the catastrophic event of watching you wither away and die a slow and painful death in a shitty hospital.

Remember, the actions of now no matter how insignificant they may seem, will be coming into fruition for the rest of your life.

Ok that’ll do for now. We’ve layed the foundation for living good, this being THE NEGATION OF IGNORANCE. Which really is an integral component of being a decent human in general.

Until then fuckrrrs.

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