You are soft-AF. No scratch that, you are snuggly teddy bear, snow-white kitten, fuzzy peach in the warm summer sun, soft. But you’re not alone. Everyone else around you is soft too and anyone who says anything to the contrary is LYING; my apologies, perhaps that caps-lock absolutism was too aggressive, they “may be fibbing”.
The devolution of the human race is in full swing, and is spiraling out of control, faster than ever. In the last 30 years, humans (at least those occupying modernized, first world countries) have undertaken a well-publicized descent into heart and obesity-related hell, yes, but we have also become mentally and emotionally doughy to match.
Along the path of the pursuit of fitness, many life lessons are learned: perseverance, return on investment, self-motivation, the value of intrinsic reward, will power, and mental-toughness, to name a few. But the amount of individuals who function in today’s society without these actualities is SHOCKING. This extends from the child who cries when they strike out during a Sunday-evening tykes baseball game, to the middle-aged Trump supporter who doesn’t take responsibility for being unemployed, on heart meds, and divorced (it’s always someone else’s fault).
The first step to becoming less of a white-bread, whiny, weak-kneed pussy, is to take responsibility for your life and everything within it. Look at where you are and the inroads that got you there. Sure, you can find the actions of someone else that can be blamed, but everything encompassed in your world came down to a choice that YOU made at some point in time. The sooner you realize that you alone are responsible for your own happiness, and that you actually do have control of your life, the sooner you stop playing the victim. Once you stop playing the victim, things magically stop “happening to you”, and instead you start achieving things. Woe is you? WRONG, dough is you.
Stop living for social media. Don’t get me wrong, I post frequently, and find some of what other people post interesting. What I mean by this assertion, however, is that so many people post everything in their lives on social media to either get the approval of others, to get the attention of others, fish for compliments, or (I think this is the worst one) air dirty laundry – like parenting their child or making an argument or feud public. The only reason you should really be posting on social media is to share information that may be relevant to other people, incite a public discussion, or my personal favourite, to entertain others. Cryptic, fishing posts, like, “FML :(” or “Why does this always happen to me?!?”, illustrate a neediness and mental weakness that is telling of a generation raised by the internet and without sandlot democracy. Once you stop equating self-worth to the amount of comments, likes, and followers your posts generate, and equate it instead to your family and peers and what you contribute to those relationships, you will find the value of your stock rises internally and externally.
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, “there are no magic pills!” And this might actually surprise you, but “cleanses” are bullshit. Yes, you will be cleaned out for a day/week/month, but guess what? Once you start going back to your old eating/drinking habits, you’re going to be right back where you started. This may come as a shock to you, but to change your life, you’re actually going to have to CHANGE YOUR LIFE. You can’t undo years of treating your body like an amusement park in a week. Hell, you can’t even undo years of damage with years of healthy eating and exercise. Like a lawnmower blade cut to your leg, scars will be left on your body, but if you are willing to put in the work, the scars can be a reminder of the distance you’ve come rather than a benchmark of the free-fall you gave in to. If you want to lose a significant amount of weight, you’re going to have to give up the things that got you there (kiss processed foods, bread, soda and booze goodbye). If you want to be more confident and a good public speaker, you’re going to have practice, because the only way to gain confidence is to be good at something. Practice your speech giving, practice your story telling, practice whatever, but don’t expect wishing and hoping and praying to make a difference.
Give more. We are all such a bunch of takers and consumers, and it’s making us weak because we equate material things to personal happiness. Give more to friends, give more to family, give more to complete strangers. And I’m not talking about money. Donating to charity is great, but donating your time, your skills, yourself, is far more valuable. And there is power in giving. Being able to help others is something we all take for granted, and don’t do nearly enough of. Be a contributing member of society rather than a black-hole of consumption and you will find an inner-strength that cannot be replicated anywhere else. And I’m going to share a secret with you. Would you say that you are NOT a ‘people person’? Do you find yourself generally annoyed and stressed-out by others? Well doing things for other people actually makes you like them more. Believe it.
Finally, stress is a choice. You have nothing to stress but stress itself. Think about it, it makes perfect sense. Stress is not something imposed upon us. It is our own reaction to a stimulus. And as such, it is then our choice on whether or not we choose to allow a stimulus to illicit this response. The next time you recognize the signs of stress within yourself due to work deadlines, being late for a dentist appointment, someone cutting you off in traffic, etc, take a step back and remove yourself from the situation. Consider; is my world really going to come crashing down due to this occurrence? Is sitting here stressing going to make my situation any better? In the big picture, is it really a big deal? The answer to all of these questions is almost always, “no.” Stress is one of the main health determinates in modern civilization, and stressing over truly silly ‘first world problems’ has been linked to heart disease, cancer, stroke, migraines, ulcers, etc. You want to talk about weakness? Stress is the ultimate crippler. One of the most telling differences between millennials and their grandparents (and even baby boomers and their parents) is stress. Whereas millennials are quick to stress, the old guard is much faster to accept and soldier through. That’s real toughness, true grit.
So who’s to blame?
Somewhere between our grandparents and kindergarten we forgot that toughness is a core value. Do we blame the hippie movement of the 60’s and 70’s? Maybe it is a result of a change in industry, because people don’t work with their hands anymore? Or maybe it’s just general zeitgeist where we’re all a bunch of special little treasures around whom the world revolves? One thing is for sure, people need to do things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard. Take the stairs not the elevator, walk or bike to work, and turn off your God-damned TV. Daily struggle is healthful and drives evolution, and each and every pillowy-soft member of society would do well to find a gym and use it.