I switched up my workout routine last week. It was a nice split made with rest in mind. It works. I put it in my pocket and now I work out seven days a week. The results I want from this work out routine is different than the one I wanted before.
I changed what I did in order to get a new result. Because results matter. I have and will change this blog up to get different results. This blog has an influence on how I think and express my thoughts and opinions to the world.
But I am not a blogger. I am not trying to make a living from blogging. So, I change it up. Which is what I will be doing again and again and again. The reasons vary but I mostly think the writing is getting weak or shitty. Other times I will read it and it comes off as inauthentic. The results matter but so does the journey. I know there are ways to get a repeatable outcome. But I like to roam the wilderness because for me the journey is part of the result. How I get to a place matters as much as where I am going. Because I become more of who I am having gone that way. The hero’s journey kind of shit.
So here we are.
Only a mediocre person is always at his best.W. Somerset Maugham
Are you mediocre?
That is the real question this quote presents to us. Are you at your best? Really, did you hit the limit of your ability and see that there are millions of more people better than you at running for example? They are faster, they have better form, they can run for longer, some doing it while pregnant. If your best is mediocre, should you quit?
The way I see it you must first think about your motive. If you are doing something for pleasure like running, then keep at it. It isn’t a competition for you. It is a recreation and healthy activity. But if you are doing it in a competitive arena, well, you better consider dropping out. If your best doesn’t put you on the playing field, you need to find a new game.
Competition is about getting better to beat your opponent. It isn’t about beating yourself. Grown-up facts: Competition is about winning. If you are at your best, you cannot proceed to get better. If you do not think you can change or improve you have lost. To compete even at the highest levels a person has to find even the smallest places to improve. That small place might be the key, the little thing the competition ignores and becomes your advantage.
Let’s be real, all competition will become self-competition if you are really good at something. Remember to the rest of the world if you choose to compete there is a standard. You and I will either meet that standard or we cannot compete. The Boston Marathon has a time cap. The NFL has tryouts. The better the college is supposed to be the harder it is to get in. The higher the position in a company the higher the standard. If you make that standard then at some point, the only way for you to get better is by beating yesterday. You can’t do that if you are at your best.
The more faithfully you listen to the voice within you, the better you will hear what is sounding outside.Dag Hammarskjold
We are constantly bombarded with messages all day long. Not only from advertising but from friends and family too. The internet and mobile devices have given us constant connection. In turn, we have to give ourselves time for reflection. If you truly want to live your life, to live a creative life, to express what you believe then you will have to figure out what is an outside influence and what is a genuine thought. You will have to slow down and take time to think for yourself.
To have our own thoughts and ideas we must draw from our experiences, logic, and imagination. These three go hand-in-hand but they can be influenced and corrupted. We can also get caught in just being a copy cat or stuck in an echo chamber.
The major way I see people losing their identity lately is through propaganda. Propaganda is the means used by politicians to get a person to side with them. They begin with logic and then play on experience and finally to nail it down using your own imagination against you. They have taken time to get you to think what they want. Most people haven’t taken the time to think about what they hear. Most people in our current times regurgitate what they have been told. They have become the speaker box the propaganda machine uses to get its message into the world. To be free to have a voice box. If we want to truly be the artist in our lives. We must think and see the world through our own eyes. We must resist any given narrative.
I am going to let you in on a secret.
You are a soul.
I don’t know what that means to you, I don’t fully know what that means to me. what I know, is your imagination, logic, and experiences even your brain are not the totality of who you are. There is a ghost in the machine. We have the ability to separate ourselves from our thoughts and experience and consider them. We can watch ourselves think and talk to ourselves about what is going on. we forget things, feel things, and sense things. Our lives are valuable. To subject your soul to conformity based on what other people think or think of you is self-destructive. To let an outside influence determine what your soul will create is a fraud. But if we listen to that inside voice. If we let our logic, experience, and imagination play, we can make something unique just like us. I believe our souls have their own view and understand transcendence and we all have the desire to live in awe.
We get there by slowing down. When we read we are going at a slow enough pace to consider what is true. We can argue and think. When we sit down to paint we can slow down. When we sit down to write, we can put everything else aside. When we get to the gym we can focus on the movement. When we practice yoga we focus on our breath. When we listen for the instruments in music we focus our attention and get a greater sense of what we are hearing. When we continually learn and ask questions we can silence the outside voices and share our own unique voice. When we build up what is inside us we can share more of what we think. We have the internet and connection to information, people, and places but that will not substitute the connection we need to have with ourselves.