Building a Better Body (Part 4): Your Point of Power
We have the power to create our own life experience to a large degree, and we contribute to the co-creation of the world by how we exercise this power. We decide which thoughts to nurture with our attention, and which to let wither. We decide which actions and behaviors we will embrace and which we will avoid. Free will is at the foundation of human nature, so our power over our own life is theoretically limited only by the laws of nature.
However, when we introduce the variable of others’ free will, the ability to affect a situation purely from our own intent becomes diminished. Of course, if our intentions are clear enough and our position of personal power is strong enough, we can have a great effect upon others; even to the point of their contribution becoming almost negligible. But this is a much more tenuous approach, as the outcome is not as definitively within our control.
Our point of power lies within – this is where we can have the greatest effect on improving ourselves, and the world.
Have you ever tried to improve someone else’s life by imploring them to eliminate detrimental behaviors like smoking, drug use, or poor eating habits? Often, this effort is met with a good deal of resistance. Even if the recipient of such attention desires to cease the behavior, they may find themselves unable to summon the necessary willpower, leaving both parties frustrated and dissatisfied. The variable of their contribution to the equation weakens your ability to increase value. For this reason, we should focus the majority of our energy where it will be most effective – on improving ourselves.
Proceeding from this perspective, you will likely find that the more you improve, the greater your ability to inspire others; and some of those people you’ve been trying to help will finally get over the hump and make improvements by following your example. If not, you have still added value to humanity in many ways, primarily by demonstrating what’s possible for the focused, self-regarding individual.
No amount of help from the outside can compare with what may be derived from within; and so becoming a source of education and inspiration - encouraging others to achieve their own success - is the greatest value you can offer mankind.
Building a better body is not selfish by necessity. When accompanied by sound mental and emotional health, success in bodybuilding almost always uplifts a person, making them more confident, optimistic, and willing to engage others is a positive way. Their success has come as a result of assimilating and applying ideas and methodologies which can improve one’s life, and this process applies to many areas other than creating an improved physique.
Even if they never helped another person directly, they have contributed one more happy, satisfied person to the tally of human beings on this planet; a person who is less likely to be a detriment to others, or a drain on society. They are a person radiating positive energy, and they increase the sum total of positive energy everywhere.
Of course it’s wonderful to be kind, to give, to help, to be there for someone in their time of need; but doing so to your own detriment is no heroic act. Generosity is a satisfying quality for all involved, but selflessness is an unwarranted exaggeration of that quality. Sympathy (understanding someone’s feelings) is born of compassion and is an important quality for maintaining healthy relationships. However, true empathy (actually sharing someone’s feelings) can be self-destructive in certain circumstances, and benefits no one if it merely creates another victim.
It can promote the pain of the injured, and deplete the friend who’s trying to console. If someone’s drowning, it doesn’t help much if the person who swims out to save them drowns also. “I can’t save you, but as a good friend, I figured you wouldn’t want to go down alone – so here I am!” When someone is in a tough spot, what they really need – whether they realize it or not -- is not someone to share their pain, but someone in a strong enough position to pull them out of it.
Proceed with your fitness goals from this perspective: You are not merely a vain individual trying to secure positive attention for yourself. You are a true champion in the making; seeking the benefit of the world at large through your positive example. In doing so, you will add greater purpose to your efforts, and your success will ripple through time and have effects undreamed of; perhaps never even known to you in this lifetime.
Thanks for checking in!
If you missed the previous articles in this series, you can find them here:
~He-Man Artwork by Axel Gimenez~