I have a lot of different kinds of friends. I have friends who work out lots and friends who never hit the gym. I have friends who read books like some people breathe air, and I have friends who never read. I have friends who love TV, others who hate it. I have friends who love the outdoors and friends who don’t. Some are easy-going and some are very motivated.
Among my “very motivated” friends, I have seen some extreme behaviour — they exercise a LOT, for example. It’s neat to see them change — they are really toned, fit and healthy. I have also noticed some of them changing the way they think.
Could it be all the endorphins? Does less body fat make you think clearer?
No, it’s not like that. While you will never hear anyone say it’s a bad thing to be motivated, I have noticed that those who choose a more disciplined lifestyle are in danger of being much more judgemental, closed-minded and even “extremist.” They can fall into the trap of believing that their more-controlled behaviour — not giving in to laziness, cravings, or sleeping in, for example — makes them a better person. They have their schtuff together. They are the master of themselves.
And this can make them want to be the master of others. It is a great distraction to worry about what someone — or everyone — else is doing. It’s a frigin’ amazing hobby to try to influence others into doing things your way — they should be like you and give up their loose-living, relaxed way of being. But, it can be a frustrating hobby, too, because lackadaisical people are notorious for not wanting to be reformed.
And I’m one of those lackadaisical people. I enjoy being mostly undisciplined. I like sleeping in sometimes, and eat what I want. I know certain foods don’t agree with me, so I stay away from them, and I know that exercise makes me feel more energetic, so I try to get some every day. But I’ll never, ever be the person who gets up at 5 am so she has time to do yoga before work — partly because I detest mornings so much and partly because some days I’d rather skip yoga and go for a walk instead.
As a bit of slacker, but also a bit of a philosopher, I can see that there isn’t a very big difference between a self-disciplined person who has allowed him or herself to become closed-minded and a militant extremist. Both believe their way is the best or only way, and both want everyone to be like them — or get out of their way. They believe that the world belongs to motivated people, to a certain kind of people, and the rest have no place on it. It’s not a very far leap from controlling everything you eat, to wanting to control what everyone eats (for their own good, of course), to controlling all food production, to dictating what foods are illegal. Substitute other obsessions for “food,” in my example, and a militant, extremist or dictator is born.
I’m not saying self-discipline is a bad thing, but I am saying it’s an individual thing. If you are a very motivated person, great. But that’s YOUR thing. It’s not how the whole world should be. There is more than enough room for everyone! So, when you’re out for your morning jog, go around the person reading a book at the bus stop, and smile. Raise a pint, now and then, to a lighthearted life!