“Stubborn and ardent clinging to one’s opinion is the best proof of stupidity.” This astute perhaps prescient observation was made in the 16th century by the French Renaissance writer Michel de Montaigne. It’s truly amazing how much has changed in 500 years.
I want you to disagree or challenge my opinion if you don’t agree with it. The exchange of ideas and opinions is the fundamental process that drives discovery and fuels progression. Imagine scientists abandoning the search for a cancer cure accepting the null hypothesis on face value? Pitchforks and public hangings I’d imagine. There is always a better way, there will always be new discoveries waiting to happen and sadly, there will always be sick children who must be saved (emphasis on must). This cannot be done without questions and the relentless pursuit of answers.
In the past two, perhaps three years, my home town of Perth, Western Australia has seen an infestation of network marketing and its surrounding bullshit. Let’s not worry that there is no independent scientific evidence to corroborate any of their spurious health claims, let’s focus on something else; overt and unreasonable positivity. For the purpose of this piece and to promote objectivity I need to state two things:
- I tried the full compliment of these products when first introduced to Perth some 2-3 years ago (I’m more than willing to give most things an opportunity) and after a few months and a silly amount of money, I realised they met none of their claims so I ended my relationship with the brand and the network marketing “guru”. #blockityblockblock
- I have no issue with people promoting healthy lifestyles (studies suggest 1/4 Australian children are overweight and over 60 per cent of Australian adults are overweight) and being positive. The world needs more people with an overall sunny and cheerful disposition. What the world does not need is more bullshit preying on inadequacy and a lack of education.
Frankly, I’ve had enough of these charlatans selling people powdered bullshit and life bullshit. It is not natural to see the positive in everything. Cult members consume messages without question. Let me repeat that so the gravity of my comment sinks in; cult members consume messages without question. I’m a realist and the realist in me sees the world as it is. “Oh hey universe, thanks for snapping my leg in half destroying my Olympic dream; the thing I wanted most since I was a 9 year old boy. I’m thankful for the lessons you taught me.” #blessed #grateful. What an utterly idiotic position to take. Don’t even start me on fuckwits who call themselves “Life Coaches”. Life Coach eh? It should be interesting sitting down listening to your lecture on Quantum Mechanics followed by your seminar on the design of long-lasting aglets for shoe laces in the 21st century. Whilst you’re at it, would you mind showing me how to efficiently manage my online relationships then explain to me what asset class is best to utilise negative gearing? Huzzah.
Not one person in the history of mankind is qualified to call themselves a Life Coach, not even the Dalai Lama in his flowing robes and with his grace. The Lama wouldn’t call himself a Life Coach because he’s an astute thinker who isn’t looking to cash in selling bullshit. If you call yourself a Life Coach, in my opinion, you’re a fraud. You may specialise in a few areas, but a Life Coach you are not.
On the subject of frauds, let’s return to our MLM mates for a minute. It’s no secret that I’m heavily invested in health and fitness. I love going to the gym and working out. Keeping fit and feeling strong is one of the things that makes me happy. I hope to work out until I’m in a wheel chair and even then I’ll Bench Press. I consider myself lucky as I had the opportunity to train with, and learn from some of Australia’s finest athletes, coaches, biomechanists, physiologists, and strength and conditioning experts before my career was over and given the chance to properly mature. I consider myself educated when it comes to health and fitness but I’m no expert, far from it. If a mildly educated person such as myself seeks out expert advice from widely read and overqualified individuals such Jonny Vincenti, Craig Dartnell (Warehouse represent), Alice Round (The Body Consultants) and the lads at Muscleworx Spearwood (especially Tom Mirosevich whose knowledge of supplements dwarfs mine), would it make sense for a person lacking my level of experience and education to speak to an MLM individual with no applicable qualifications about health and wellbeing packages? It makes no sense to solicit the advice of an accountant when you need an electrician. To me, these MLM frauds are taking money out of the pockets of deserving people who spent thousands of dollars and hundreds upon hundreds of hours researching and studying to gain their qualifications. No wonder they sprout bullshit like #blessed and #grateful 24/7. It’s daylight robbery.
On a personal level, I love people expanding my mind and forcing me to reevaluate my position. “That’s a really good opinion but I disagree and here’s why…” is such a good response especially in the hands of a measured individual. There is much to be learnt and over 7.5 billion people to learn from. Bill Nye, The Science Guy said “Everyone you will ever meet knows something you don’t.” That’s a powerful comment. It also supports my position that those with knowledge should share it when applicable. It may be an easier way to multiply the 9 Times Table, a demonstration of proper Full Squat form and technique or a handy hint to help your cupcakes bake uniformly. The task/knowledge doesn’t particularly matter, it’s the intimation and sharing of acquired knowledge to help progress the development of another that is important. Hopefully more shared knowledge leads to a rise in educated opinions encouraging further rigorous debate. In my opinion, there is little room for absolute ignorance in the information age.
Here’s the truth. Life is one long journey full of ups and downs, trials and tribulations, failures and successes, misinformation and information. If something good happens to you, be happy, show some pride and demonstrate hope if the occasion calls for it. If something shit happens to you, be pissed off and let it out. Purge your negative emotions. Allow yourself to feel anger, give in to the Force and let it explode from your being. Darth Vader spent the majority of his adult life succumbing to fear and anger only to see the error of his ways when pressed into action at the sight of the Emperor going Dexter on his son. Fear and anger replaced by love and compassion. Two sides of Darth Vader’s coin. Fair lesson wouldn’t you say?
Here’s my piece of advice to you; question everything and keep it real. Do not believe what you are told if the answer does not satisfy your curiosity. Ask questions and ask them widely. Seek out the wisdom of others and allow them challenge your own dogma. Be inquisitive and explore the possibilities. If something is difficult or life has thrown you a lemon, express anger and if you must, cry out in frustration. Do not bury your head in the sand and accept it as “God’s plan” or delude yourself into thinking that everything is OK. You will only dig yourself a deeper hole. I know, I’ve been there.
To be human is to experience the gamut of human emotions. See both sides of the coin and let both lead you to the truth. After all, the discovery of the truth is the discovery of yourself.
There is no replacement for regular exercise and a balanced diet. This is always in the fine print.