Does Fitness Make You A Better Person?
This is the article i didn't want to write. For years the idea of fitness, the pathway towards true mental and physical fitness seemed but a simple option of a path we could take in our lives. Discovering and aiming for full mental and physical potential seemed like a healthy addition to one's life. Ultimately the idea of 'better' and 'worse' are simple constructs of the subjective mind of the individual and therefore have no actual bearing on reality. However after extensive work, meditation, research and real-world experience the idea of living a 'better' life than another is not merely a concept but a true state of being. So the question that I did not want to ask is; does fitness make you a better a person?
In order to answer the question we must understand the objective reality of 'better' and 'worse'. At no point can something so fundemental as a means of existence be painted black and white. Perhaps there is an argument for saying that rather than two sides of a coin it is instead a spectrum but even this implies uniformity of the rule of the 'better' human being. In order to answer this question we must find the source of what is better and worse in our lives. There is a clue that can be found and that is found in my own personal work in the field of history.
When we look back in history not only in our own lives but in the history of the world one question comes to mind; what historical events are more significat than others? What is the difference between our choice to marry someone and our choice to pursue a career? Which is more important? How do we assign importance? How do we assign a 'better' experience than the other? This is not to say which is the worse experience but rather which has greater personal value. How do historians, how do we as people find out what happened to us that was of a greater benefit to our lives in the long run? Ask yourself this question when assessing which had a greater/better impact on your life; what if the opposite happened? What if the experience or event didnt happen in the first place? That is to say as long as there was a chance that something else could have happened the question can be asked. If we can assess ourselves that had the event not happened something would be missing or if our lives would be subjectively worse if something else happened then we can assess the real event's value to us. This is called counterfactualism. We do it every day in our lives without knowing it. So let's use it.
Let us take this method of assigning significance and apply it to the way we live our lives now; specifically if there is a better way to live. Mental and physical fitness is when our lives are enriched with mental freedom, an extreme limit on phyiscal inabilities prevelent to us individually, the desire to improve, striving for that long-lasting self-sufficient happiness, health and an awareness of us as individuals in our own individual strengths and weaknesses and acting accordingly without outside interference. A long winded list of benefits, i grant you. So let's say; what if none of these qualities that the fitness-lifestyle person possesses actually existed in that person's life? Would that person's life be better or worse? By all accounts the answer has to be 'worse'. Could this even be an objective observation? To the honest eye the answer has to be yes.
Ah, but Tony, what if these positive traits, life-long beneficial traits weren't entirely reliant on living a phyiscal and mentally fit lifestyle? What if there was another way of gaining all of these traits? It would mean that the counterfactual doesn't add up if there is another variant. I wouldn't be writing this article if i hadn't already considered this point. Consider then the other ways of gaining these traits, what other way is there? Money? Arguably the more money you have the further away you are at mental and phyical health and happiness. Love? Is everyone in love experiencing the positive traits outlined above? A third of all marriages end in divorce, i'd say that leaves a massive hole. Anything else? Possibly a variant could be a god-given ability to be happy, healthy and free via genetics or some sort of really good luck. The odds of that happening are extremely low. So what formula of existence has the greatest chance at being healthy and happy for almost the whole course of someone's life?
The answer is simple; the mental and physical lifestyle outlined within the pages of articles on this website, the podcasts published here are the pieces of fabric that make up the blanket of a better life. It is almost irrefutable that the existence of the individual is bettered by a mindful, physically active, mentally liberating existence based on the foundations of the philosophy TDL Fitness has articulated over and over again. Without the lifestyle I have persuaded you all to live; individualistic, looking for happiness from within rather than for something you don't already have, gaining control over your mind, living in one reality, with physical and mental discipline leading the way and seeking the best way to live your life as free as possible, your life would be worse. It is a bold statement and you will think of many other ways to live that are much better, but think about it and you might come to the conclusion that the principles of life as i have laid down are better because it would be too painful to imagine a world where you don't have these ideals at the forefront of your mind.
I did not want to write this article. I wanted my work, my principles, my way of life to be an option for you to take. I wanted you to choose this way of life just because you wanted to. But knowing that this way of living is better, a better person as Nietzsche articulated, it is time to embrace the idea that there is a better way to be a human being. Is this thinking too grandiose? Perhaps it is. But if this existence means that you will be happier than all other options i'm happy to be as grandiose as i can.
I'm sorry for writing this article. I'm not sorry if it helps you realise that there is a better and happier way to live.