Jun 28, 2013

Posted | 0 Comments

The Fitness Industry, the Health Industry, the Cosmetic Industry — it’s the Happiness Industry.

The Fitness Industry, the Health Industry, the Cosmetic Industry — it’s the Happiness Industry.

The other day, I was on a website called Tumblr. We’ve got a blog there, perhaps you’ve seen it, or even follow us on there: Muscle Motivation Nation. Now as I scrolled through, I came to a sudden realization. The names of so many people’s blogs on here correlated fitness, or health, or beauty directly to happiness. Like there’s this implication that if you get healthy, or get good looking, that you are going to be happy.

Hate to burst your bubble

But that is not the case. There is plenty of misery to be had for healthy people, long living people, fit people and beautiful people all the same. In fact, if you’re doing fitness and get a great body purely for superficial reasons to get external validation from others about how good you look, we promise you will be miserable. Some of the most miserable people we’ve ever met in our lives looked incredible. Being measured just by your physical attractiveness your whole life is no way to live. If you do this and keep it up because you want to look good for anybody else, let us tell you, you will fail. Even if your body becomes a body people idolize, you will never be happy like that. Good looks and fitness do not just make you happy once you achieve some fantasized goal.

It’s the same deal with health

Being healthy, being able to live a long life, will in no way shape or form guarantee that you’ll ever be happy. It won’t even make it significantly more probable. You want proof that no one believes that living a long life makes you happy? Read every single story and watch every single movie that talks about people being immortal, vampires, Elves from Lord of the Rings, that movie Everlasting Tuck. If you lived a really long life, you would experience more than the average lifetime of suffering. Now we know being healthy is more like adding 5 to 10 years onto the end of your life, not 200. Even so, we subscribe to a belief that some of the best lives that have been lived are lived hard and fast; if that lasts a long time then it’s a bonus. What we’re saying though is, what part about filling your stomach with veggies every day for the next 60 years of your life sounds like it’ll bring you happiness? Imagine it won’t affect your outward appearance any more positively, imagine it won’t give you that little sense of superiority and satisfaction of feeling like you’re doing something positive when you eat some veggies. When you break it down, health will not make you happy just because you’re healthy.

The thing is…

None of this will make you happy. These are superficial surface changes. Happiness is a part of the core of your being. Happiness is the center that is activated by all these crazy variables in your character that you choose to promote and support within you. Some are physical things like dopamine, endorphines, nutrient balance, hormone balances, etc. Then some are mental characteristics that you choose to promote, like a social life that you’re content with, discipline, a strong moral code, a belief that you can accomplish and achieve things.

You see people sitting here, getting into fitness and health because of these superficial things. It’s fine to start out that way, 95% of people do or did, including us here. But fitness and health is so, so much more than that everybody. It’s everything we just mentioned above. When you start getting into fitness, you start lifting, you start running and recording your times, seeing how far you can run, how much you can lift, you instill characteristics in yourself that will become the foundation of everything that you do in life.

You will find discipline in holding yourself to a diet not just for a month, but as a lifestyle, something that you will do day in and day out, forever. In going to the gym every day and working out even when you’re tired, don’t feel good, or had a bad day.

You will decide in the gym what cheating means to you and what it doesn’t, because it’s different for everyone. Cheating reps? Cheating with supplements? There is no right or wrong answer for what cheating is or isn’t if you’re not in a league for something. Make your own rules, and see how you feel about breaking them. These are your moral codes and you need to stay true to yourself that you will not break them. Going home at the end of the day knowing you didn’t betray yourself will make your life improve by leaps and bounds.

“We do not risk and remake our bodies on a daily basis to go home and be a disconnected husband. We don’t subject ourselves to mental grinding and then blow off being productive in our professions. The mental effort and intensity we put in remaking our bodies should be a reflective totality of how we live our whole lives, not an exception to all the things we neglect.”
Alexander Cortes

That quote applies to women too, but that’s what fitness is about. It’s not about just your body, and it alone will not bring you happiness — ever. What it does do is help you build the person you want to be in all aspects of life. But that’s all it needs to do. It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinby feather
468 ad

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *