This week I heard something attributed to Benjamin Franklin regarding human nature. It boiled down to these two points: If there is too much decadence in your world and of those around you, then you may get a soft society. On the flip side of that, if there is too much pain imposed upon you, then the result could be tyranny and oppression. Let me explain...
In regards to decadence, I think back to a story I heard about Kenyan marathon runners. When an Olympic champ was asked if his children will follow in his footsteps he said no way, these kids get driven to school everyday. I had to run! No matter what this man tried, there would be no way for him to replicate the lessons that he learned growing up in a tough environment. When his kids have a nice place to sleep every night and a few good meals a day, they may not be as willing to work as hard towards becoming one of the next great runners for their country. Now, moving to pain, I think we see a current event happening in Cuba that best defines what I mean by this. For decades, the Cuban people have been treated poorly by their "leaders". The people are poor. The people are hungry. The people are looking to make a change. Too much pain in their life led to rebellion.
When working with people, there needs to be a certain balancing act if you want to keep things working in a positive in a productive manner. I remember hearing Tom Brady's high school coach say something like this: If a kid is dealt a bunch of crap at home, we give him a little ice cream. If the kid is given nothing but ice cream at home, we give him a little crap to balance it out. I am paraphrasing here but I think you get the idea!
Fitness Tip of the Week
I had a guy a reach out to me this week in need of help. He is working long days out in the heat and his fitness totally dropped off. Physical labor is a workout in and of itself but he needs that time in the gym for his mental state. My advice to him will be that if you want to get back on track, ignore the complexities of following the perfect training program and just do something. The perfect program in this scenario is to get up and get out of the door. It doesn't really matter what you do, you just have to do something. Go for a walk, swing some kettlebells, hit the gym, whatever it may be. The focus should be placed on creating a new positive habit that will negate his current habit of not working out.
What I've Been Reading...
Queens Gambit by Walter Tevis
I first learned of this book from the Netflix series under the same name. If you haven't watched this, I would highly recommend it. It was one of my personal favorites and Marisa enjoyed it as well!
There is something about the main character Beth Harmon that I really liked. If you don't know this story, a young girl is orphaned after her mother died in an accident. While in the home, she noticed the janitor playing chess. She watched. She learned. She became one of the best to ever play. The Queen's Gambit is a coming-of-age story that covers themes like adoption, feminism, chess, drug addiction, alcoholism, and more.
What I'm Listening To...
White Trash by Nancy Isenberg
I got this book as a gift a few years ago (I hope the gift giver wasn't trying to tell me something) and read it while on vacation in Florida. Fast forward five years and a lot has changed in our country. The author is a historian who does not take that title lightly. She dives deep into the history of our country and gives a great historical account of the class systems that have existed on this land since it was first settled.
Quote of the Week
"I cannot teach anybody anything, I can only make them think" -- Socrates
I hope you all have an awesome week!