Physical strength is mental strength. Your physicality determines your mentality in more ways than you know.
In the ancestral world, physical fitness was integral to social status. Stronger, more physically imposing men were more likely to achieve social dominance, and secure the greatest amount of resources. More physically fit women were more likely to pass on their genes.
As we’ve learned in decision theory, humans are not far removed from our ancestral thought patterns. We still make decisions in an entirely irrational way. We still are liable to animalistic urges and thought patterns. And basic facts about how the body works did not disappear as we became an agricultural and industrialized species.
Could a physically strong man lead his tribe, if he’s mentally weak? Possibly, but it would be a lot harder, and his tribe would be outcompeted by a tribe with a phsyically and mentally strong leader. Could a mentally strong man lead his tribe if he’s physically weak? No. The club or spear would end the situation swiftly.
Physical Strength Is Mental Strength
Let’s fast-forward to the present day. The mind and body are still linked. Physical strength still requires mental strength. What does it take to be physically strong?
- Willpower: to be strong or physically fit, we must force ourselves out of modern sedentary lifestyles to be active. This is embracing fear.
- Persistence: not only must we take the first step, we must stick at it, making every day a step.
- Attitude: we must have a mindset towards self-improvement, and discipline. Most people don’t work on their fitness, or do so poorly, and will try to bring you down with bad advice. So we must take pride in getting better.
Notice how each of these is a mental attribute? Improving physical strength is all about positive mind memetics.
Sure, to be physically strong and fit, you need to do physical activity. But when you’re down in a squat with hundreds of pounds on your shoulders, what makes you push the weight back up? When you’re 3 kilometers into a 5k run and the lungs are burning, what pushes you to close it out? Discipline. Determination. Whatever you call it, it’s mental.
And the mentally weak will hate it, and vow never to do it again. The mentally strong will keep at it.
Physical Sickness Is Mental Sickness (And Vice Versa)
We’ve all experienced a time where we fell deeply ill, and our thoughts turned dark. Everyone understands “hanger” – being grumpy and snappy when you haven’t eaten in a while. The body and mink are linked.
Now think of a time where you’ve been really down, mentally. The whole world seems darker. When it’s a struggle just to lift yourself out of bed, are you really going to be lifting weight in the gym? (You should, by the way. But most don’t).
Building Physical Strength Builds Mental Strength
The good news is that if you’re physically weak, or mentally weak, you can work on this. Building your physical strength builds your mental strength.
A person who’s completed a physical transformation knows the value of being self-starting. They know the incredible power of the mind to keep a person persevering through struggle. They know that hard work and persistence brings its own reward. They feel the self-confidence of achievement, which bleeds through to the rest of their life.
Building mental strength will help build physical strength. If you’ve got a terrible mentality and a defeatist attitude, you’re not going to push yourself in the gym. You’re not going to dig deep when down by 1 and the game is on the line, because the well is empty. Pessimism is suicide. But train your mind to get over these hurdles, and it will get easier every day.
The Hidden Link Between Physicality And Mindset
Asked weightlifters in basement if they voted Trump. 9 voted Trump, 1 Johnson.
Upstairs, bourgeois floor (machines), 10/10 Hillary.
— NassimNicholasTaleb (@nntaleb) December 29, 2016
Notice how those values one learns through physical transformation align closely with what conservative parties promote? Look at the world with open eyes, and you won’t be surprised to learn that in men, muscle power aligns with self-interest. Did you know that cortisol, testosterone, oxytocin, and dopamine affect political beliefs? It’s true. And your physical activity and fitness will affect your levels of each of these hormones.
If you’re caught in a political or ethical discussion, take note of what people look like physically, and what opinions they have. It’s not as simple as muscle mass = conservatism; it goes beyond this and has many variables. But you might notice some patterns emerging.