I read an email a while back about how the movie World War Z was on to something when it came to critical thinking. This email described the concept of the 10th man – When nine people agree on something, it’s the tenth man’s responsibility to disagree no matter how improbable the idea. If you haven’t seen the movie I won’t ruin it for you, but the point is sometimes you’re best to go against the pull of the masses.
The reason I bring this up is because in the last couple of months I’ve become more acutely aware that in lack of a defined purpose we all have the tendency to assume the purpose by whatever shiny thingamajiggy jumps in front of us.
Did that make sense? Don’t worry if it didn’t, most of this stuff is just a bunch of noise in my head translated into text.
Let’s try that again. If you don’t know what you need, where you want to go, how you’re going to get there, etc., then you’re going to assume the needs, direction, plan, etc. of the the guys selling weight loss coffee or whatever is weird gimmick is out there. The more vague and uninformed you are about whatever it is you’re trying to achieve, the more likely you’ll be to waste a lot of time, money, and emotional energy.
I ran into this a lot when we first opened our business and still do today. We didn’t know what the hell we were doing or how we were going to do it. Furthermore, I never set up any clear goal for guiding any research attempts or developing a plan of action. So anything that popped up seemed like the solution to my problems even if it didn’t move me any closer to my REAL goal. For instance, someone approached us about selling out services for much cheaper than our current rate during hours the gym is not being used. Well, for someone without a plan or goal this seems great because I get to make more money during a time I’m not currently making anything.
Here’s the problem: my goal is to provide one the most unique and transformative experiences in San Diego using our Trinity of Health model (nutrition, fitness and mindset). If I open our gym to people who are more interested in kicking the tires of the different local gyms than embracing our values and purpose then I’m not working toward our goals. Yes, I’ve made a little more money and maybe a small fraction of these folks will take an interest in our values and purpose eventually, but more often than not I’ve just become a rep counter for someone who just wants to get their sweat on. That’s not what I do.
Okay, so now I’ll get to the part where this applies to you. Perhaps you’re uncomfortable with how your clothes fit right now, perhaps you’re not happy with how you look naked, and perhaps all of this is making you pretty depressed. Well, all you have to do is surf the web or turn on the TV and you’ll find MILLIONS of dollars worth of advertisements for products like Shake Weight for men, electrocute-your-ass-away pads, diet pills, creams, body wraps, diet cookies, etc. that all, very convincingly, tell you what you need, where to go and how to get there.
This is when the 10th-man idea needs to come into play. When you feel that knee jerk reaction to punch in your credit card info, you need take the perspective of the 10th man and call “bullshit.” Better yet, leave it to the company to PROVE it works before spending a dime. When you see these advertisements, all you see is one side of the story. You don’t see the person who struggled to lose some, if any, weight using the product. You just see a bunch of people who claim to have achieved massive weight loss thanks to the tug toner.
This also applies to the people who urge you to buy their products so you can get out of starvation mode, heal from metabolic damage or a plethora of other disorders. Let me be clear that while the aforementioned DO exist, at least to some degree, they’re more of a state than a disorder and much less damning than people make them out to be.
The DIY method of weight loss can work, but it’s not going to work if someone keeps getting distracted and misled into thinking that all it’s going to take is this special supplement or this particular piece of exercise equipment.
This also applies to working with trainers who push supplements as “fat loss accelerants” or whatever trainers are selling these days. This is why you need to work with someone who knows what they’re talking about and promotes 1) making better decisions, 2) creating an active lifestyle, and 3) nourishing the body with healthy foods.