I want to start myth busting by breaking through the binary thinking that is pervasive in today’s culture. Once again, we’ve been ‘Sold & Told’ soundbites of information that gets us to ‘react’ instead of think. This is by design. It is convenient; convenient for us in our time constrained world and convenient for the purveyors.
A simple, convenient and definitive message that circumvents context and thought. Yes, no, black, white, ones or zeros, Republican or Democrat, Capitalism or Communism / Socialism, Plant based or Carnivore, Cardio or Resistance.
How we are affected by Binary Thinking
The current culture of binary thinking brought to you by technology, is not binary at all, because most of us are pre-conditioned to where we are so entrenched in our confirmational bias, we do not have choice. We are led to believe we are making a choice when, in fact, the choice has been made and we are beholden to a narrative that is not our own. Until one has the humility to recognize this, we will cling to groupthink rather than our potential as an individual.
What I’ll call ‘The Murky Middle’ is no middle ground at all. It is YOUR ground; one filled with richness of thought, emotion, context, variability and dynamism. It is what makes you an individual rather than simply a consumer.
The problem is there is no convenient set of protocols for you and your life. You have to do a certain amount of ‘making it up as you go’. There are going to be challenges, problem-solving and innovation but with that comes failures, errors and waste. No matter what the experts say there is nothing efficient and streamlined in the “individual”.
Each of us is unique and a miracle.
Yet our ability to problem-solve has given us convenience . . . today, a LOT of convenience. And guess what? We are addicted to convenience and therein lies the key to finding your ‘Murky Middle’. In every convenience we trade away our innate ability to better ourselves and/or prevent or solve our individual challenges. And it shows when you look at the health statistics of so many first world countries, especially the US...the binary no longer applies.
Doesn’t matter your political or religious affiliation, sexual orientation, cultural affinity, ethnicity etc. There is no ideal diet, athletic activity, lifestyle and profession etc. out there for YOU! Sure you can do a diet, join a fitness program and get results but to be sustainable and optimal you have to venture into the murky middle in every aspect of life and think for yourself. This requires humility to recognize things are not black and white, left and right, wrong or right but somewhere in the murky middle. And in that murky middle you have to be able to recognize what is right for you in the context of your life, even though it may go against previous held notions and thoughts of your peers.
Can you harness tools, programs and the experience of others?
Absolutely, having the humility to recognize this can save you a lot of having to go through missteps and ‘learning experiences’ as long as you take the time and thought to make them your own rather than the tool, program, guru etc owning you by simply becoming an automaton. Like training, there are no shortcuts. Nobody does your pushups for you and nobody can do your mental pushups for you either. .
When you recognize your potential lies in that ‘Murky Middle’ rather than co-opting the convenient things become crystal clear. Stake it out and own it.This Individualization is a constant of OFM and the reason why our athletes succeed sustainably.