Personal Evolution Journal Issue Five

On Rules and Failure

Rules, they govern everything. Without rules there would likely be chaos and complete anarchy. I mean imagine going to a boxing match with no rules, it would be a blood-bath. However with too many rules a person can get a little trapped and not see the forest for the trees. There are rules that determine how much a person of a certain background can earn, how old you can be before throwing in the towel in sports, how realistic it is to hold a world record, what it means to be successful etc.

But what about the people that seem to be the exception to the rule? Do they have some natural, god-given talent? Or could it be that they have just ignored the cultural and societal rules and defied the odds? Maybe a little of both.

The reason I bring this up is that I have been observing a lot of human behaviour recently and noticed that whatever a person seems to believe as being 100 percent true usually is. There are several people I encounter regularly that complain about various things that they seem to not be able to change. One of the big ones being body fat levels. These folk all have the same view of this very stubborn problem. They all seem to think that it’s out of their hands. They have a rule that says certain people, or at least certain families, are just genetically programmed to be a certain way and that there is nothing that will shift it.

We’ve all fallen for that deadly trap. The trained response to hardship and difficulty that automatically sets up a failure. I’ll give you some examples…

  • “I’m overweight because my parents are. It’s just genetics, that’s how it works.”

  • “I’m too old to play sports.”

  • Once you reach 60 it’s all over. That’s when you will definitely be wearing glasses, sitting around aching and unable to do anything much at all.

  • To be rich and successful you need to earn X amount of money. That’s what society set up anyway.

Could it be possible that if I got responses like this out of a larger number of the population I would see the same pattern? Of course I would. People have rules for everything, both structured ones and ones that are set up in their imagination that they never question.

The rest of this newsletter issue will look at certain rules and then provide proof of those rules being broken. Enjoy…

RULE: After the age of 60, or 70 at the oldest, it’s time to slow down. Your body is just too old and worn to do anything strenuous.

Hmmm, interesting rule. This is what I get told all the time. There are several people I see regularly that tell me “your time will come sunny”. They generally have ailments like hypertension, diabetes, arthritis etc.

But hang on, Ray Curtis is 76 and he’s a power lifter. He recently dead lifted 330 pounds, benched 230 and squatted 214. Not bad for a 76 year old. How dare he challenge the rule that he’s too old to be that strong.

Then there’s Phillip Rabinowitz. He’s only slightly “over the hill” at 104 years of age. Many people over the age of 60 can whinge and carry on that you need to accept a major health and fitness decline as you age. But Phillip seems to have forgotten that golden rule. Last year he ran the 100 metres, that’s right, he’s a sprinter at 104. He holds a blistering world record for his age at a time of 30.86 seconds. May sound slow to a 25 year old but remember, he’s four times older and then some. I know a lot of 70 year olds that can barely waddle from the car to the shop.

RULE: Women can never be as strong as men without the aid of performance enhancing drugs, no matter how much training they do.

Bzzt, wrong. Although men have more potential for strength and muscle gain, they are not always naturally stronger than every female. Look at female gymnasts. Many of the elite level ones are stronger than a lot of the men working out in commercial gyms. Testosterone does relate to strength but it’s not the only factor to consider. Muscular size needs a lot of the stuff to grow, strength can be developed without muscular size. This is why there are some incredibly fast, strong and powerful women out there.

One such example is Lillian Leitzel born in 1892. She was witnessed performing single arm chin-ups. She did 27 consecutive single arm chin-ups. Wow! What a woman. How many men do you know that can do that?

RULE: Some people are born into privilege. There are some people that simply can’t achieve high levels of success, they simply don’t have the same opportunities.

I have been told many times over the “be realistic”. This frustrates the hell out of me. The statement is generally based on people’s belief that you have to be born into success and there are only certain things available to the working class.

Tell Richard Branson this. Although he wasn’t completely poverty stricken when he started out in life, he was only a mere high school student that decided he would create his own opportunities. Read his story and you’ll know what I mean.

Then there’s Og Mandino. He didn’t get his start in life until he had endured some hardship. He was an army pilot and officer after his mother died of a massive heart attack. When he left the corp he had trouble getting a job and worked as a travelling salesman. He sat in bars at night and travelled and worked during the day. This led to alcoholism and homelessness. After his wife left him he spent time sitting in libraries throughout USA reading self-help books from authors such as W. Clement Stone and Napoleon Hill. This inspired him to eliminate his alcohol problem and become an international speaker and author himself.

Well that’s all I will say on rules. As you can see, rules were made to be broken and most of them are man-made. The only rules you truly have to obey are ones that simply cannot be changed like gravity. Everything else is just a figment of our collective imagination.

Next issue of the newsletter will be titled “It’s all in the head”. This will look at how our mind creates certain circumstances and even physical disease.

See you next time.

Chris Lyons.
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