In a society that is currently consumed – legitimately – by an epidemic of bullying, I’m going to go out on a limb by saying that I really wish everyone would stop being so nice.
To be clear, it’s not that I feel that people need to be mean, because that’s never necessary. But what’s lacking – what we’re all craving without saying a word – is what should be the basic human instinct to be blunt, to-the-point and downright stern.
Because there are no winners in the everyone-gets-a-trophy-mentality. Quite the contrary, when we practice this nonsense, all we’re delivering is a distorted reality that just prolongs the inevitable lessons to be learned. In other words, don’t tell me what you think I want to hear, because the people who can do that are a dime a dozen. Think what you say is going to hurt me? Well, try me. Give it a shot.
This distinction – between nice and necessary – is where I personally feel the fitness industry meets a great divide. We currently have no shortage of professionals posing as cheerleaders, of people who tell others that they’re wonderful for doing the basics of what has to be done. This is not to say there’s no point in positive reinforcement, but rather that when it’s used haphazardly it can provide a sense of false hope. I really think we waste time underestimating people’s own expectations for themselves. It’s time to raise the bar.
I strive to practice this candor in all walks of my life, despite the fact that my intentions are often misunderstood. A dear friend of mine refers to this filter-free commentary as “salt,” as in the substance that when it’s applied to your wounds, makes you shiver down to your very core. Because that’s when we know we’re actually feeling, when we’re alive and when we have the opportunity to step back and ask ourselves why we hurt. And I wouldn’t trade it nor the people in my life who deliver it for anything, because it has all lead to an existence that is perfectly seasoned with every bite of the fork.