Most people who work out do it for the same reasons. Often it’s because they want to attract the opposite sex and sometimes it’s because they want to look better in their sharpest outfit. Then there are the health advantages, and in the case of athletes it’s maybe so that they can perform better at sports or other pastimes. While working out has many obvious and immediate benefits to your appearance and your health though, it can also have other more subtle effects that are worth looking into and that can be just as valuable. Working out you see can make you a stronger person not just physically but mentally, and that in turn can make you into a better human being. Contrary to popular belief, power doesn’t always corrupt – sometimes it can in fact give you the strength of your convictions.
How Weakness Can Lead to Poor Decisions
Without meaning to sound like some kind of bargain bucket Yoda, often weakness lies at the heart of the bad decisions we make. I say this after recently finding out about a guy I know who has been stringing along five different women for the last few months and using the excuse that he’s too ‘damaged’ from his last relationship to make a decision about what he wants from life.
Well boo frickin’ hoo. If this guy was really so hurt by his last relationship, then surely he should be all the more aware of how much he stands to hurt these women. He’s trying to have his cake and eat it too rather than make a potentially risky decision and do the right thing. Here it’s weakness of character that has led to other people getting hurt.
I know other people like this too, like my friend who does nothing other than put people down and laugh at their goals. When you tell him you want to strike out with a new business venture he’ll scoff about it and tell you to be realistic, and when you dance in a cub he’ll tell you you look like an idiot and should be leaning nonchalantly against the wall like him instead.
This is a guy who takes no chances himself, who won’t stick at anything, and who isn’t particularly happy with his own lot in life. Unfortunately he still lives with his parents (he’s 30), he still works the same job he had when we were 16, he can’t drive and he doesn’t have a date.
In other words he’s insecure and very pessimistic, but rather than opting to deal with this he instead takes it out on everyone else. Like my old head teacher would say, he ‘blows out our candles’ to make his burn brighter.
How the Gym Can Help
So how does going to the gym help? Well first of all, it teaches you to stick at things and to work towards improving your lot in life. If you want to succeed in the gym then there’s only one way to do so – and that’s to go and workout several times a week like clockwork and to put in maximum effort when you do.
If you learn to do that then you learn to stop making excuses and to stop whining when you have a problem. And because you work on improving yourself, that means you can then help others rather than letting your issues affect them. Truly, in order to be supportive and helpful toward others you need to be sorted in your own life first.
At the same time, when you work out and get stronger, this also makes you more confident and more secure in yourself. That means that you can then be the person who is supportive, encouraging and flattering – rather than the person who is bitter, jealous and hurtful. Which would you rather be?
Backing Up What You Have to Say
Better yet, when you have some muscle behind you as you talk, it allows you to back up what you say when necessary and you’ll find people act better around you. I started working out when I was 10 (yes, I’m obsessive) meaning I was muscular all the way through school. Surprise, surprise I never really felt intimidated by the other kids and I never gave in to peer pressure. I didn’t need to smoke to feel cool and grown up, and no one was really going to pick on me because I didn’t.
Working out is a brilliant little allegory for how to get more out of life – by working hard and sticking at things. And when you learn that you can stop being a burden to others and start helping them instead.
James Moore is the author of this article. He is a certified fitness instructor. He enjoys writing health and tech related articles in his spare time. He keeps ranting that there are rarely any great tasting high protein snacks which is as shame.