We’ve all heard it…
“Your brain is like a muscle, the more you train it the stronger it gets”
This is literally true, and proactively doing things for your brain can change your life.
We all know that physical exercise can change your life. If you don’t believe me, check out any of your social media newsfeeds, right now, scroll a few times, and you’ll undoubtedly see a post about someone changing their lives through the simple intervention of some form of physical activity.
Many people find that their whole identities change through physical activity. They change physically in their strength, shape and size. People change mentally, in their confidence. People change emotionally, in their self-worth. In the present day, we invest so much time, money and effort into putting ourselves in a position to be physically active.
So why don’t we emphasize training our brain in the same way?
This means reading, writing, engaging in reflection, meditation, making art, solving big problems and much more. Most don’t proactively plan the activities above. It is not easy to do these types of things. It takes a significant degree of discipline. This type of brain training, as a daily practice, can change your life. I’d argue that this type of training can be much more impactful than physical activity. This is because, at the end of the day, nobody cares that your Shhh-medium sized t-shirt is slightly tighter this week than it was 2 weeks ago. It literally doesn’t matter because it doesn’t have an impact on anyone else. Yet, if you can provide someone in need with an insightful resource, or perspective, in a thoughtful way it can truly change his or her path. This is sometimes an incremental change, and other times this is a significant change. Regardless, the fact that you are having a positive impact on another person is enough of a reason to make brain training a daily practice.
But the thing about training your brain is it’s a lot like training your legs because most people don’t do it. Most people that think they are strong, that strut through your local gym flaring their lats, aren’t strong because they don’t train their legs. So, you know, by the simple fact that they don’t train legs (and their physical appearance) that they lack mental discipline. Training your upper body is so popular because it involves immediate gratification. You do a few sets of back and or arms and you feel a pump. Stimulus, response, repeat, repeat, repeat. Your shirt then feels tighter, and so, you chose to devote the majority of your time replicating this feedback.
That’s the thing about training your lower body; there is no immediate gratification. In most cases, it’s the complete opposite as you can hardly walk after. Nobody cares that your jeans are slightly tighter than last week. It’s not easy to train legs for this reason. It takes discipline, and that’s why most people don’t do it.
“If you want to look like your strong, you have train in away that makes you strong. You have to lift heavy weights.”
I would go so far as to predict that most people, who don’t train their legs, don’t make it a point to train their brain in any proactive way. This is because they are simply “out to lunch”. They don’t get it, they don’t want to win.
Training your legs is a lot like training your brain because nobody can tell you are doing it. There rarely is a sense of instant gratification. Yet, training both of these muscle groups, in the long run, will pay significant dividends. You will indeed be far better off than those only training upper body.
“Discipline equals freedom”
If you are someone who does not engage in consistent brain or leg training, it is my hope that this piece finds you. Luckily, I was taught early on in life the importance of leg training. More recently, I was shown the importance of brain training. I am here to pay that notion forward and tell you if you want to be strong, train your legs and if you want to have a positive impact on others train your brain.
P.s If you need some extra motivation about what it means to want to win, follow @jockowillink on Instagram.