Friday, December 30, 2011

The Impossible Question

If one is in the habit of observing -- rather than being told what to see -- it becomes apparent to the observer, that some things are more significant than other things, and those who can make those distinctions properly and reliably, go on to be successful at whatever they are doing, while others will do many things, and be confused as to what is important to do. And so they rationalize such behaviors with the proclamation that doing anything, is better than doing nothing at all, and even observing and understanding what they are doing and hope to accomplish, before acting at all, is "doing nothing" -- rather than the most significant thing to do -- before anything else.

Such people are "exhausted,' because it seems the more they do, the less they accomplish, and the farther they become, from those promised objectives -- if they still recall what they are. Usually, they just get lost in all their activities and busyness -- as though that was the objective in itself. Thus such people are always "too busy" to be healthy, happy and fit -- because they are too busy throughout their day and lives, to have any time and energy for that which is most important to do -- and to let go of the rest.

That happens whether one has a lot to do, or a little. So the significant question to ask, is what 5% of the effort, gives one 95% of the results -- and making that determination (discrimination) consistently and persistently, always leads to favorable results (outcomes) -- because one is distinguishing the significant from the total randomness of activity. That is actually what scientists do -- and makes anybody scientific and systematic in the pursuit of any objective -- determining the 5%, and then the 5% of that, and then the 5% of that, which achieves the more than 99.9%-tile which almost guarantees certainty.

Such people then, seem to know what they are actually doing -- differentiated from the many who just "think" they do, but have no clear idea of what they are doing, because it has just become a compulsion with them. They do what they do, because they've always done it that way -- and can't think of any other way to do things, except as they have always done them before -- regardless of whether they achieve any desired results (outcomes). It is enough that they just do them, or follow the directive of the next thing to do (compulsion).

But always, they do not think through these things for themselves -- and rely on their own senses and results (outcomes) in determining whether it makes sense to continue in the way they have been -- until finally, they may become so exhausted and confused, that they just "give up" on everything -- including and especially, looking for the 5% of effort, that provides the 95% of the favorable returns.

Unfortunately, most people's conditioning (education) are still that way -- thinking that anything, is better than nothing -- instead of determining the 5% which clearly distinguishes the qualitative difference, and from that, those who will go even further in refining that 5% to the 1%, and then the unmistakable because they are so extraordinarily exceptional.

Most of that math, or computations, are done for us now, by computers that begin asking the simple question of, Is it this or that? (Yes or no?) -- to determine the clear 50%, and then the next question is, similarly and tirelessly, Is it this or that? -- at which one immediately arrives at the 75%-tile, and the result of that tedious and relentless determination, will in 10 simple distinctions, enable one to determine the 99.9%-tile unquestionable champion of that activity and distinction, which is the veritable needle in the haystack that would have be futile to begin the quest for.

That is how the impossible becomes the possible -- and then the inevitable.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Season of Appreciation

No amount of money will be adequate if one doesn't have the skill to manage it well -- not only in saving it, but more importantly, in spending it -- because that is when money can be exchanged for value even greater than money. That is the actualization of money at its exchange function -- which makes the biggest difference in individual lives.

For unfortunately many, their thinking is to get as much as possible, while giving as little as possible -- which is not a fair trade, but to exploit an inefficiency in the market -- until that becomes corrected, and those values no longer are available at such an undervalued price. But before that happens, the few who can appreciate values rightly, are the major beneficiaries of those inefficiencies at which the best are practically given away, because most people don't want them if everybody else doesn't see the value of them first, and are heavily promoted and advertised.

In this way, people who can think for themselves, and not simply chase the crowd, will experience the riches and richness of the world -- that the status quo vested interests, tell those under their sway, are not possible. That's how the world has always changed -- and not simply by giving the powers that be who always wish to remain so, "more."

When there are great disruptions in economies and societies, it is not because the world is getting worse, but is undoubtedly changing for the worse -- for a few, even as it is getting better for infinitely more. That's the situation we see in the world today, when many Americans complain that things were never so bad, because most of the world is gaining on them -- experiencing the life that only Americans used to.

Many are upset, that the great disproportions and inequities of fortune, are no longer just the privileges of Americans, but now have become the birthright of citizens all around the world. There is a certainly mentality, that derives its sense of well-being, from the knowledge that everybody else is worse off than they are -- and that is the only measure of pleasure they derive, and not the possibility that life can be good anywhere, for anybody, and ultimately, everybody. But that is not a possibility they can appreciate.

That is the conditioning (education) they've had -- to believe that in order for themselves to win, everybody else has to lose -- which is the destructive force in the world. Nature doesn't want everybody to lose so that she alone can win -- but wants as many to win as possible, which is first, realizing that possibility -- of fitness not being a competition for the survival of the fittest, but assuring it for as many as possible under all conditions and circumstances -- to enhance one's own, for the world is, one's experience of it.

It doesn't have to be a daily struggle -- but a realization of how things can be made better, beginning with one's own baseline functioning in it. Thus it is important to be firing on all cylinders, every waking moment of one's life -- beginning with the very moment of awakening as the single greatest moment for achieving that actualization.

That of course, is the moment one awakens from sleep -- and makes the transition to conscious activity, beginning at the most fundamental level -- of conscious breathing that radically changes (improves) one's operating conditions. This is a huge problem for many people as they sleepwalk their way through their day and lives -- knowing no other way of being, yet suspecting they could be functioning much better in the moment -- and not just in regrets for all the moments bungled and lost -- because one wasn't fully there, acting one's best, being one's best -- but recalling in horror, that they must have been somebody else, doing things they never would have done in their right mind and capacities.

But rather than thinking they need infinitely more capacity, the secret is the realization to do better with the capabilities they have already been gifted with -- which is to appreciate (make greater) that which one already has.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

As Easy as Breathing

Previously I've warned of the dangers and undesirability of stressing the heart by making it work harder and faster -- as though that was ever (always) a wise thing to do, much less doing it for its own sake.

The heart is far and away the hardest working muscle (organ) of the body -- and contracts a mind-boggling 100,000+ times a day -- just to maintain life at its most rudimentary level, and one of the noted dangers of exercise, has been an enlarging of the heart and thickening of the heart by repeated demands to accommodate high stress levels and demands -- usually leading to a premature shortening of life and/or disability caused at the weak point of the individual's systems. People are unique in that way of being prone to individual vulnerabilities -- much like Achilles' heel (tendon), many people's backs, knees, aneurysms, dementias and depressions. And so we all don't die in the same way, have the same (chronic) conditions to have to deal with all our lives, or have the same strengths as well as weaknesses.

But for all the living, the heart is an autonomic function -- which we are born with as our essential metabolic function and rate -- unique to each individual. The next step beyond though, is something much more variable, although autonomic to a great extent also yet it can be modified greatly -- and is the basis for many time-honored health regimens (practices) that have stood the test of time, and that is the breathing movement, or function. We can hold our breath -- but if we hold it too long, we pass out and it reverts to being an autonomic function as it must.

This then is the essential movement we have control over to modify -- safely and healthfully. So when we can understand that function well, we would intelligently make that the primary objective as the most valuable "activity" (practice) a person would consciously and deliberately engage in -- decidedly in preference over walking (especially in the cold/hot, rain and dark), running (with its high impact), pushups, situps, and all the other movements and activities "contrived" to make one healthier, and thus, more highly functioning as the base level for anything they might do in the course of their lives -- which makes them more fit and prone to survive, and even thrive at the highest levels, individually and/or in community.

This they naturally do because that is the consciousness and awareness of the brain functioning on the higher level in which it connects with other brains as though it is one -- rather than struggling against every other, which is obviously the brain functioning at a very low level and consciousness -- thinking even, that they have to completely reinvent the wheel, every time they want to do something, and so are easily discouraged and dissuaded not to.

In the early 50s and 60s, the most popularly performed bodybuilding movement, was not the bench press or squat, but an exercise done prior to such strenuous movements if they were done at all, that was called the Lying straight arm pullover to articulate the greatest difference between the girth of the chest and the girth of the waist moving the arms backward, and then bringing the arms and head forward to a contraction (compression) along with concurrent movement at the hands and feet to effect all the muscles as though it were just one, which is essentially breathing with the entire movement of the body.

The original Nautilus machine was also designed around this one basic and valued movement -- which was the one exercise the inventor originally thought was essential to do -- before creating machines for each bodypart at the height of the movement towards specialization in everything. That was also the time in which IBM mainframe computers, did all the data processing for every other field of activity, because that was their specialized function -- so one could not know the results of anything, until one got the results back on the IBM printouts.

There was every reason to believe that increasing specialization and fragmentation of comprehension would continue -- with everyone just knowing a tiny slice of their own world, apart from all the others. It was not thought necessary or even possible, that one should have a comprehensive understanding of the world as a whole, because in that grand scheme of things, every individual was just a mindless cog doing what they were told (expected) to do, in the assembly line society envisioned prior to "1984."

Then the world changed -- beginning ten years earlier, with the great market crash of 1974 -- signaling a great change was in the making, a movement away from uniform lives in a uniform society. The ten years from 1974-1984, culminating and symbolized by the ending of society as a machine dominated by centralized planning and determination by a few self-designated experts (technocrats), began its reversal to the present-day decentralization of all authority -- as exhibited by the present day chaotic, distinctly disorganized (random) movements.

But it is not just enough to be against the old; one has to have a better idea of how individuals and societies work -- and simply "more of the same," will not be the answer to the challenge of the times anymore. Something fundamentally and profoundly has changed -- to a higher realization of making the most out of what one already has. That is the key to why some can make it on $10,000 a year, while some cannot make do on $100,000 a year. It's no longer about the money -- but what greater values one can exchange it for. Many of those exchanges, will result in no value received, no matter how much money is given for it. It is foremost, an exchange of information -- in determining credible, verifiable, authentic and useful information, from that which is promoted merely to maximize the gain from those transactions -- while providing little or nothing in return.

That's how much the world has changed -- and what we must do now, to optimize our lives in going with that flow.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

All is Better Than One

The flaw in the popular conventional thinking on exercise, is the belief that if one works only the heart, it will develop all the other muscles of the body -- rather than the much more logical thinking that if one develops all the other muscles, the heart will take care of itself -- which is really the design and function of the human musculature. That's why the heart is an autonomic function; it does what it has to do without conscious effort to do it. It automatically adjusts to the demands made on it by the other muscles -- and not vice-versa.

One of the great mistakes is thinking that the effect is the cause -- rather than the proper relationship of the cause to effect. With that kind of thinking, one is led to believe that simply raising the heart rate to target levels, automatically makes one jump higher, lift more and run faster -- rather than the mastery of a specific coordination of the voluntary muscles -- acting in confidence that the heart will take care of the rest of the body, so the mind is free to focus its concentration to that which requires its complete attention.

Random energy expenditure, is not the same as extremely focused concentration of energy -- which is what a person is deliberately attempting to do, rather than just randomly burn as many calories as possible -- even when the objective is weight control, and body shaping -- the latter which is seldom discussed, even when the subject is "Getting into shape." The muscles will get into the shape, one expresses it to do so -- just as the muscles can produce a frown (disapproval) or grimace (denial), rather than a smile and affirmation -- until that is the permanent expression (shape) the face takes on -- and one could not suspect it could appear any other.

All expressions of the human body, are effected by the musculature similarly, if not consciously -- but it is more than a matter of just elevating the heart rate deliberately and specifically -- to cause those effects. It is the very deliberate and intentional expressions that alters the underlying support systems -- to be healthy, because that is what one can effect and affect through voluntary actions (movements). A muscle that has never been expressed, has no idea what is the shape it can take. It requires some bit of experimentation and then practice, to achieve the effects it desires -- but wishful thinking alone, makes little difference in those outcomes. One has to actually express them -- which is the muscle, altering its shape (and appearance) -- in contracting or lengthening, which is all it does -- but 600-800 muscles throughout the body, produces a complexity of expression and usefulness unduplicated and unmatched by any other species -- particularly at the extremities of the head, hands and feet that individuate people.

Other species are much more specialized, and therefore limited, in the expressions and uses it can have -- such as a horse's hoof to give it speed, a tiger's claw, or even an monkey's grasp -- have all not achieved the versatility of the human hand for manipulating tools, the human face for expressions (communication), and the feet to run, jump, push, pull, lift, or dance. And because of these expressions, people take on different appearances to embody what they do -- specifically, which is why gymnasts as a group, look strikingly different from marathon runners -- which is the ideal chosen as the general rule of what it means to be fit -- even though such a highly self-selected gene pool, has very little relationship to how most humans look -- even as an ideal, for doing anything other than running the marathon.

But is running a marathon, or operating a treadmill for extended periods of time, the best and most useful expression of the human capacity? Undoubtedly, fat people just want to get as skinny as possible, and skinny people want to get as massive as possible, but beyond those gross generalizations, what truly is the human ideal? Those whose specific objectives come closest to defining that, are probably the competitive bodybuilders, but as many others realize, that is not the ideal for everyone also -- to be as intimidatingly massive as possible -- in a very stereotypical fashion unique to that competition.

For most others, but probably less dedicated to such singlemindedness of purpose and conformity to that ideal, infinite other variations are also possible -- not that they would necessarily win any other contest. But what matters is that they are in the shape they want and require to be in -- which is the best they believe they manifest and embody at any time -- and not just to peak for one contest, which is very damaging for the overall health of individuals -- as many are familiar with in virtually collapsing in exhaustion from the effort and deprivation required to achieve that optimal "look" even for that one targeted moment. That's not a prescription for a healthy lifestyle most would want every day -- because "balance" is the key concept in developing a healthy and happy life.

Acknowledging that, would one be better to work the one muscle more that already has to contract over 100,000 times each day unfailingly, or spend that time, actuating (activating) all the other muscles, that may not work at all, every day, even for a moment? What would make the bigger difference?

Fortunately, one doesn't have to do 600-800 specialized movements to activate each muscle in isolation -- if one knows how to activate all the muscles as though it is just one.