5 Unpopular Beliefs (things I think that most people don’t seem to agree with)
Uncommon sense works for me; I’m not sure nodding along to the wisdom of the masses is always the way forwards (quite the opposite in most cases I reckon). Here’s five thoughts that tend to get shot down before I have chance to explain myself if I try to voice them. Feel free to totally disagree – in fact you probably will and you may even be right – who the chuff knows??
1. That the best sex you’ll have with a partner might not happen for years
Like a death knell to a relationship, the friend whispers “we haven’t had sex in months” to her friend. Her friend nods back “nor us”. The passion, the drive, the smirking rabbits that bounce through that honeymoon phase whilst we look on, muttering about room acquisition until eventually things simply diffuse and run out of steam. It’s not an uncommon phase, nor an unexpected turn of events. But for me this is backwards expectation and has never rung entirely true. This is my unpopular belief about sex.
That if you’re lucky, it will start out crap; awkward, silly and self conscious yet caveated with laughter and potential. All of the drive, none of the porn. Why? Because it isn’t a drunken one night stand, it’s the first fumble on a longer journey. If it’s rubbish, then you both might just be caring enough about what’s happening. Over time, as the friendship deepens and the comfort grows, trust and real love mean you’ll talk and play and experiment and TRUST (did I mention trust?) each other. Then the sex will be off the scale. I don’t believe that the best things are front loaded, I think they mature along with anything that’s ever made me happy. Not always, but mostly.
2. That you shouldn’t set goals and then strive towards them
What happens when I set a goal is I decide I want to achieve/acquire/win something, I decide on a course of action and I paddle off in the hope of succeeding enough along the way that I reach this pinnacle, this mountain peak. What i’ve learned is that along that route I’m fairly blinkered. An obstacle is an obstacle and it either frustrates me or pushes the goal further away. If I don’t get to drop anchor in that distant port then I’m also hit with disappointment. The journey doesn’t feel like fun or adventure, it feels like work.
If, on the other hand, I don’t set a goal but merely point myself at a general theme or topic or community or idea, then I find that the path to success is so much wider and varied. Obstacles become opportunities and there is far less disappointment because there is no prescription. And I have way more fun en route.
What might that look like? I don’t decide that I need to lose 5 kilos in time for my summer holiday, I decide to experiment with healthier food, find some movements that are FUN and find some people that I know are already having fun doing these things and hang out with them.
Stop setting goals and point yourself towards something fun and interesting and the end result will be more than you can imagine because you haven’t already imagined it.
3. That you shouldn’t follow your passions, but develop your purpose
Passion sinks ships, it derails sportsmen and breaks the hearts of unprepared explorers. It’s a lauded quality and rightly so; passion sparks inspiration, motivation and excitement. But it is an un-channelled force that can wipe you out before you surf the goals you shouldn’t set.
I prefer to follow purpose. Passion is ruled by my emotions, it is impatient and restless. Purpose is controlled by logic and reason. Purpose will get me over the line.
My dippy boxer dog, Indiana Bones is passionate about squirrels and will try just about anything to get his paws on one. But he never has. If the silly sausage was blessed with purpose he might master a skill, develop a strength and figure out how best to get that darn squizzer. And he’d probably succeed.
4. I believe that diets and exercise make you fat and unhappy
Doesn’t get more counter-intuitive than that eh? I witter on about nutrition and healthy living all the time so I’ll keep this short and sweet but for me the whole diet and exercise ‘subject’ is too broad, too full of marketing, often outdated and always about appealing to as many people as possible; it’s never been about YOU. Which is why diet sounds like sacrifice and exercise sounds like hell for so many people. Trying to follow a diet is rigging the game to lose. Where are you going with that? What happens at the end? If it works why didn’t it work last time. Or for anyone else?
I don’t count calories, or anything else. I eat very well and never feel hungry or deprived, I don’t belong to a gym, own any hardcore home gym equipment or have any exercise ‘plans’ or ‘routines’ to feel bad about if I miss. But I am very fit, very healthy and very happy (most of the time – my default state). I simply eat a healthy, balanced diet that I experiment and have FUN with. And I choose to make movements that I find FUN – Surfing, climbing, running or walking depending on the weather and how I’m feeling. Often with friends or my kids.
If you aren’t HAVING to do something but CHOOSING to do something because you enjoy it, you’ll just keep on doing it until you’re in great shape and stupidly happy.
The real secret to losing weight and being fit is simple: Line up your healthy options and only do the ones that look like fun. And do them when you feel like it, with people who make you laugh. On the way you’ll find more things that are fun and meet more people that make you laugh. That’s how life works; it’s not in a plan or a book or a 7 disc DVD set of ‘routines’, or one of my least favourite terms ‘an exercise REGIME’, it’s the things you enjoy and the people you enjoy them with
5. I don’t believe you should travel to ‘find yourself’ or to become happier
It’s far braver to live amongst your friends, family and home town and figure out how to be happy than to expect some foreign shore (or any external force) to deliver you from sadness or figure out who you are
Socrates said: “How can you wonder your travels do you no good, when you carry yourself around with you? You are saddled with the very thing that drove you away”
This doesn’t mean I don’t think travelling is a good idea, far from it, it’s about my favourite thing to do. But you’ll get the most out of it when you’re looking outward towards exploration, adventure and meeting people than you will looking inward, expecting a magic bullet from an exotic locale.
Find your best you at home first, then you can travel as Seneca intended:
“I wasn’t born for one particular corner: the whole world’s my home country”.
That’s it, Five things most people don’t agree with me about (or perhaps they do but just won’t admit it)
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