Simplifying personal development

September 4, 2014 by Joshua
in Fitness, Habits

People trying to sell you things make developing yourself harder. They talk like their thing is best and people invest themselves into their activities.

The biggest issue to me is that people too invested in one activity try to exclude other activities, making participating all-or-nothing. I think most people like to do a variety of things without committing exclusively to any, which conflicts with the plans of people selling things.

Take yoga for example. While many people do yoga sometimes, you know what I mean by yoga people. Yoga people dress, act, stand, eat, and talk like each other. They shop where yoga people shop. They talk about courses they take and all that. They make their personal development activity their identity. Look at what Wikipedia says about Lululemon, which sold over $1.3 billion last year:

Lululemon refers to its retail store employees as “educators.” They are required to develop a ‘personal connection’ with each customer. As fitness and healthy-lifestyle ambassadors, Lululemon employees must set goals for the next ten years, which are posted in the store. Employees are given certain books that founder Chip Wilson chose as being critical to his own development and required to read every one of them… After a prolonged hiring process, potential employees are taken to a yoga or spinning class to ensure they “fit in”.

Yoga people aren’t unique. Runners, meditators, photographers, writers, and so on invest themselves in their community. Great for them, but it raises a barrier for those who don’t want to become yoga people or tie their identity into one activity.

What if I don’t want to become a yoga person or a runner, weight-lifter, or whatever? If the activity is so useful, can’t I just do it without making it my identity?

You can, but the people promoting it are overwhelmingly yoga people or some equivalent, so you can’t help interacting with them.

The value of a the concept of a self-imposed daily challenging healthy activity (SIDCHA) is that it doesn’t focus on one activity or exclude others that meet the requirement. As long as you’re doing something self-imposed, daily, challenging, healthy, and an activity, you’re getting the benefit. The SIDCHA concept has nothing to do with clothing, shopping, or anything like that. It’s about doing something and that’s it. You can switch between them.

The point of the SIDCHA concept is to qualify your activity as above the threshold to help you. Anything less and it probably won’t meaningfully help you. Anything there or above will give you the discipline, dedication, and the other most valuable things from any personal development or fitness activity. You can just do that much and you’ll get nearly all the value without having to spend all that money or commit yourself to an identity.

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1 response to “Simplifying personal development

  1. Pingback: Sidchas — the series » Joshua Spodek

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