Daily Meditation #153–7/25/2022
I’m not a terribly strong man.
I am average height, right around 6 foot, average weight at 160–165 pounds, and have average genetics.
Going to the gym, setting a new squat or bench press record, for me, is quite exciting.
There’s a dude who comes to the gym who is — for lack of a better word — a true beast.
He must be 6 and a half feet tall. Well into the 200s in weight. Barrel chested. Great genetics for raw strength.
Where I can maybe bench 185–200 on a good day, that’s his warm up. He puts up 300+ pounds without issues. I’ve seen him shrug something like 500. The guy is an absolute unit.
When I’m across the gym, doing my thing, do I watch him and think “If only I were this strong?”
— — —
While he may be beastlike in power, height, and have formidable genetics, I’m certain there are many things I excel at where he would be sorely lacking. And I’m sure he has other skills and knowledge where I, too, would be grossly incompetent.
The concept of being equal to someone else sounds nice, but when drilled into, equality falls apart as competence rapidly bubbles up.
True equality is in diversity of skills and thought and cannot be forced.
Just as you would want the best bricklayer to lay bricks for your house or the best surgeon to cut you open, so, too do you desire to be around those who are best for you.
If everyone is equal then no one is unique. Everyone is said to be equally competent, but this cannot be factually true.
When you realize that that which limits you becomes the cornerstone of your strengths, you are perceptually of sound mind. For example, growing up as an exceptionally skinny boy with no siblings, I never had the benefit of needing to be bigger or stronger. So, instead, I read and wrote. Now, I work in a field where having an ability to carefully and specifically articulate things pays off — and before that, too!
Instead of crying out “It isn’t fair! I should be equal to them,” we should be stopping and considering, “Where would my unique set of thoughts and skills be best levered?”
Limitations make the fruitbowl of life colorful. It is what makes things socially and emotionally more “nutritious” and diverse.
Lean into your limitations and see what can be discovered lurking beneath.
Diversity of thoughts and experience is what we should seek.
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These are distillations from my coming book “YouDaimonia: the Ancient Philosophy of Human Flourishing.”