Written by Nicky Trbovich
Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote in Self Reliance, “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.” While it sounds harsh, all it means is that people sometimes will stick to certain ways, even if another, better alternative is presented. This can lead many to fall into ruts. This is a wise lesson we should all be aware of, due to how applicable it is to many facets of life.
One practical example that comes to mind is to imagine doing math on an abacus as opposed to a calculator. Sure, you can get the same results with both, but the calculator is the obviously superior tool. However, there is a reason that people tend to repeat themselves. There is comfort in repetition. We know what to expect so there won’t be any surprises.
This is no different when it comes to training. A person may stick to the same workouts for many reasons, such as they know they can complete it, they’ve seen results in the past, or they may feel like if they try something new they may get injured. Although these may be good reasons on the surface, they have the potential to be a hindrance we place on ourselves.
We cannot do the same routines for extended periods of time and expect to see the same results for the rest of our lives. So when the inevitable plateau is reached, breaking from the consistency is what will help you reach that next level. When you start to train your muscles in a variety of ways, that is when you unlock their true potential. In addition, by changing up your routines, you keep excitement and eliminate the possibility of dropping off by losing interest. Variety is the spice of life, after all. It can get boring doing the same thing every day, thus turning your workouts into another chore on a list of things to do. While it is important to be consistent in staying active, just make sure the ways you do it evolve over time.
An important key to being able to break away from “foolish consistency” is that we must open our minds and ears. If someone offers you a piece of advice, do not just discard it because of pride or the assumption of knowing better. Yes, it could be anecdotal and not work for you, but it could also be a missing piece to add to your training. In the end, it does not hurt to research it.
Speaking of research, we have the accessibility to information that people used to spend years in school to learn. Take the time to browse through some periodicals and surely there will be information on whatever goals you are trying to achieve. Just a disclaimer, there are a lot of charlatans and false information out there, so always consider the source.Diversifying is a great thing. Changing and breaking away from routines help us get the most out of life. It forces us to take the paths less traveled and become more experienced. When it comes to training, diversifying is what progresses us. It brings out the best in us and reveals that we can push past what we consider our limits. In the end, we owe it to ourselves to be the best versions of ourselves that we can be.