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Stop Taking Yourself So Seriously (danshipper.com)
169 points by Peteris on May 27, 2012 | hide | past | favorite | 67 comments

I would add:

-Stop over-analyzing things. Stop thinking things through and just jump into it. -Focus on making a habit out of exercising/coding/whatever. Once the habit is done, you will do it without much trouble. -Don't tell people what you are going to do, and just do it. Talking about your plans is the worst thing you can do. -Do the smaller things first. Small goals are easy and allow you to gain a bit of momentum. Think of big goals like ladders, and each small goal is one of the steps. -Get some momentum going. The snowball effect just works. Every time you might want to quit you will look behind you and see this huge snowball of acocmplishements following you. This helps a lot.

Could you edit this comment and double-line it so it's readable? Thanks!

- Stop over-analyzing things. Stop thinking things through and just jump into it

- Focus on making a habit out of exercising/coding/whatever. Once the habit is done, you will do it without much trouble

- Don't tell people what you are going to do, and just do it. Talking about your plans is the worst thing you can do

- Do the smaller things first. Small goals are easy and allow you to gain a bit of momentum. Think of big goals like ladders, and each small goal is one of the steps

- Get some momentum going. The snowball effect just works. Every time you might want to quit you will look behind you and see this huge snowball of accomplishments following you

It wont let me. The edit link does not show. sorry for the poor editing.

This comment will appear as a full article in my soon to be released MVP called !session magazine. Keep posted for the launch to be announced on these very pages.

Also, thank you for the nice words.

I agree except about telling people what you're going to do. Why not? If nothing else it adds extra accountability on yourself to actually get it done

"I become a workout-planning god. I research routines, buy supplements, construct a schedule and pick a start date. Then I go to the gym every day.

By the end of week two I invariably give up."

Does this remind anyone else of developers who constantly start too many projects?

"I became a software-planning god. I research scalable server stacks, buy a subscription to Mixergy, construct a release plan and pick a launch date. Then I code every day.

By the end of week two I invariably give up."

Incidentally creatine (which is mentioned in Shipper's post) is a great mental performance enhancer[1]. It gives endurance to muscles but also has a similar effect on mental endurance. Especially helpful for the problem of having no energy to do any work after your day job.

[1] http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0168010202...

I'm a procrastinator, yet I get a lot of stuff done. So much stuff, that people ask me how I get so much stuff done. Remember, I'm a procrastinator.

How? I take on too many things. Invariably, I procrastinate doing whatever by doing something else. As long as I constantly have a revolving list of "something elses" that need done, stuff keeps getting done. Sure, some things will never get done, but I find that when I have a big list, I am able to prioritize the level of procrastination I apply to each item. Thus, the things that never get done are things that I don't really need to do anyways. I try to force myself to work on those things... then I start procrastinating and I get all sorts of other stuff on the list done.

Maybe this doesn't work for everyone. That's fine. But not having enough projects is a terrible fate for me... because then nothing gets done.

I don't think it's a problem to have many projects, as long as they all start for a genuine reason.

I really enjoyed this article because it confirms the same suspicions I've been having over the past couple years. I often compare things in life to an apple tree. Almost everything comes about gradually and organically, from relationships to careers to conversations. Our flaw as human beings comes from one of our greatest strengths: that we can observe and analyze information really well. That often leads to people trying to skip the tree and jump to the fruit: the reward. It just doesn't work like that.

This is why I do crossfit, it takes almost all of the planning out of my fitness work. I just have to show up and not push things too hard if I haven't recovered that body part fully yet. Supplements and a keto diet can't be put on automatic for $100 extra per month yet, so I do it myself.

Best fitness advice I ever got:

1. Find a sport you like and enjoy

2. Have fun [often]

well... If you wanna stay healthy and maybe lose some weight endurance sports are the way to go. swimming is great, as well as bicycling (running as well, though might damage your joints when you get older). frankly anything that gets your cardiovascular system going for a long time. humans, in contrast to a lot of other mammals, have an excellent endurance. it's one of the physical conditions that made us superior hunterers a long time ago, when we would simply chase an antilope thru the desert, until it was exhausted. capitalize on that and always do some endurance sports if you are serious about your health.

I picked up boxing a while ago (two years almost, wow) and it's the single best exercise I have ever done.

Enduring 1.5 hours of an intense power exercise ... it's practically the worst of both worlds put together into something magnificent and fun.

Plus there's nothing like venting your frustrations on an unsuspecting punching bag or a very suspecting sparring partner.

I bought a used $50 reel-style push mower (like your grandpa probably had) and started using it to mow my 1.7 acre yard. At the end, I have nicely trimmed grass and a crazy effective workout.

Unfortunately gun shooting doesn't really grow much muscle.

That's why they invented the biathlon--the perfect combination of cardio and shooting stuff. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biathlon

you are not shooting big enough guns. loading my 15th century portuguese pirate canon has me shreded, brah.

Exactly. For example, I swim and ride a bicycle. Here's how it works.

Swimming: I go to the swimming pool when I feel like I need to do something physical. I swim for an hour, non stop. I don't count the distance and if I have energy I swoosh by fast and if I'm tired I swim along with the grandmas. But it's always an hour, and usually my speed goes up towards the end as my body warms up.

Bicycling: I take my bike when I feel like I need to do something physical. I take a heading and ride that way. I make turns to the interesting directions or come up with intermediary places I want to see. I come back when I'm tired or it's too late.

The "when I feel like" means the urge to do exercise. It only comes through doing exercise regularly enough but it's kind of a self-sustaining cycle. Your body just screams for action after a few days.

A lot of my exercise comes from everyday acts. If I visit the office, I cycle there. If I go to swimming pools, I.. well, cycle there, too. I cycle to most places within five-kilometer range. I walk dogs three times a day.

I never go to gym and I don't do exercise programs or fitness plans.

I exercise in the morning (some pushups, situps etc.) and it's gotten to the point where if I don't do it, it feels like I forgot to brush my teeth or put on a fresh pair of underwear.

It's a great place to be because it means I will always keep in shape at least a little bit.

If you want suggestions for activities, this table rocks http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/physical/pdf/PA_Intensity_ta....

Absolutely. And if you work for yourself from home, and thus miss out on the social interaction of an office, team sports are a great way to unwind and mingle.

Great advice. Jogging was painful and unfun. Bought a cheap road bike and am joyfully sailing up and down the local bike trails every day.

This a thousand times

My 4/5 mile runs invariably turn into walks because I just dont have the motivation to push myself into carrying on a run, however I can happily sprint for 2 hours playing football.

I know they arent equivalent exercise, but my body can tell you I do a far lot more work during football without really noticing it while playing

I get the same thing from ice skating. I was so happy when I was told that an hour's ice skating was equivalent to a four mile run. Frankly, when I'm skating, I hardly notice.

the NHS couch-to-5k podcasts are pretty good motivation for running. (Background music + an encouraging human voice that speaks up every now and then with things like "you're doing great, just 10 minutes to go, keep going... " etc)

I believe this whole-heartedly. So much so it's the founding principal of my startup.

Gyms have horrible retention for a reason, it's not because humans are lazy it's because gyms are not built for (most) humans

I've considered this for the summer. I'm still deciding between swimming, climbing or thaiboxing. Do you know any other fun ones that might make you grow muscle?

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is really interesting. Started a training course two weeks ago. It's quite the full-body workout - sore muscles after every session. Core muscles, arms, legs, back. Sparring really makes primal instincts kick in, so there's never a motivation problem. Everyone's exhausted after an hour session, and it's the good kind of exhaustion. Very intense and varied experience. BJJ was explicitly designed to minimize the advantage of larger and heavier opponents, so it revolves around technique to a significant degree. Therefore, sparring with someone way bigger than you is completely different from sparring with someone much lighter; Both are incredibly entertaining. Best session I had was against a female partner, probably 15cm and 15kg lighter. She had a very keen sparring instinct and easily outmanouvered me. Felt the quick intellect behind every move. Amazing experience. Something in it that's missing from the average modern life ...

Climbing is the One True Sport for me though. Do try it! The climber's physique is quite attractive and confidence-inspiring. There is a minimum of technique that I hope people will be aware of. I don't want to make it seem complicated though, it isn't.

In the climbing process itself, the minimum technique is this: Become efficient. Get a feel for your balance on the wall, make stable triangles on the holds to free the fourth limb to go to the next handhold/foothold, and use larger joints/muscle groups rather than smaller; Most people's instinct tells them to to pull the body up with upper-arm strength, but generally one can keep the arms straight and use legs, waist, torso, or shoulder muscles to gain elevation.

And climbing is not a trivial load on the body. One can climb injury-free, but this does require a minimum technique or form. Always warm up, always perform the proper stretches (about 8 main forms of stretches, takes 10 mins or so after practice and really kickstarts the post-exercise well-being). Listen to pain: Usually, pain comes from imbalance in the muscles, or tendons or cartilage not being ready yet. Back slightly off and learn the quite simple exercise designed to put that joint and that muscle group back into balance. Climbing stresses tendons and cartilage, which by nature strengthen and heal slower than muscle.

Squats, deadlifts, bench press, overhead press. But maybe I have a warped sense of 'fun.'

Rowing is also a good way to grow muscle.


I agree with the general principle. Interestingly though, for fitness, the opposite worked for me. I threw myself into P90X, which is on 7 days a week, sometimes even two workouts a day. I've been exercising with similar or higher intensity ever since. The integrity of the program and the trust you can have knowing you will get better if you stick to it makes it hard to quit. If you start slow, you'll just lose time.

And there is nothing like seeing and feeling results three weeks in to take one through and beyond.

Another opposite worked for me. I was doing bodyweight and low resistance (25 lbs) and high rep workouts for a while. Wasn't watching motivating videos like P90X and couldn't generate enough intensity. Also strength was not improving, couldn't feel it in daily life, couldn't break through high rep plateus. Stayed at ~50 pushups, 20 25 lb curls, 40 25lb tricep extensions. Barely any muscle growth.

And most of all I hated those workouts.

Then I got a weight set and started doing squats, deadlifts, rows etc. Starting Strength like routine. Was increasing weight constantly. I was in horrible shape so the workouts felt very intense at 50-90 lbs. There was noticeable muscle growth and I felt a lot more strength in daily activities.

I liked those workouts and had zero motivational problems. No mental tricks necessary, except maybe having the weights at home staring at me. The results were more obvious. Tried my old high rep routines and could do 35 25lb curls etc. Maybe I am cut out to be like Arnold, it feels like smooth sailing.

It is well known that low weight, high reps lead to an increase in endurance, while heavy weights and low reps (as in 4~6 repetitions leading to exhaustion) lead to hypertrophy i.e. muscle growth.

Yes but I was talking about liking endurance vs short intense workouts. The article mentions that heavy squats and cleans will wear you down so you'll stop coming to a gym. Perhaps that's the case for the author.

For me the case is the opposite. I get sick of feeling "burn" from high rep routines and would rather do squats then cleans that leave me panting on the floor, without burn.

It may be a genetic difference. People have different proportions of fast and slow twitch muscle and excel at different sports.

And the P90X style workouts with bodyweight do cause some muscle growth. That's how people post ripped pics of themselves after programs like P90X. A bit of muscle growth usually combined with fat loss.

I was surprised that a mere 100 lb weight set would feel so heavy even though I could do 50 pushups, 12 pullups, etc. I expected I'd need 2-300 lbs to really feel the weight, really overestimating the shape I was in after doing bodyweight drills.

I've got a couple friends doing p90x as well, and i'm concerned that it'll simply make them look like endurance runners, eg skinny as rakes, unless you're on steroids. What's your thoughts on that?

I'm personally trying the reg park system (pre steroids style powerlifting, through stronglifts.com) because i'm aiming for a bit of bulk (i have no illusions of becoming mahoosive).

I've always been quite skinny and my metabolism drives it very well, I sweat fast, etc. And I'm tall too, which means more muscle mass to get the same size. I also did the P90X doubles version, which starts at month 2 and adds 3 more endurance workouts weekly. All that taken into account, I still managed to get good functional muscle growth.

It is very easy to modify the program to suit your needs. If your friends do not care that much about endurance, I would suggest not doing the doubles version, keeping rep counts low (eight or less) and trying to increase the weight from week to week. They should also take in enough protein, perhaps through whey protein supplements, but definitely no steroids.

What's more important than anything of the above is how much effort you put into every workout. If they push themselves hard enough during the resistance training parts, there will be nothing to worry about and there's plenty of massive after-pictures from P90X online to prove this.

P90X will give you massive performance improvements for almost every physical activity. If you just want to bulk up, look up hypertrophy training. That will be much easier mentally if you don't necessarily care about fitness.

I've seen a few hundred P90X before/after shots from real people and didn't see much size growth. Skinny people got cut, which makes them look bigger and fitter. Doesn't mean they are heavier when they weigh in. Maybe added 5-10 lbs of muscle in a year. Full people got cut, also looks bigger and fitter in most cases. When you work out the whole body your bodyshape changes, shoulders get bigger so the perception is that you are bigger

A lot of hollywood actor training uses these principles. Actors need to get in shape quickly for various roles and trainers focus on getting the ripped P90X look instead of forcing real growth in such short timeframes. Ripped will look better naked than adding 10 lbs of non-ripped muscle. For example Bradd Pitt was maybe 160 lbs in Fight Club but looked much bigger because of muscle definition and upper body shape.

But if you really want to go from skinny to big/normal, not just ripped, heavy weights are the long term solution. 30 lbs of new muscle will look better than ripped. I don't know the details of P90X but recommended equipment is 50-90lb dumbells and a pullup bar. Most people use 50 lbs max and that's not going to cut it.

That's probably true. As a rower, I didn't need to be much heavier, just stronger. I put on about 4kg (almost 10 lbs) during those 3 months not even counting the fat I burned. And I didn't have the option to increase weights much, didn't eat that much either.

Depends on their calorie intake mostly. If there's a calorie deficit (they burn more calories than they eat) they'll lose weight and look like rakes. If they eat more than they burn, they'll get bigger and usually stronger.

I agree it's definitely not one size fits all. But I'm curious to know, had you been exercising at all before you started out on P90X? Or was it just one day to the next you were working out full time?

I did karate in grades 2-8, but I was never very keen on the fitness stuff and didn't push myself very hard. I enjoyed doing sports recreationally, e.g., soccer, volleyball, basketball. But then all through high school I would only have a PE class once a week and maybe do some cross country or cycling occasionally. So very little exercise. When I started P90X last summer, it was very much the discrete switch you describe. I was about to start working at a startup that summer, so I aligned the two to start the same day and committed to both.

For me the key to not quitting was going there with a friend - peer pressure if you will, but it helps finding the motivation to go to the gym on those lazy days.

My advise for anyone considering amateur body building and workouts (I'm not pro, take it with a grain of salt and see what works best for you):

* find a training partner, you need someone to spot bench presses anyway

* find a 4 day workout program, going to the gym everyday is damaging as your muscles need time to recover. 3 day weekly workout should be a bare minimum if you want results.

* stay there for an hour on average, including your warmup. I recommend 10-15 mins of steady pace on treadmill for your warmup, some stretching afterwards. Running will control your fat growth and cardio in general will increase your stamina and overall good feel. 30-50s breaks between repetitions - stay in the zone, don't let the muscles to cool down and don't waste time chatting with training buddies.

* Start with small weights, lots of newbies feel ashamed to put too little weight but nobody really cares. Too much weight will damage you at worst, slow your progress at best.

* The only supplements you should buy are whey protein, creatine and vitamins - that's all you need and that's all that worked for me or my friends, everything else is money wasting.

Keep on doing that and you will see results after 2-3 months, then results itself will be enough to motivate you not to quit.

When I was lifting weights, going 6 days a week worked best for me. But I would make sure to only exercise two muscle groups at a time.

This works out so each muscle group has a full 7 days to rest. And the whole body gets Sunday off.

The results were pretty good too, I reached my peak healthy BMI within a few months (24.9) then just kept getting stronger without gaining much weight.

Bench pressing 1.5x and "squatting" ~2x your body weight is fun. It's really hard to explain just how fun to people who haven't been there.

I think you're excited to share your experiences and want to encourage others in the hopes they will enjoy similar benefits, but I think you've gone into too much detail in what's a complicated area. You've told people to take your advice with a grain of salt but you haven't identified the qualifiers which unfortunately makes your post bad advice. For instance:

* 4 days vs 3 days: for hard gainers, this can be very bad advice. 3 days is the limit for me or I lose weight.

* 10-15min warmup: again for hard gainers, you don't want to do too much cardio and you're better off splitting your training into muscle gain months and fat loss months because trying to do both at the same time is nearly impossible.

* 30-50s breaks between reps: all depends on your rep scheme; if you're doing 8-6-4-2 you need much longer rests (I've tried 90s vs 180s and my level of performance is radically different); if you're doing 10x10 to break through a plateau then a short rest makes sense

* weights: it's not random, you shouldn't even need to think about this: you simply need to pick the weight that matches your rep scheme... if you're doing 8-6-4-2 you need weights YOU can ONLY lift 7-8 times, 5-6 times, etc.; it amazes me how many guys wander around gym randomly picking stuff up

Point is most of this depends on the body type of the individual AND their goals. I'm naturally skinny and struggle to eat a lot. So I found a guy like me (literally, physically) who achieved the goals I want and worked through his book and so far that works for me.

There's nothing wrong with finding a role model you just need to be clear on the variables; Arnold may be a good role model if you want to become a pro bodybuilder and you have a similar body type, he's not if that's not your goal or your starting point.

Thanks, you're definitely right on the points you make and surely this area is too complicated to provide "works for everyone" advise though I've tried to slap a disclaimer for it.

Bulking vs cutting is too much for someone amateur/starting out, I just moderate my fat with cardio and proceed with normal workouts. There are guys doing it for 4 years in my gym, if someone asked if they weight lift or are just fat I'd have a 50% chance to pick the right answer - I think most guys just bulk all the time ignoring cardio whatsoever, minority (pro/competition ready) do it right with cut/bulk phases, but I choose this middle ground for now.

I'll refrain from giving fitness advise in the future as there are indeed too many unknowns for someone reading it at the other end of the cable.

"Showing up every day is very interesting because it’s the least visible indicator of success. No successful person tallies how much they show up every day. Well except maybe this guy."

I really expected this link to point to Jerry Seinfeld's productivity secret. The story has made the rounds at this point, but in case anyone missed it:


"The big ideas you have leave you feeling so small" (Henry Rollins).

"Imposition of Order = Escalation of Chaos!" (Principia Discordia).

I like the sentiment in this article but I don't think that the NDA analogy is particularly strong.

The concept I believe that is being addressed is that of Cargo Cults[1] and I would say that a much more typical example of how this plays out in the entrepreneurial space is with people obsessing over company culture, hip technology choices and other instances of premature optimisation.

In fact, I'd go so far as to say that purchasing Creatine before you really need to repair your muscle proteins any faster is a perfect example of premature optimisation!


Starting out in a new field (gym in this case) with unrealistic expectations (unrealistic training plan) and trying to meet these unrealistic expectations can quickly deject ones efforts. The issue is with setting unrealistic goals, and NOT asking for advice / direction from experts (gym trainers in this case) early on. It's the same problem faced the world round for anyone starting out in a new field with unrealistic expectations and lacking patients.

Yes, going to the gym with no set plan and allowing this plan to evolve will encourage you to go more often if you are the type of person who sets unrealistic goals and gets dejected by not meeting them. But this, I think is NOT the best way to go about achieving your goals, it's a slower path, asking advice from experts will shorten your path.

And taking Arnold Schwarzenegger as a role model is not a fair motivator for ones efforts. Trying to emulate the efforts of someone who's already long into their career without knowing all the "tricks of the trade" namely anabolic steroids is unfair to you. For me a better role model would be someone who's just a bit ahead of me who's already taken on advice from experts!

i agree that you dont want to jump in and do too much from the start and get burned out, but by not planning and hoping to just naturally develop the drive to want to work out more, you arent taking yourself seriously enough. it comes down to discipline and motivation; if working out is something you want to do, then do the research, develop a plan and follow it. spending a few weeks getting acclimated to the gym and routine is ok, but you arent accomplishing much during that time and you are essentially telling yourself that you arent able to commit to anything without mental tricks.

figure out what your goals are, what you truly want. if you want it enough, you will do what it takes to get there. if you have to trick yourself to develop the motivation, then your priorities arent in the right place and you should re-evaluate your goals.

I suggest checking out the 4-Hour Body by Timothy Ferriss: http://www.amazon.com/The-4-Hour-Body-Incredible-Superhuman/...

The book describes efficient, sustainable ways achieve changes in your body, the premise being to make changes with the smallest amount of work possible. I put on 10 lbs of muscle in 2 months following its weight gain advice. My girlfriend tried the slow-carb diet and saw no effect, but I have heard that working for a few people. It's an interesting read nonetheless and will change your perspective on diet and exercise.

Agreed 1000x. There are some completely questionable pieces of advice in the book and Tim Ferris is kinda sketchy, but the major message is not "here's a diet you should do" it's "you should experiment, here are a few of the vectors and here's what I did - try it, and then try some other things." The strategies are suspect, but he does a great job laying out the moving parts.

The NDA example isn't so good. The problem wasn't that he went and bought creatine. The problem was that he was working out with the intent to be the next Arnold. This is like the many entrepreneurs that fantasize about being the net Zuck or Jobs instead of starting with something small and practical that they know. So entrepreneurs try to establish structure, culture, vision, valuation, work flow - before they even build a basic product. Instead of building the next facebook, build that snake game or group album sharing. Get hungry, keep shipping.

Regarding body workout:

No no no no no. If you are bodybuilding newbie, DO NOT start bodybuilding by reading articles from the web. Create your workout plan with your instructor, your gym should have one. Stay healthy.

There are plenty of set plans that will work for anyone starting out. Starting Strength, Strong Lifts, New Rules of Lifting etc.

Personally I tell people to steer clear of personal trainers. If only I could recount the amount of crazy (and sometimes dangerous) things I've seen them get their clients to do, all in the name of "getting fit". Stick to big compound movements like squat, bench and deadlift and that'll be more than enough past just the starting out stages.

Yep, I agree (and wondering if you are a fellow fittitor). Unfortunately the fitness industry is filled with jackasses. It's an evolutionary problem: considering that most people don't actually need long term fitness advice, great trainers would quickly make themselves obsolete.

Surely the optimum strategy to both hire an instructor and to read articles.

One can then ask better questions and be less vulnerable to the instructor's misconceptions (due to parochialism or inherited from his instructor, etc).

I guess this applies any field where a large component of inexplicit knowledge is combined with safety considerations, e.g. driving lessons, piano lessons, rock-climbing

When did he say to do that? The point was that building habits is easier with a low-stress, laid-back approach.

The secret is to make your own way there. It's good to be inspired by others, but trying to imitate them generally leads to disappointment.

One of the best reads ever. I've faced this issue so many times. Even the gym example has happened to me and i've failed for over 2 years. Slowly I learned it on my own as I was learning programming and understanding that I am over optimizing at start. And this post hits the nail for me. Awesome. Thanks for sharing.

I think this can be applied to students as well(or at least I've applied similar principles to my academic success.)

I would go further and say this can be applied for just about anything.

The availability of information via the Internet is a huge enabler of the "I take myself too seriously" condition. In the old days, you'd have to spend a lot of money and time on books and magazines to get the types of information to get the types of minutiae knowledge to get obsessive about golf, photography, coding, whatever.

I see a lot of means-end inversion going on with people who take themselves too seriously. For example, I'm a photography hobbyist, and in a lot of camera forums, you find plenty of photography buffs who have essentially become camera buffs who seem to spend more time on camera specifications more than the act of photography itself. Quite often, you'll see hobbyists who have more stringent camera requirements than actual working pros. Mind boggling.

I think anyone can fall into the habit of taking themselves too seriously unless they develop a certain mindset. Of course individuals who enjoy what they do, no matter how challenging, wouldn't really need to notice if they're taking themselves too seriously or not since enjoyment mellows people out.

doing ineffective things is not the same as not taking yourself seriously.

in general, what sort of physical activity is good for you, how to get started, how to progress, and so on are all pretty well understood. not only that, it is all pretty straight forward.

whether at working out or anything else (e.g. learning to program or learning the banjo) you should worry about doing it effectively. get the brush strokes of that right -- it is much easier to stick to something you see yourself improving on.

taking yourself seriously are things like thinking that if you miss a workout day your regime is ruined, obsessively counting your calories, etc. avoid that.

Or, you could get a workout buddy.

He's got a good idea but has summed it up not only incorrectly but in exact contradiction to the actual truth.

Taking himself seriously is precisely what he IS doing, by recognizing that in order to actually succeed at becoming more fit he must take into account certain facts about his own nature.

It is the person who tries to (say) mindlessly copy Arnold S. who is not taking himself seriously, because by mindlessly copying Arnold's methods he is not taking into account what methods are appropriate to himself; instead, he's only taking into account what methods were appropriate to Arnold. I.e., he'd not be taking himself seriously.

I believe programmers et al. should attempt to play more futball. Just play through the pain of it. You will quickly develop a grammar (like in vim!) which helps with establishing Flow.

Do not work out for your "health" or by dietary theories (which are largely based on Western dietary habits anyway). Work out to understand how Flow can be expressed beyond typing at a keyboard. (Consider that in most contexts where we talk about "Flow," studies involve sedentary activities: playing video games, typing/programming, flying a simulator or an actual air-vehicle, driving, etc.) What is with the given assumption that Flow involves Hands/Brain? Why not Feet/Brain? Imagine being able to establish Flow immediately while engaged in a physically exhausting activity. How far will you go? For how long will you play?

In short time, your body will naturally develop into the kind of fitness appropriate to the limits of your mental limitations. Moreover, you may develop a grammar for your feet which is analogous to the grammar of your hands (in the context of a keyboard -- consider that we all type relatively uniquely to ourselves, a typolect, if you will, despite "Standardized" keyboard formats; in the context of vim -- verbs, nouns, modifiers, sentences, paragraphs, etc.): Foot Grammar (might allow for "propositions" of the foot which demand a fitness level (performance criterion) to express them.

You type through the pain of the monitor against your eyes. You type and think through fluorescent lighting. Carpal Tunnel. Etc. This is why we suggest getting up and stretching, walking about, to combat these minor physical impairments which involve attrition over time. So many physical analogues exist which naturally make playing futball a sensible, and moreover social (!), activity for programmars.

I type through wrist pain and learn a new framework. I kick through foot pain and learn a new tactile passing system.

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