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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.

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