I’ll be honest: I’m tired as fuck of people talking a big game and not taking action.
And I see this all the time.
In sport performance.
In weight loss.
In content creation.
In injury reduction.
I always preach to people who tell me they want to level up in life, “don’t tell me what you’re going to do. SHOW ME.”
Oh, so you don’t want to get injured in soccer? Stop playing Fornite and start strength training like an athlete.
Oh, so you want to grow your blog following? Stop watching Dancing with the Stars and post articles more than once a month.
Oh, so you want to lose 30 pounds? Stop canceling on your trainer and start moving.
Adding on to my first post Less Consumption, More Action is a guest post from strength and mindset coach, Jonny Pietrunti. Admittedly, we text about this topic daily, and it ignites my soul. People need to shut their mouths, put their faces in the ground, and get to work. Enjoy.
Less Consumption, More Action Part 2 (with a side order of shit)
So I’m heading out the front gate the other day so I can catch the bus to the subway, and I notice there is a steaming pile of dogshit on the sidewalk that someone had haphazardly left there. It is definitely there, and it is DEFINITELY shit. Keep this in mind, because we will get back to this momentarily.
There is this preponderance of assorted undesirables running around Social Media with this phony pseudo-spiritual mindset shtick. Truly, I’m not 100% sure what their intent is, as it seems to be a bunch of bastardized Taoist and/or Buddhist philosophy sprinkled with metaphysical nonsense, manifestation drivel, and ridiculous pop-culture references with zero relevance.
So anyway, all of this faux-spiritual nonsense reeks of The Secret, or other such vomit-inducing pre-packaged mass-market pulp and it has as much practical value to you as a custom commissioned Buster Sword from Final Fantasy 7. Trust me, that pop-culture reference has plenty of relevance to me….but don’t let me get sidetracked.
Basically, we are dealing with the Social Media equivalent of Self-help books that don’t really tell you anything and insult your intelligence by simply telling you to “try harder” while simultaneously making the assumption that you haven’t been. Or telling you to “be simple” or “return to the source”, without offering you anything the way of actionable steps.
What does “return to the source” even mean?
I remember when I was in the throes of the fitness industry, skating that razors edge between making an honest buck and completely, irrevocably selling every shred of my soul. At that point Herbalife was HUGE and The Secret was apparently a huge part of what they spewed around at their “Leadership” conferences (*chortle*). Like as if it’s some way to justify selling everyone snake oil and inviting all of your friends and fifth cousins to an “info session”, just to watch them never speak to you again.
A lot of this is based on sheer ignorance, and you’d realize that if you actually were to immerse yourself into much of the Eastern Philosophy, particularly Taoism, which is ALL ABOUT the grey areas and harmony and understanding that one’s negative attributes and experiences are critical to living a full life and attaining balance.
A lot of pseudo-spiritual philosophy is predicated on the (hilarious) assumption that we are important above all other things. Or, at least, we are important enough that the universe owes us a favor. Here’s a few key points:
- The universe doesn’t owe you squat.
- Human self-importance is well documented.
- Balance is really what we should be seeking, but we don’t like to acknowledge bad stuff.
- Crystals are not a thing.
This is not an all inclusive list. That would take too long.
Sadly, I’ve watched more than one person completely compromise their integrity and/or waste years of their lives on the sisyphean task of “trying harder” or “manifesting” success when that wasn’t the answer. One of my biggest gripes is that people say “Positive Psychology”, but it doesn’t mean what they think it does.
Which leads me to the two main reasons I reduced my mindset coaching clientele. In know way was this done because I’m not good at it. To the contrary, I’m the OG of this stuff. The aforementioned reasons are:
- Too many people were confusing “Sport Psych” with “Therapy”. The latter I’m not licensed to do, and for some reason people don’t listen when you refer then out to the people that are. Bask in the aroma of denial.
- Perhaps more significant, there is still a VERY large group of people that insist they be spoon feed only sunshine and happiness and unicorns, and, well, that’s just not how this works. That’s not how any of this works.
Even “Positive Psychology” isn’t all about sunshine and rainbows. Rather, the positive psych peeps are concerned with PROACTIVELY working on happiness and flow, rather than waiting to have a serious fucking breakdown before taking action.
Ironically, the Positive Psych approach doesn’t involve sugar-coating shit, either. You see, as I’ve stated ad nauseam, sugar coating does nothing to fix the underlying rot that is the genesis of your problems. Putting a tuxedo on a steaming pile of dogshit doesn’t change the reality of it being shit. And trying to manifest that steaming pile of poop too go away just isn’t going to work. Shit in one hand and wish in the other.
Oh, see what I did, there?
But, all kidding aside, it’s a good point I’m making here. Seriously:
We all deal with piles of fecal matter in varying degrees of size, scent, and specific gravity. This is all a part of life…
Which brings us completely full circle and back to that big pile of dogshit on my sidewalk. You see, when you have a pile of shit on the sidewalk, there are a few ways you can choose to attack this precarious situation.
- You can postpone dealing with it – “I don’t have time for this shit!” is actually a very valid response if you have higher priorities in life.
- You can ignore the shit – You can walk by it and act like it isn’t even there. I mean, you’d have to ignore the smell, but hey.
- You can deny the existence of the shit – You can recite a mantra, kinda like “there is no spoon.” Of course, all discourse about alternate realities and life-within-a-computer-simulation aside, the shit most certainly is there, and denying it is problematic.
- You can “manifest” it away – In this case, you focus very hard on visualizing the poo being whisked away. If you are successful, you will come home and it will be gone because the Universe really cares about you and/or your deity of choice decided to listen to your pleas and remove it. But not really. In actuality: your neighbor took care of the problem because he was tired of your shit.
- You can attack the shit with positive vibes only – Seriously, think good thoughts about it. Go to the hardware store and get a few cans of Krylon and spray paint it a metallic gold and put rainbows on it. Reframe the shit by putting a candy-coated shell on it. Of course, even if you put a tuxedo on a piece of shit, it’s still shit, but who cares?! All the negative people be actin’ like big piles of shit are so bad, just embrace the shit and waft Febreeze in the area if it’s too stinky.
At the end of the day, you can do a ton of stuff to deal with whatever shit you are dealing with: organize a drum circle; meditate; consult the I Ching; burn sage…pick your poison. But know this: that piece of shit is still going to be on the sidewalk, and you run the very real risk of stepping in it…..
UNLESS YOU TAKE ACTION AND PICK. THAT. SHIT. UP!
So, next time you are overwhelmed by life, instead of listening to these self-proclaimed “mindset gurus” with zero leadership/coaching experience and no formal education, TAKE ACTION.
- Acknowledge that there is a problem. There is shit on the ground.
- Decide what needs to be done about the problem. The shit needs to go away.
- Set this up as a goal (I don’t care if it involves an entire process, or the outcome). In this case, simply “Pick up 100% of the poo on the sidewalk by 6pm tomorrow” works just fine for me, though maybe you want to institute a PROCESS for avoiding future shit-shows. I can help with that, too.
- Implement controls: ensure everything is in line to make the goal efficient and safe – Do we have bags? Gloves? Cleaner?
- Monitor feedback. How did this go? What were the metrics? How was success measured? What are the lessons learned?
Look, philosophy and spirituality are great. They can offer us guidepost for morality, food for thought, and springboards to higher self-awareness. But when invoked arbitrarily, or not in combination with solid goal-setting and sport psych principles, they are entirely useless.
Learn yourself, take stock of your life, set some goals, take action, and enjoy the ride…the good, the bad, and – yes – the ugly, too. It’s all important. All of that shit.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jonny Pietrunti is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), Mindset Coach, and Licensed Massage Therapist. He is currently the Director of Clinical Services at Pacific College of Oriental Sports Medicine, one of the largest Massage Acupuncture, and Herbal clinics int he east coast with over 30,000 patient visits a year.
A social media recluse, Jonny works with athletes and executives looking to enhance their mindset and motivation, and still has a small massage private practice.
He can be found stomping around Brooklyn, where he occasionally blogs, still lifts, and is tired of everyone’s shit on his sidewalk.