Scott Hambrick & Karl Schudt of Online Great Books--Barbell Logic coaches too--discuss Yukio Mashima's Sun and Steel novel with Matt Reynolds.
Go to onlinegreatbooks.com and click on Join Now to reserve your spot. Online Great Books can help you with the intellectual side of the voluntary hardship by exposing you to the Great Books of western civilization and discussing them with others in seminar.
Sun and Steel follows the protagonist who begins his life focused on mental and intellectual pursuits. As he ages, he swings to the other side, obsessed with improving his body, martial arts, and physical improvement.
Many modern people rarely if ever experience physical difficulty. Barbell Logic, of course, approaches this by voluntarily pursuing physical betterment through exposing yourself to lifting weights. We can go from screen to screen in temperature-controlled buildings. We are far removed from food production and war, so the need for the body to be strong and healthy seems superfluous.
Mashima likely swings too far in the other direction, eschewing reading and writing, BUT he does point to some potential downsides for those who too often read and think but fail to act. You may have considered lifting or losing weight for a long time, but ultimately your success comes down to action.
Furthermore, so many online arguments about coaching and lifting focus on the smallest aspects of what matters, and many can use these disagreements to shield themselves from the need to act.
Consistency underpins success under the barbell and in the kitchen above any other factor. Consistency is about acting repeatedly toward your goal.
You can probably use a bit of Mashima's mentality, though balancing the physical and intellectual matters.
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