I love science. I love information, but “This fundamental belief about the role of information and knowledge in determining behavior is wrong and unscientific. Giving people information does not make them change.”
Over the last year nearly all of my talks have been about helping health and fitness professionals see the complexity of each person they work with. The decades of nets and loops that are in play for each individual that have led to the set of symptoms that brought them to your door.
“Seek first to understand.” From Stephen Covey is the maxim. Once we have some understanding and empathy for the intricacies of their position we can start to contemplate how we might promote change inside their current environment and reflect on the potential negative and positive ramifications of this change on all the other facets of their life.
We have to get away from this idea that people are rational and that they simply lack the right message worded in just the right way. We have to move on from the egotistic mindset that we will ever fully understand this “problem” and once we do there will be a simple one-step, “Oh I can’t believe you didn’t think of this” solution.
“Changes in smoking and eating as well as alcohol consumption and physical activity are processes and practices embedded in social life, not one-off events triggered by information or prevented by remedying information deficits…Smoking, eating, drinking and the amount of physical activity people do are ingrained in people’s everyday lives and their routines and habits. These things, to a very important extent, help people define who and what they are: their sense of self is in part derived from these activities. Likewise, the identities which others bestow upon them are partly the consequence of these behaviors. The idea that simply providing people with information to make them understand things and that once they have the facts they will change their sense of who and what they are i.e. seek to be a different person to the one they are now, is specious in the extreme.”
-Kelly and Barker 2016
Steph and I have chosen to create a place where quality information is delivered, but more than that it seems we have created an environment where positive habits are easy and socially reinforced, but not in a culty myopic way. A safe place where people can experience what it feels like to be a little less of a zoo human and also begin to ask, Why do anything? And if I am going to do that something, who do I want to do it with?
Because Purpose beats spinach Every. Single. Time. and social isolation in a world that never stops talking is the worst form of torture.
But, don’t take my word for it.
“I’ve struggled, as it seems most have, to find the words to describe the experience we’ve all had at the Beginner’s Mind retreat in Costa Rica. I’m also not sure why I’m surprised by this revelation, seeing as I was in the same predicament last year. I expected to learn all the science and nutrition things, but instead, I come away learning more about myself than I ever could have imagined. I’ve been back a week and I’m still recalling moments, words of wisdom, conversations.”
Dr. Elissa Martis – All kinds of awesome letters
“Something about the jungle has allowed me to fully excel in my training since arriving.
Is it being surrounded by the brightest minds? Or the recovered central nervous system due to quality sleep, daily sunshine, and movement? Or maybe it’s the amazing support and encouragement from everyone around.
I think it’s all three and i am forever grateful. Not because of my PR’s but for the life long memories and unforgettable experiences.
In the last 14 days, I was able to hit five personal records (power clean, clean and jerk, max handstand, Diane, and double back squat) and each one comes with a special memory of different people cheering me on, giving me cues, and helping me reach my highest potential. •
These last 15 days of communal living, waking to the sun and sleeping with the moon, developing some of the deepest bonds in the shortest amount of time, daily meditation and free writing, along with soaking in as much information as possible to bring back to my clients has been one of the best experiences of my life.
I am sad to leave. Just thinking about it brings tears to me eyes. I have grown here, i have loved here, and i have learned more about myself in these last two weeks than i have in the last two years. Pura vida”
– Amanda Martin O’Brien – Central Athlete – All kinds of awesome letters
“Over the last week I had the opportunity to join a group of truth-seeking, dogma-bucking, self-aware health nerds in the jungle.
We sat for morning meditations.
We held hands in gratitude at every delicious meal full of produce and protein.
We learned from some of the brightest minds in the industry We lifted heavy.
We were open and vulnerable.
We created a safe space for that to emerge.
We explored outside in the jungle and beaches.
We came together lovingly in a time of shared trauma.
We slept like kings and queens.
And we all passed the CISSN exam.
I’m amazed by the serendipity that led to me meeting Ben House. I’m grateful for the container he created at Flo that has attracted a tribe of people that have reminded me I’m not doing this alone.”
– Matthew Walrath – Beyond Macros – All kinds of awesome letters.
Come or don’t. We will be here living it.
For more info on 2019 click below.