I went back to the gym today because I hate myself. I’m kidding! I just hate my body.
Sure enough the gym never changes. Men are walking around staring at themselves in the mirror. Dudes looking at you. Dudes looking at the weight you’re lifting. Dudes checking out your kicks. Kicks checking out dudes. It’s a scene, man.
So you end up getting thrown in the middle of this atmosphere without really having a choice simply by just being there. It’s distracting when you see that maybe you’re not running as long or lifting as much as the other people there sweating it up. So I’ve been trying out this new exercise technique called “closing my eyes.” It’s pretty effective. (Only on the machines, of course.)
I just shut it off. It’s the adult version of peek-a-boo. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being motivated, but I find that I put myself in competition with other people who don’t even know they’re competing with me.
I think we all may tend to do this, and not just at the gym. Think about the people you look at on Facebook, maybe the ones you might have a certain peaked interest in. The ones who you are just curious about what job they have or if they’re married and how well they seem to be doing lately. You know what I’m talking about.
We put ourselves into competition with other people who don’t even know about it. We get bent out of shape when something in our life doesn’t pan out like we want it to and we assume people are thinking things about us that they’re not even thinking. The truth is that most people probably don’t care. Just like in the gym, most people probably don’t care. And if they do care then they need to get a life.
There’s nothing wrong with a little challenge and motivation in our lives. There’s nothing wrong with setting certain people as examples to learn from, but when we enter into these sorts of competitions they’re not even really competitions—they are idolatry. We idolize someone else’s life, and then we envy it. And then our pride wants to outdo them. It’s a slippery slope of sin and bad decisions.
Maybe we need to start using my newfound exercise technique and start closing our eyes. Who are you competing with? Why are you competing with them? Why do you have to “beat them”?
We all need heroes and leaders to look to, but we don’t need idols. And idol will never benefit you and help you become better; it will only discourage you. We’ve spent enough time looking at everyone else, and we’ve spent enough time looking at ourselves. Maybe we should start closing our eyes more.