League of Wildness,
It blows my mind that society has gotten to a point where we need a PhD Neuroscientist to recommend such obvious lifestyle optimizations. Let me explain.
It's becoming blatantly evident that the current health crisis is essentially a self-inflicted circumstance. I follow a local blogger Mr. Money Mustache (and actually had an office space at MMM HQ a while back. Within minutes of meeting we were doing Deadlifts and Pullups outside in the snow - wild.) and recently read an article that I thought the LoW would appreciate. In the article Pete (aka Mr. Money Mustache) sums up the lessons he's gathered from watching 80+ hours of YouTube videos created by Dr. Andrew Huberman. In the article mentioned above there is a table comparing the "Default Lifestyle" to the "Science Lifestyle".
What struck was was that pretty much everything mentioned in the comparison chart were lifestyle habits that I had been following for years and that were developed mainly from intuition. These are also principles that many of you in the LoW practice as well. 🤜 🤛
I was "weird" and not much has changed.
Outside of my small circle of weirdo friends - I was living a radically different life than pretty much every one I encountered. And it wasn't just that we were living differently in a practical sense - it was that we had a fundamentally different value system.
I thought it would be a fun process to make a wild gym version of a table comparing the "Standard Lifestyle" to the "Wild Lifestyle". Check it out below 👇
My guiding values were (and continue to be) being physically fit and orienting my life to maximize time outdoors. By default - this requires that my life be structured in a way that eliminated most of the "Standard Lifestyle" features. This isn't some heroic act as often times the only option I had was the choice in the "WILD" column.
That has certainly changed in that now the demons lurk much closer than in the past. It takes serious effort to stay strong.
I have my notebook open my as I type this and the words, "Ruthlessly evaluate your lifestyle" are staring back at me. This is as much a reminder to myself as to the LoW.
Inertia is a powerful force and change is hard. However, I think the quote below makes it clear why hard is often the right choice:
“Hard choices, easy life. Easy choices, hard life.”
So then why the heck do we need a PhD scientist to describe a lifestyle that to the LoW and probably most people's grandparent's would be obvious?
I think it comes down to this: we easily forget.
I've experienced this personally. I forgot my values and have had to do some serious work to remember what they were. If you lose orientation in life then the tendency is to look what others are doing as normal and follow the same path. The problem is that normal does not mean healthy, true, Wild, good, and/or beneficial.
If health and fitness are part of your core values I encourage you to regularly evaluate your lifestyle. It's not something you do once and then all your problems are solved - it is a practice that must be consistently repeated.
I would also encourage you to treat yourself as you would treat your best friend. We can be hard on ourselves and the point of this practice isn't self flagellation, but instead an honest conversation about how we can take action to head in the direction that we actually want to head towards.
So...where are you headed?
Safe and Wild travels,