If the field of nutrition stands on shaky (or non-existent) science, then listen and learn on just how sound the science behind the field of homeopathy is…
Part 8 in a series on why articles on ‘nutrition’ and nutritional advice from ‘experts’ on diet is a waste of time, energy and effort [for the non-medically institutionalized population].
So hopeful are we that there are short cuts, that we are willing to fall for the claims that an energy drink can even give you wings, or is that wiings? There are short cuts. That there are short cuts is not the point, the point is whether taking the short cuts truly deliver us to the end result we were after to start. The problem with all short cuts… is their costs and consequences. Exactly. The stickin’ point that no one wants to mention, especially when their products gives you wings, or is that wiings.
Want the low down on so called energy drinks, from a non nutritional expert? How bout the plain truth and nothing but the truth from a PhD in Chemistry? Listen and learn…
Part 7 in a series on why articles on ‘nutrition’ and nutritional advice from ‘experts’ on diet is a waste of time, energy and effort [for the non-medically institutionalized population].
When my wife was pregnant with each of our two children, she made a decision. She made a decision that she would listen to her body, without question, and respond to the signs and symptoms her body gave in response to what she ate, what she didn’t eat, what she drank, etc..
When not pregnant, my wife enjoys coffee… like really enjoys her cup of coffee.
When pregnant, coffee, even the smell of coffee made her nauseous.
So guess what my wife did in response… she listened, and not only did she listen, she heard and she complied with the messages her body was giving, namely: your pregnant body does not want coffee in it, you pregnant body does not even want to be around coffee.
So for the next 9 months, no coffee. It didn’t matter that she really wanted to have a cup, it didn’t matter that she really enjoyed coffee. What mattered was the health of the baby and having made a decision that first and foremost was going to be the health of the baby irrespective of all her wants, needs, etc… there was nothing further to discuss. No coffee.
At the same time, my wife who was never a fan of tomatoes, as in raw sliced tomatoes, all of a sudden could not get enough of tomatoes. Her body wanted tomatoes, so my wife ate tomatoes. No questions asked. That she didn’t really eat raw sliced tomatoes before… irrelevant. That she never had a taste for tomatoes before… irrelevant. What mattered was the health of the baby and having made a decision that first and foremost was going to the the health of the baby irrespective of all her wants, needs, etc… there was nothing further to discuss. Eat tomatoes.
We can all hear – if we so choose to hear – from our body… eat this, don’t eat that. I mean hearing from our gut brain not our head brain what we truly need in order to be healthy.
So what’s the problem?
Problem is… we don’t want to listen, we don’t want to slow down in order to be able to listen, to hear, and we do not want to comply with what our gut brain is telling us we need to eat and drink, and how much, and what not eat and what not drink in order to be healthy… we want what we want and we want it now! Otherwise cue childish temper tantrum.
Problem is we want it both ways: we want to eat whatever our head brain tells us we want, we don’t want to take the time to listen and hear our gut brain, yet we want to be healthy.
Sorry, it doesn’t work that way.
You want health? Then its simple, and you don’t need any so called expert in nutrition… all you need to do is slowdown, perhaps even stop and listen to your body, listen to what it needs in order to be healthy and it will tell you.
Or, like pregnant nauseous women in the 1950s and 1960s who didn’t want to listen and to hear what their body wanted… went to their doctor who prescribed an anti-nausea drug (i.e. Thalidomide) only to give birth to babies with severe birth defects, specifically malformed limbs.
You want short cuts? Then listen up… there are none and anyone selling you on short cuts is interested only in making money off you regardless of the risks to your health and the harm you may suffer.
Decision is yours… gamble with your health, the health of your baby, or do what is right and make your health a priority ahead of all your childish needs.
Nutrition is not complicated: decide that your health is a priority (not one of several, but the priority, the one and only priority), slowdown to listen, to hear, and you will know what you personally need, and in what quantities you need it in, to be healthy.
If you think about it… how can anyone actually tell you what you need? How can someone else know what your individual body needs in any given instant? THEY ARE GUESSING!!! That’s all that they can do because there is no possible way for them to know what your body needs.
The only nutritional advice anyone can give is what NOT to eat, and that’s simple because its the same for all of us and because your gut brain will NEVER ask any of us to eat: highly processed and refined factory food and drink products.
Part 6 in a series on why articles on ‘nutrition’ and nutritional advice from ‘experts’ on diet is a waste of time, energy and effort [for the non-medically institutionalized population].
Ask a nutrition expert what matters most to an healthy diet and they will go off in every imaginable direction… calories, vitamins, minerals, superfoods, shakes, smoothees, raw food, paleo and every other diet trend, and so on.
Yet none of it is as important as what matters most. Watch, listen, learn and maybe you too will appreciate why all the nutrition advice in the world isn’t worth the hype.
NOTE: in the fast food industry, no human is “cooking” or “preparing” anything. To attain the economies of scale and the symmetry (a Big Mac in Toronto is identical to a Big Mac in Miami, which is identical to a Big Mac in Paris), the menu items (I refuse to call any of it food) is mass produced in major manufacturing facilities called factories… by machines. The people who work in the individual fast food locations at most assemble the products you ordered into the shapes and sizes requested… that’s it.
Part 5 in a series on why articles on ‘nutrition’ and nutritional advice from ‘experts’ on diet is a waste of time, energy and effort [for the non-medically institutionalized population].
Remember a few years back, there were articles about how amazing the French diet was… it was rich in butter, in cream, and of course wine. That the French drank wine with almost every meal was heralded as the reason why we should start to drink and not just once in a while, but daily, with every meal… you know… its good for your health!
As I stated in part 3 of this series: nutritional advice is based on little more than guessing, wishful thinking, and hoping with consistent valid and reliable science lacking.
You don’t have to go back to far to remember article after article, in fact they are still publishing article after article especially on CrossFit sites how important a low carb diet is to your health. Eat protein is the battle cry!
Uh huh. Again, this is what happens when you have an entire group of people pushing wishful thinking, short cuts, short term solutions, and worst of all guessing “answers” to health problems that are much much deeper than whether or not you have a potato in your diet.
Now that must be a scientifically proven solution to either resolving or regaining our health? Right? I mean we’ve been taking supplements for years… there cannot be anything wrong with all those harmless pills…. right?
Of course not… you will not hear anything but how amazing supplements are from an industry that is raking in $37 billion – that’s with a B, not an M – annually. Who is going to stir that pot and suggest anyone to stop taking their vitamins? Clearly no nutritional expert would be caught dead advising to stop taking supplements because being the spokespeople of the industry… there is just too much money to be made by selling that there are short cuts to health.
There must be a way to make a mint of seniors… especially those who are institutionalized. Of course, let’s put a meal in a can and sell it to nursing homes as a quick solution to ensuring that seniors get all the vitamins and minerals and calories they need for good health. Everyone looks good because we look like we care about the elderly.
While at it, lets get our “nutritional experts” to promote these and prescribe them to seniors to ensure that there is uptake in the marketplace. All we need to do is get nursing home administrators addicted to the convenience and the appearance that their residents are getting an even greater level of care and… boom, money, money and more money for us.
Oh… the actual health of seniors?
Oh… whether or not these drinks are actually health?
Who cares! There is money to be made, and people fall for anything that a “nutritional expert” says so let’s make money. Its so simple its like taking candy from a baby… I mean from a senior.
Thats who we have become…out to make a quick buck, even if it ends up hurting someone in the process. There is no need to wonder why we are sick as a society… the physical disease is simply a manifestation of our mental and emotional pathologies which we refuse to confront.
Part 4 in a series on why articles on ‘nutrition’ and nutritional advice from ‘experts’ on diet is a waste of time, energy and effort [for the non-medically institutionalized population].
I just read this article this morning and had to post…
Nutrition experts again making claims for which there is little to no scientific research, but in this case, they are not suggesting it for adult women… they are making recommendations for children! Read…
So called nutrition experts don’t need no stinkin’ science, they just recommend on what ‘they feel’ is right, or what they think should be right. Make shit up and sell it as valid and reliable advice is the name of the game in the field of nutrition!
The arrogance, the ignorance, the insanity of randomly recommending ‘solutions’ when you are as clueless as a bag of doorknobs is what “health care” has come to; and do not dare confront one of these so called nutrition experts on their recommendations or question them on their education and experiential background which supposedly authorizes them to offer recommendations because backed into a corner knowing that they have absolutely none, they will go into full moron mode and attack you for questioning their sanctimonious preaching and for you to have the gall to eat and drink whatever you want.
A quick Google for research on aspirin as a solution for dysmenorrhoea came up with one systematic review on the NCBI website. The study made the following conclusion in regards to NSAIDs and supplementation:
You can read it just as plainly as I can read it…
- Aspiring MAY reduce pain… and the key part… FEW studies have been of good quality.
- Vitamin supplementation MAY reduce pain in women with primary dysmenorrhoea.
Let’s revisit the article in Runners World and the recommendations made by yet another so called expert in nutrition…
Magnesium, omega 3 fatty acids and aspirin can mitigate (definition: make less severe) cramping and bloating.
Really? Where is the research that states that with the confidence that the writer states it? There is none. The research states it may, but in which women of what age group, with any other symptoms or other reproductive system issues? Since it is not clear yet the only thing that needs to happen is more research. That’s it… no recommendations. At most, it can be identified what the research states but no actual prescription can be made because there is no evidence to suggest that anything works conclusively and consistently.
And… NOWHERE does it state that magnesium or omega 3 fatty acids do anything! Which is to the point I made in the prior post that so called nutrition experts don’t actually need any scientific research to make claims… they are happy to randomly recommend anything in order to come across as if they actually know something and should be listened to.
Furthermore, where is the research which specifically has been performed on teenage girls going through their first few menstrual cycles? Where is the research stating that it is SAFE to give teenage girls aspirin, huh?
Exactly… NOWHERE! But so called experts in nutrition are going to recommend drugs for which they have no clue whether or not is appropriate, what are the risks, what are the possible side effects, nor is it listed who shouldn’t take aspirin.
Girls have been going through puberty for how many centuries… and without popping pills, but now because magnesium and omega 3 fatty acids are mainstream and because Bayer needs to sell drugs into a new demographic lets just randomly prescribe ‘solutions’ to young ladies?
Consequences… sm ‘onsequences. Considering side effects is for those who don’t live life on the edge? Really? You are going to gamble with the health of children… yup, because that’s what so called experts in nutrition do!
Its time to clue in… they don’t give a rip about your health because if nutrition experts did, they would tell you the truth… there is NO consistent valid, reliable, conclusive evidence in the scientific literature that says that any single food is a cure or a solution in any given population, in one or the other sex, for any specific disease. But… nutrition experts do not see this as any reason not to prescribe this diet, or that diet, cleanses, colonics, or who knows what other insanity.
Health care is failing because it is not telling the truth to patients, and is enabling patients to dig deeper and deeper holes of disease for themselves by trying to “manage” their symptoms instead of prescribing a bit of truthiness…. like you are obese because you won’t stop shoving food into your pile hole! Nah, we have to be sensitive to the patients absolute insensitivity to their own body which screams to them to stop putting food into their mouth, but because they don’t want to hear that their body is bursting at the seams and because they want a simple do-nothing solution that permits them to continue to shove food into their pile hole… we have to help “manage” their condition.
Health care is failing because “the consumer is always right” mindset has infiltrated the offices of medical doctors yielding the mindset that “the patient is always right”… so patients walk in and doctors simply write the prescription they are told – by the patient – is needed (hence a crisis in opioids as patients “know” what they need… more addictive painkillers).
Health care is failing because “the consumer is always right” mindset has resulted in anyone thinking that they are educated and experienced sufficiently to give out advice. Hey, if I am a patient and I am always right, then that means that I can give advice to anyone else… because I am always right. Case in point, everyone is now a so called expert in nutrition… why? Because they eat, and since they “know” what to eat, they must also know what everyone else should eat, and not just eat for health, but eat to cure disease.
And so here we are… recommending to parents, to coaches, and to teenage girls directly that random items are ‘solutions’ to their problems.
Part 3 in a series on why articles on ‘nutrition’ and nutritional advice from ‘experts’ on diet is a waste of time, energy and effort [for the non-medically institutionalized population].
This article that was posted in Men’s Health.com, and then was posted at Bicycling.com
I would expect to read a thorough biological/neurological/physiological explanation as to why we get leg cramps, and then based on the thorough explanation a scientifically proven (and based on real science not the pseudo-science that passes as research these days, as in ‘research’ paid for by companies seeking to “prove” [wink wink] that their product works) solution as to how to stop and/or prevent cramps.
But that is not what the article delivers. The article starts with this…
THEY HAVE YET TO FIND THE CAUSE OF CRAMPS!
First, that should be the end of the article because if there is no known root cause that consistently is appearing in the scientific literature then what more is there to say besides stayed tuned… when research comes up with something we will let you know.
Second, the article should apologize for the false marketing of the title: (a) the title promises to explain why we get leg cramps… it cannot because we do not know, and (b) it promises solutions as to how to eliminate cramps… it cannot because we do not know.
The writer goes on to say… there is research and some linkages between sitting and various prescribed drugs and there are some linkages with neurological pathologies (as in neurological diseases), and no scientifically reliable or valid connection has been found between the commonly held belief that cramps are caused by electrolyte imbalances and dehydration.
That should be the end of the article as I stated above, but no! Despite it being repeated several times in the article that there is no known cause for cramps, and only scant linkages, with direct correlations unable to be drawn… the writer goes on to offer solutions to stop cramps.
This sums up the validity to nutrition advice, to the ‘science’ that nutritional experts stand on…
THERE IS NONE BECAUSE THEY HAVE NONE!
SO THEY MAKE UP WHATEVER THEY WANT…
AND THEN PREACH IT AS IF ITS THE TRUTH
Nutritional advice and the so called nutrition experts are drawing conclusions where there are no conclusions to be drawn and worst of all they are developing prescriptions of diets, of supplementation, of hydration and recommending them to patients as if any of it is based on truth. Its not. They have nothing to stand on, so the bests they can do is make up stuff and sell it to you hoping that when things don’t work out, you don’t come back and blame them.
In medicine and in health care in general there is supposed to be a basis for intervention, and that basis is you intervene ONLY if you can assure the patient that the intervention you recommend will not cause harm. Do not cause harm is the foundation of any true health care professional. In nutrition, the concept of do no harm clearly does not exist. If you do not know what causes cramping, that shouldn’t stop you from providing recommendations to stop or eliminate or prevent cramping… just guess, and hope it works out is the standard operational procedure it seems! That’s right they are guessing when they suggest that you should hydrate, drink a fluid with electrolytes, take magnesium, calcium, Vitamin D, eat bananas, Gogi berries, or whatever it is they recommend.
If all they are doing is hoping and guessing that they are right, then what are the chances that they are wrong? Exactly! This isn’t healthy intervention, its gambling with your health hoping that what worked in one or two isolated cases (usually what worked for themselves) will work for you… they went gluten free, so now everyone else on earth needs to be gluten free.
To offer “recommendations” based on guessing… is malpractice when you hold yourself out to being a professional. Until there is consistent valid and reliable and peer reviewed data in the field of nutrition… there should definitely be no diets prescribed to anyone, let alone ‘experts’ in nutrition. What are they experts in when there is no science to back up any protocol?
But we live in a society where we cannot just stand by idle… someone has to do something! Yet what we should be doing is… nothing, UNTIL we have the evidence that we are not going to do harm to anyone. But no, we would rather risk doing harm by “doing something”. Its ignorance of epic proportions to believe that ‘good intentions’ will turn bad advice, into good.
But its only food and water… what harm can be done? Seriously? Educate yourself by reading the prior post… and perhaps you will wake up to realize that in the past 3-4 decades of nutritional advice from so called nutritional experts the world has ended up dealing with epidemics in obesity, in diabetes, in metabolic disorders.
Finally, I challenge you to confront any of those so called experts in nutrition and ask them where they got their education and clinical experience. You may be shocked to learn that they have none, or they are “self taught” by reading a couple posts on Facebook, or they took a 1hr course at a personal training or coaching conference, or those who believe have ‘a lot’ of education have what amounts to one whole course that lasted an agonizing couple of hours. In any other health care profession, there is usually 2-3 years – years, not hours… years – of study to acquire the basic understanding of how the body functions. Its 2-3 years of anatomy, physiology, biomechanics, psychology, etc… and then the study of pathologies begins, and only after that does the study of how to remedy those pathologies get discussed. In nutrition… the belief is that you don’t need any of that nonsense… you go straight to recommending everyone to go gluten free, low carb, massive amounts of protein, and make sure you drink 1 gallon of water a day (if they are on diuretics… wait, what’s a diuretic… my point exactly).
You wouldn’t trust your car to someone who took a couple hour course… yet we trust our health with con-artists who pose as nutrition experts who promise that if we listen to them our health will be restored, our aches and pains resolved.
Friends and family of athletes who competed at Ironman Tremblant returned to training sessions this week and shared stories from the weekend. Unfortunately, one story didn’t end as desired… the athlete who was attempting to complete their second iron distance triathlon crashed out on the bike course sustaining numerous injuries to their head and torso. It goes without mention that friends of the athlete returned distraught.
Well… what is the normal course of conversation when we hear that someone had an accident?
We start to ask questions: how did it happen, what were the conditions, were there any circumstances that added to the risks in the moment, and so forth.
At the end of our training practice, after most of the athletes had already made their way to the changerooms I was on deck with one athlete. After all the discussion about the bike crash, the trauma and the extensive recovery process that will be required for this athlete to return to life let alone any form of training, the athlete seemed stuck on all the questions asked and answered but more so on the questions that went without answer.
They came over to me and shared the following…
Isn’t interesting how we want to ask questions and get answers after someone has an accident.
They went on…
Its like we want an out for ourselves, a way to say… oh, well… they hit a pothole and that was the reason they fell… but, I would never hit a pothole, I would never be that careless, in short what we want to say is I would not have crashed. In that exact same scenario… I would have been fine, nothing would have happened to me, I would have completed the triathlon and it would have been an amazing weekend.
The athlete then went on to reflect that…
This accident doesn’t offer the comfort of being able to sweep the reality that if we were in that exact same scenario, that we would have had a different end to the story, because… the athlete who fell, fell without anyone else around, they weren’t hit, nor did they hit, nor was there any evidence of conditions either weather or road that would have predisposed a cyclist to a crash, and worst of all, the athlete has no recollection of the fall, none whatsoever.
So that leaves us how?
It leaves us with the uncomfortable position of not having a point on which to revel in superiority that would preclude us from having a bike crash in this scenario or any scenario. It leaves us with the discomfort of having to reconcile that we too could crash, we too could DNF from a triathlon, we too could have significant injuries requiring hospitalization, weeks of recovery, weeks of rehab, weeks of being unable to return to the routine of our lives.
It leaves us with the uncomfortable reality that… it could just as easily happen to us.
Let’s stop and think… isn’t the reality that anything can easily happen to us, any time, any day?
If so, then what’s the issue when there aren’t answers to all the questions around an accident?
Let’s stop and think…
This one athlete was concerned, but other athlete’s weren’t as concerned, why?
My wife, my son, my daughter also heard about this athlete’s bike crash, but they didn’t get overly concerned with the lack of explanations, with the lack of available excuses allowing one to suggest that this couldn’t possibly happen to them.
What’s the difference?
Well, all of us in our family have had crashes, in fact if you add up all of our falls we would have a pile up of falls to discuss. Falls while mountain biking, falls while on paved roads while on our mountain bikes, while on our road bikes, falls while riding alone, one I can distinctly remember was in the rain on a slick hairpin, others while riding together, and so on. As I write this post, I still have 3 scabs on my left elbow, shoulder and hip, remnants of my most recent fall… while riding in a pace line, I 1/2 wheeled the rider in the lead and when they ended their pull, their wheel caught my wheel and down I went.
The other athletes that seemed distraught and uncomfortable with the lack of answers were all athletes who were either novices to cycling, or athletes who may have had miles in the saddle but I do not believe have ever had or experienced a fall, at least a fall that left its mark.
While thinking this through out loud, my wife reflected on the divergence in responses as well by reminding me that at a local bike shop, one of the sales guys recently broke his collar bone, as his brother described, because “he was acting like he was 16 again and doing crazy stuff in Christie Conservation Area”. Everyone in the store laughed at the story, especially when it was revealed that the injured athlete now has matching scars (he previously broke his opposite collar bone). My wife shared that no one in the store upon hearing the story of this bike crash was overly concerned with what the cyclist was doing, how big was the berm, the jump, the log, the drop off or whatever… no one was seeking or in search of answers. Surgery was performed to repair the fractured collar bone… and its on with life.
So what’s the difference?
The difference in responses is directly correlated to the level of experience of the athlete.
Athletes with little riding experience – they may have logged endless miles on Zwift, or even on the road but never actually having ‘felt’ the road – will be terrified of the thought of falling.
Athletes with little experience in a sport are going to want to believe that… they can avoid getting water up their nose, swallowing a wave of water, being underwater and needing to breathe yet they want to swim, they can avoid falling off their bike yet they want to be a cyclist, they can avoid having to run outside, avoid ever tripping and falling yet want to call themselves a runner.
Moral of the story…
To all novice athletes,
Instead of wasting energy, emotion, and the time attempting to build narratives that paint an idealistic picture that you will never [let’s stick to cycling] have a fall, never experience a fall, never cause a fall, never be caused to fall… how bout this: take all that energy, emotion and time and develop the skills, the technique and the capacity to do the sport.
If you want to do the sport, then do the sport and stop trying to figure out how to do the sport without doing the sport.
There is not one single performance level athlete in any sport that hasn’t fallen, tripped, strained, sprained, etc.. themselves as a result of training in the sport. Obviously, crash mats, helmets, protective clothing, foam pits, etc… should be used but even with all the optimal safety equipment in place, stuff happens… even to the pros.
I propose the following… embrace it [as in reality].
Stop pretending that it cannot and will not happen to you, stop bracing in preparation or anticipation of the risks just in case you may be wrong, and train instead [for reality].
That’s what it means to be an athlete… it means to train and by default training will inevitably lead you to having your own set of scabs, scars, and setbacks; but there is a difference. Injuries sustained by pros are rarely fatal, terminal, career ending, yet interestingly enough similar injuries sustained by novice athletes who fail to acquire, develop, and train fundamental abilities are often disastrous. WorldTour team leader Richie Porte of Team BMC last year in the Tour de France fractured vertebrae in his neck as a result of a high speed crash. This year he was back in the Tour, where he again fell breaking a collar bone, but is scheduled to race in a few weeks in the Vuelta dEspana. Any novice involved in a similar crash to the one that fractured vertebrae in Porte would have likely ended up dead. That’s the difference. Having small controlled crashes in training prepares pro athletes for when major crashes happen.
Novice athletes, instead of running away from reality I propose that you embrace reality and start to train for it. It will make you a better athlete, it will make you a more confident athlete, and as a result I guarantee that you will perform far better. On top, your longevity in the sport will be at least double if not triple all those who do not train properly allowing you to out-last, thus out-train, thus out-podium others in your age category.
Most importantly, you will actually enjoy the sport because every time out on your bike you won’t be pissed scared about the risk of falling. Having embraced the risk of falling, having trained agility, balance, and coordination you know that your chances of jumping off or getting off your bike and avoiding a crash is more likely than ending up sliding down the road like cheese over a grater. And even if you do end up as cheese, by training and experiencing falls on a quasi regular basis you will know how to tuck and roll, how to slide, how to glide, how to fall, reducing the severity of falls, reducing the severity of injuries, reducing the chances that any one fall will be the end of you in the sport, or worse, the end of you period.
The prior post titled “Energy – Not Money – is Wealth” provides us with a context to self examine what part we play on this earth. Are we a creator of energy: an artist, a musician, an athlete, a writer, an inventor, an entrepreneur, a farmer? Are we a coach, one who was successful in creating and now wishes to mentor those aspiring to be creators with the goal of assisting them to achieving their creative purposes? We should be one or the other, a creator or a coach; unfortunately, the world instead teaches and trains us not to be either, instead it teaches and trains us to become skimmers and scammers: those who instead of creating seek to monetize the work, the effort, the value generated by creators and their coaches.
A large segment of skimmers and scammers in our economy can be found in one place: the financial services sector. This is a sector that once made up a paltry 5% or less of our stock market, but today makes up as much as 30%, if not more. Why? Because our world teaches to be skimmers and scammers and the simplest way to become one or the other is to become one who specializes in the exchange of money. Make a tiny fraction, an almost infinitesimal fraction but make it on a steady flow of transactions, especially transactions which are large in size and you can make a mint simply by skimming “your share”. Hence the growth of financial services.
I’m sure that all those who work in finance will argue that they ‘make’ the world go round, they ‘make’ it possible for creators and coaches to monetize their effort but that’s a stretch. ‘Make’? The financial sector does not make anything of value; at most it can hope to retain the value of the money that creators and coaches generate but make… hah! All that the financial sectors seems to make are financial instruments of greater and greater complexity which do nothing except exponentially magnify structural weaknesses in the banking, investment and trading sectors leading to cyclical crises: case in point the financial crisis of 2007-2008 which cost us what as taxpayers? Billions and billions! Meanwhile the financial industry continues to service charge – skim and scam – all of us one penny at a time. It goes without mention that the Quantitive Easing which Central Bankers around the world have been gorging on to sustain the illusion of all being well in the world of finance has done nothing to preserve the value of money… which is the absolute minimum that the entire financial sector should be focused on achieving. Devaluing currency by printing, sorry adding zero after zero, does nothing but devalue money as a store… just look to Venezuela if you wonder how awesome it is when a country’s currency has to be devalued.
What’s this got to do with our physical, mental and emotional health? Everything!
In 2020 the World Health Organization (WHO) predicts that anxiety and depression will become the top medical diagnoses globally. Take that stat along with stats from the US of how many people are dissatisfied with their jobs, would leave their jobs, add in the opioid crisis in the US which only further underlines the crisis in health and well-being and you can connect the dots…
We live in a world which celebrates skimming and scamming.
We live in a world which celebrates money, money, and more money… having it, spending it, showing it off, etc…
We live in a world which has a breakdown, a complete and absolute breakdown in ethical standards, a world with no moral compass, a world where the word ‘professional’ no longer carries the distinction it once had identifying those select few who independently vowed to uphold standards of excellence in practice. Now, malpractice, fraud… i.e. skimming and scamming has become a way of life for us in the West. We are eliminating standards at an unprecedented rate, while implementing restrictions as quickly on free speech, hence free thought (the war on ‘fake’ news vs fake new which is actually real news which must be restricted to keep social narratives intact e.g. everything is great, everything is fine, no need to panic, move along citizens).
And thenwe wonder why oh why… are our lives so empty, so impoverished (despite all this apparent abundance in material/consumer ‘wealth’), so unfulfilling, so unsatisfying, so boring, so blah that only a steady stream of alcohol and drugs can lift us out of our doldrums (albeit temporarily, but long enough that our dealer can get as another supply).
The financial sector is a proxy for our state of well-being… the more financialized our economy the worse off we are (click here for an article in Forbes to this point). Why? Because deep fulfillment, high level of satisfaction with life, the ability to jump out of bed in the morning full of energy comes from living a life spent either creating or mentoring someone directly in their desire to create (i.e. coaching), not a life obsessed with skimming and scamming.
Joy comes from progress, and progress comes from creating or being part of a creative process.
Instead of creating, we have been sold that a life of skimming and scamming with the profits used to consume will lead to fulfillment, to satisfaction, to jumping out of bed everyday with energy, with vitality, with robustness and resilience.
Hmm… how does that seem to be playing out?
Aha… not so much.
So keep on keepin’ on…
Keep skimming, keep scamming and see where that leaves you in life.
Oh right, you have a fix… you’re signed up to do an Ironman triathlon, a grandfondo, or perhaps a major international marathon to which you will have to travel the globe in order to be part of… that is your ‘fix’ for your state of dis-ease, for you lack of health, for your frailty, your weakness, your dependence on drugs and alcohol to make it through another day.
Good luck with that.
I picked on the finance sector just because its easy pickins’ but you can find skimmers and scammers in every industry. There are those who call themselves coaches, trainers, even life coaches who do not even have a basic education in human biology, let alone physiology, anatomy, pathology, psychology, etc… yet they are ready to mentor you to better health, better wellness, better everything. That’s called a scammer… unwilling to put in the real effort to becoming truly knowledgeable, truly wise, truly a source of valuable information… out to make a quick buck hoping that they’re ignorance doesn’t clear before your cheque does.
Pick any sector in the economy and you will find skimmers and scammers. Perhaps you have been living a life as one… I suggest you consider the deep thought that perhaps the true source of your unhappiness in life has nothing to do with the number of followers or likes or whatever on your favorite social media app, or with the fact that you failed to follow the upgrade cycle in handheld devices, and more to do with the fact that the last time you created anything of meaning, of significant, of value to another human being in this world was… well… when was it?
My son yesterday ended up buying a 29er MTB rim off a guy through Kijiji. He ended up with a rim that won’t work because the rim uses a 12mm thru axle but his hard tail GIANT MTB frame can only take a 9mm skewer. I think it was $50 well spent… because the lesson should hopefully prevent my son from making the exact same mistake (as in not buying something he isn’t 100% sure about, and as in not taking the time to ensure that he is 100% sure) with items that are much more expensive.
My son though was as could be expected not so pleased with his mistake, and in the moment expressed that he blew $50. Indeed $50 is a fair amount of money for a teenager who just started working this summer, but I maintained that the rim should stay in his room and remain there as a lesson to prevent future losses (hopefully).
My son replied… but its $50, “its money wasted” he exclaimed, and “money is what makes this world work, money is most important”.
I do not agree, but I also remember being a teenager and recall having the outlook too that if I only had so much money, then everything would be right in the universe because I could afford x, y, and z. In the moment I didn’t have a line that could deliver a powerful knockout punch that could end the argument; so I said nothing…
But today is another day, and today while on a ride the series of knockout punches required to deliver the powerful end to the argument (i.e. if money is most important) came to me…
Money is not that important, what is important is energy because it is energy which creates, it is energy which innovates, it is energy which produces taking ideas and turning them into businesses… and it is those businesses which end up generating revenues, profits… i.e. money.
So why are we making money into such a priority? Why does my son feel that money, money, money is most important? I believe it is because boomers – who as a result of their cohort size are still setting many of the trends in society – are desperately trying to get their hands on, and hold on to as much money as possible. Why? Because they have been sold the belief that as you age you are less energetic, hence you are able to generate fewer ideas, or able to translate fewer ideas into money making enterprises. So, the goal of retiring boomers is to accumulate money, money and more money to last them through their un-energetic years, their unproductive, their energy sucking years.
Money itself is no more than a store of value, money itself does not generate, create, or translate anything into anything else of value… so money can actually be seen like a battery.
Batteries do not generate energy, they store energy. Batteries once depleted can be recharged but an energy source has to be used to recharge the battery as they don’t just recharge spontaneously.
Batteries are important to have in emergencies, but even more powerful, even more valuable, even more critical is the ability to generate energy, loads and loads of energy because if you can, then you have no need for batteries (or at least minimal need) because you know you have the potential and the ability to generate as much energy as needed.
Its no different with money. If you are poor at generating ideas, at translating ideas into reality, poor at executing on plans to turns dreams into goals into viable successful and sustainable businesses then absolutely you will think that the world rotates around money, and if only you had some, or more then all would be well in the universe (or at least in your own life).
But… if you know how to generate sustainable energy, you know how to communicate and share that energy with others, you know how to harness your energy into production, then you have no need to be worried whether you will have enough energy through out life, whether or not you will have enough money through out life… if you are energetic and train to become efficient and effective in using your energy, then there are no limits to what is possible, to what you can achieve.
Hence, the importance of sport, the arts, and music. These all generate energy.
Wonder why Taylor Swift can command $800 a ticket for a seat at her concert… because the energy generated at the concert is worth $800 to those who appreciate her energy and who want to share in the energy of her concert.
Wonder why 9x Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt, why top footballers such as Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney, along with top NBA, NHL and NFL athletes can command millions in contracts and then even more millions in endorsement deals and sponsorships… because the energy they generate and express appeals to millions of viewers, viewers who want just a piece of that energy and are willing to spend spend spend in order to just be associated with the energy of such pro athletes.
Its not money that is most important in this world, in this life. Its energy.
Question is… do you know how to generate sustainable energy? Do you know how to harness that energy to be the most productive version of you, to be the most expressive, creative, innovative version of you? Do you know how to translate energy into executable plans that turn energy into material (e.g. money)?
Einstein told us that energy and matter are interchangeable. Well, money is matter, hence energy and money are interchangeable according to Einstein’s equation where E = mc2.
Question is… what are you spending your time doing? Whining, complaining about how others can work the laws of physics into the laws of business and build business after business making as much money as they want; or are you starting to learn, study, train and experiment with how to become more energetic? Once energetic are you working to channel that energy into power that can be harnessed to take your ideas your innovations into mass production?
For those who understand energy, $50 is nothing, in fact $500, $5,000, even $50,000 is nothing because when you understand energy you know that its not the battery that is powerful, its not money that is powerful, its the ability to generate and harness energy that makes the world go round. When you understand that… then you will understand that the world is limitless including your opportunities.
There is another reason that boomers are desperate for energy… they sold their health in exchange for money thinking that money, not their health is true wealth. Now, with declining health, the desperation of the boomer generation can be felt across all generations as their hoarding is impacting not just their personal economy but the economy of cities and countries.
Boomers scared of being alive without money, running out of money before life runs out have become obsessed with money. Its a shit way to live… scared out of your mind about money, so you spend none of your life living, just time worrying about money. Hmm… the WHO (World Health Organization) stated that by 2020, anxiety and depression will be the top diagnoses globally… hmm, a connection? A world obsessed with money and a world drowning itself in drugs, alcohol, medications and disease and trying to drown itself in money.
Hopefully after reading this my son may appreciate that money is merely a tool – a temporary way of storing some energy – and not the pivot point of life. Money becomes the pivot point for all those who never took the time to learn about energy, how to create it, how to transform it, how to share it, so that it does become money. For those who understand energy, money is a piece of paper with funny pictures, silly signatures, and is given far too much focus.
A final point…
The technology sector, its not energy, its not energetic, like money, technology is a tool, it leverages existing energy. Technology consumes energy, it doesn’t create energy. Think about it… how much life does your device have and how much of your life rotates around ensuring that your device has enough energy?
Hence why I despise the concept that children need devices. Children need to learn how to harness the energy they are generating, they do not need devices designed to absorb their energy, effectively numbing children into zombies before they turn 8 years of age. We were all sold the Baby Einstein bull that it will improve your children in years to come; now we know that Baby Einstein was well packaged bull and Disney swallowed a major loss in acquiring the company.
Children need to be encouraged to generate all the energy they can, and not be enslaved to staring at screens in preparation for the terminal disease called employment. Children need sport, need the arts, they need music (not listening to it, but learning how to make it). Let the boomers and their obsession with money, finance, stocks & bonds die with them; lets focus on the next generation… a generation that can be freed from the restrictive mindset that money is primary, and all else secondary.