Do you believe that human beings have free will?
That’s a rhetorical question, and a pretty silly one despite all the ink that unlikable pessimistic nerds have spilled to say “no”.
Colin Wilson liked to say that the reason philosophers argue against free will is because they sit in their chairs thinking all day. If philosophers had to drive race cars, you’d never hear such nonsense from them. I’d also have spent a few more years in grad school.
Wilson’s got a good point. Active people who do exciting, fascinating, energetic, mind-gripping activities are less inclined to get lost in their own ‘thought traps’.
Active people have a tighter connection with their own bodies and with the reality outside them. You don’t have the luxury of pretending that reality is a logic puzzle. Nature corrects illusions, fast, and without pity.
Moving your body with skill through a set of challenges brings together your mind, your body, and the world in a unique way that you simply can’t experience by thinking real hard. There’s a mental and emotional focus from intense activity that can’t be replaced.
Whenever some loud-mouthed physicist or other know-it-all goes on about how we don’t have free will, all I hear is the age-old question, “Do you even lift?”
There’s no thinking without a body to do it, Charlie.
However good they may be at solving math problems and writing code and such things, I find such people dull, unimaginative, and unable to think and create beyond whatever limits that schooling crammed into their heads.
Which is why I’m on such a high horse about exercising, lifting weights, sprinting, doing whatever you can do to move that body of yours with intention and effort.
Moving with intention focuses the mind and opens up its other powers. This is why so many ideas come to you out on a walk, or sucking wind after a set of sprints.
Revenge of the Nerds taught everybody that Jocks and Nerds can’t get along. Don’t believe the hype.
Your mind isn’t at its best if your body isn’t.
When we’ve got slobs out there so out of shape and out of touch with reality that they don’t believe they’re directing their own actions, “free will” is not the problem.
If you find yourself overthinking such questions, I prescribe a dose of getting outside in fresh air and smashing some iron.
P.S. If you more deep insight into life’s problems while you get jacked and swole, click here.