The outer comes from within

What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality.

– Plutarch


This quote is both striking and relevant, since it grasps one significant aspect of the body and brains ideal. That is, it reverses the idea that fitness is, at least primarily, related to something outward, when it is in fact always linked to and emerges from something internal, whether you call that sort of phenomenon psychological or moral.

It is not as much about intelligence as it is about a certain individual focus, mentality and attitude. Because it is not some outer force that makes people who are serious with regard to fitness avoid junk food and go to the gym five-six times a week, but an inner character and motivation. Of course, this individual dimension may partly or even largely be related to outer expectations and social influences, but the conduct itself does always have an internal base. Regardless of people have or have not a ‘free will’ in a philosophical and/or scientific sense, it is most often you who decide whether you should eat at McDonald’s and skip an exercise or not.

The thing is that almost the same goes for intellectual conduct. In order to for instance read more advanced literature, particularly in larger quantities, one has to stay focused, avoid distractions and make the right choices.