[Post by Adam T. Glass originally for his blog]

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IIwrote on Facebook the three dumbest words I use are:

WHY

SHOULD

TRY

I want to write about that idea, the rationale, and logical conclusion the use of these words.

Words matter.

I believe they do, at least.

Many others do, too.

Words matter, yet how often do we forget they matter? How often do we select words which are harming us?

Words harming me?

Is that an over statement?

I believe words which cause psychological harm are no less threatening than physical objects which can damage your body. How many people do you know have been twisted by a hurtful statement, or a disrespectful label, a negative criticism, or abusive verbal barrage?

That is off topic from our destination, but perhaps it will drive home the power of words.

All words have something in common. No matter their language, written or spoken, they are all the same thing. A word is a metaphor for an idea.

Our ideas are influenced by our belief systems. Our belief systems are often lens from which we view the world.

It could be argued that words are the fruits of our belief systems.

There is something else words do, they shape and reshape those belief systems. What you say may reflect how your belief system with that context stands, but more amazingly saying new words can result in a reformed belief structure.

Now this concept was introduced to me by Frankie Faires and Marty Lotspeich one day during a discussion of belief systems. As we talked, my mind returned to the first week of Basic Military Training.

One of the first things that happens when you go to basic military training is you are forced to use a new vocabulary. The degree of modification differs depending on the branch, but the design is present in all.

So day 1 of training a new set of rules comes about, rules about everything; rules telling you how to shave, how to shit, how to shower, how to dress, how to walk. Even rules about how and when you can speak.

There are now words you are not allowed to use. Use of these words carries a penalty. Example: An NCO asks you a question and you respond with, “Yeah, man.” Ass chewing in 3, 2, 1.

There are other words you must use. Failing to do so will result in a penalty. Example: Failing to refer to a higher ranking person by their title or rank.

There are words which when used correctly will earn you privileges, rewards, or at least decent treatment in response. Example: reporting statements when addressing instructors.

“By making us say it, they were over time, making us believe it.”

By making us say it, they were over time, making us believe it.

Think about that — By changing our words they were changing our minds.

As I said, I want to share with you my most useless words. The ones which make me feel dumb, and effectively make me dumber.

I believe Should, Why, and Try are very poor ideas. I disagree with the ideas in the majority of situations in which they are introduced.

SHOULDshouldnt-i-should-decide

 

In terms of the universe, as in physical reality, should is what didn’t happen. Should is what you think would be better to happen.

A tenant of The Gym Movement Protocol, and lynchpin of Movement culture is doing what is best for one’s self. That is what we teach people to do in the gym, with their diets, and ultimately their lives.

Part of me doing what is best for me is thinking for myself. A related but essential element to this is the belief that other people are qualified to run their own shit, and they do not require an additional person deciding for them.

With this said I am not someone who likes to be told what I “should” do. How often does the person telling me what I should do know all of the factors at hand?

And of course, I do not tell people what they should do. I fucking do my best to stay on that line, too. Those of you who ask me for advice know how I answer. If the situation is about you I would like to know what you think about it. On those moments I fuck up and say the word, I feel the sting. That is me using a conflicted belief. How can I believe you are qualified to run your own shit and tell you how to handle your shit?

Do you know what conflicting belief systems will do to a person over time?

As Frankie says, Brain damage.

So should is either what didn’t happen, so it’s fucking inaccurate…or it is you (or me) thinking that we know better than someone else. That is not congruent.

 

TRYwe-try-harder-tvlowcost-australia

 

What is trying?

Trying is effort.

There is a cost for everything and effort seems to make everything cost more.

One of the most amazing things that happened after Frankie first taught me the Gym Movement Protocol was lifts got easier. As I reduced my training effort, as I made things easier, they got easier. So much so that now you will almost never see me distressed in a lift, no matter how challenging it actually is.

Guess what happened when I introduced that to my life and how I approached life? Things got better.

So if I am someone who has and continues to benefit from an absence of effort it does me little good to continue to use that word. If I am asking someone to apply more effort, does that actually mean they do a better job? Is trying harder the best solution to a problem? Often it seems that when we take different and new action we can find better paths to success.

I am far more often guilty of using try compared to should. The overall trend is better though.

 

WHYWhyUs

 

The great majority of ideas to be communicated are explained according to who, what, where, when, how, and why. Of those questions, why is the least accurate. More accurately, why is the one we get wrong most often.

We are actually awesome at getting why wrong. Human history is the story of how wrong we are on why. Science, medicine, religion, culture, all shaped and reshaped by bad whys.

Apparently we get the why wrong so often that almost all scientific “whys” from 100 years ago would be described as inaccurate to completely incorrect. The mesh of culture and government is so fucked we could talk about it for days.

350 years ago having a seizure or stroke could get you burned alive, because everyone knew the reason why you are trembling or screaming and moving uncontrollably is a sign of satanic influence. Why does she shake? She is possessed by a demon!

Bad why’s have inflicted serious fucking shit upon humanity. Of course the more accurate way to say that could be humans have done incredible harm to themselves with our shitty whys.

One of the first things taught in the BioMech 1 course material is, one can never really know why anything happens. This is not like a “god’s will” thing; this is like a physical limitation. There are trillions of events unfolding directly in front of me, but I do not have the senses to perceive them. I can only see relatively big things, not molecules and atoms. We only perceive a tiny portion of the light spectrum. Most of the sounds of the world can’t be heard with human ears. Our brains have limits on how much data it can take in and how fast it can put out a response. We can’t see things moving very fast like bullets and we often misidentify objects at all distances. Even the perception of time is a limitation, as there are events which happen faster than humans can perceive.

So with all that said, I can’t really know why. I can’t tell you why you do the things you do, I can’t tell you why I do the things I do. Not really. Ask why over and over, “peel the onion” and you find you are now spending more and more time on it.

Next time ask “What next?” rather than “Why did?”

Now this is not a bad thing all the time. Curiosity is what enables us to find better. The issue is time. The more you have to think, the less time you have to act.

What is a better use of your time? Asking why something happened, or asking what to do next?

I have pets. It  is extremely rare, but sometimes when you have dog you may walk in to a room and discover a huge pile of shit on the floor.

As soon as you find the shit you know you need to clean it up. That has to happen. Now of course you can rack your brain about why the dog shit on the floor, but that shit did still needs to be cleaned. Dog shit on floor, what to do next? Clean up shit.

This is how I approach situations; I ask myself what to do next. Sometimes I don’t know the next move.

Which would you prefer?

A situation in which you do not know why it happened, but you know what you need to do next?

Or

A situation which you must resolve and you know all the details of why it happened, but now you do not know what to do next?

Which of these points to an action?

I believe taking action is a better route than experiencing more sensation. In the Gym Movement Protocol, we teach to focus on external objectives rather than making our focus internal sensations. In life, many things can go better when we focus on next action to take rather than why action must be taken.

That is a topic in and of itself.

By comparison to should and try I find why the least obnoxious in use. While I have no problem discovering I am wrong, I do not set myself up for more wrong by wasting much time here.

In practical application? Many disagreements and misunderstandings between people emerge with why. A silly but easily illustrated example: Have you ever walked by someone and said hello, but they said nothing and walked past you?

This is pretty elementary right? Why didn’t they say hello?

What would be reasons? There are many.

Maybe they are late for a meeting? Maybe they didn’t hear you? Maybe they are so preoccupied in thought that they didn’t even notice you? Maybe they don’t like you? Maybe they are en route to the bathroom for an emergency NO-Xplode shit? Maybe their dog died?

Chasing why could take you on all sorts of actions here.

Or better question: what will you do next?

Say it again?

Say nothing?

Ask them if they are ok?

Tell them to fuck off?

You will make a call, it happens so fast. We don’t really know why we picked the one. You think you do, but imagine how far we could go and how long it could take?

Not everyone who reads this will understand or agree with anything written here. Consider it a different perspective. All of these words here are my attempts to give you a new potential action.

Upon reading this you can take a new action. You can examine the words you use and you can decide if changes could be made.

Or you can do something else.

I say do it and try not to think so hard on why you did it…

But you shouldn’t do that.

 

 

 

 

 

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About The Author

Adam Glass

Adam T. Glass is a world record holder and world class grip athlete. You can find him online at His Blog. His latest DVD, Industrial Strength Grip Vol. 2 was released in 2012.