“Your opinion is irrelevant! I’m correct! Look at this study!”

Whether it’s Paleo vs Vegetarian, Stretching vs Mobility, Fat vs Carbs, Cardio vs Strength, Star Trek vs Star Wars, Superman vs Batman, Iron man vs Captain America, or Bears vs Packers.

We’re all takin sides 

Which results us to accept certain ideas and immediately discredit others. Look around you. 

Go to any YouTube video on Fitness and spend five minutes in the comment section, and you’ll see people either championing the YouTube video, trolling the YouTube video by commenting with skewering remarks and destroying the other side. 

We are all machines…. and Life is meaningless. (Wait what Logan?)

Can both sides be right? Can both sides be wrong? Why is it that whenever we read something that goes against what we say, we stick our heads in the sand, ostrich-style, and disregard it, only to turn around, with a smirk on our face, and share any news that reaffirms our beliefs?

Would you be able to recognize when you held a wrong belief? 

Obtaining the right mindset to discern what’s true from what’s BS requires us to admit two big things to ourselves:

  • I don’t know shit.
  • Nobody else knows shit either!

Nobody knows anything 

Throughout history, everything we know and have learned generally builds on the work of others before us. 

When we learn something like simple math, we take what we’re taught as facts and it makes sense: 1 + 1 = 2. Hell yes.

In other subjects, be it psychology or physics or biology, humans have taken what we’ve been taught as fact, not really taking note that those facts aren’t actually “factual.” I mean on occasion they are partially true, and sometimes they are totally, 100%, off the target. For example, people assumed for thousands of years that the earth was flat and that it was only a few thousand years old. Many based their careers or life’s work operating under these assumptions until somebody asked and tested, “hey, maybe this thing we’re on is round?”

If you’re like me, you look at people who were SURE the world was flat and thought, “Ignorance….. How could you be so wrong for so long and not even realize it?” It’s easy to look back and say “they didn’t know any better…” but what if some of today’s universal truths aren’t actually true either!?

Uh oh….

Okay work with me here. Imagine if someone came along and told you something that conflicted with your world view in a serious way; like if people had the ability to actually read each others mind. You can just feel our natural tendencies to shaking our heads “NO!!” to something that contradicts what we think we know. You block it out, go against it, and/or try to find somebody to prove that person wrong so you can go back to feeling like everything makes sense.

That’s a seriously terrible old-school way of thinking, and we need to be better! Elon Musk, the world’s most popular smart dude right now and CEO of both Tesla Motors and Space-X, champions “reasoning first” – aka “don’t make a single assumption, question everything”

Greatest quote ever!!

“The quality of life comes from the quality of the question.”

Elon Musk states “I think generally people’s thinking process is too bound by convention or analogy to prior experiences. It’s rare that people try to think of something on a first principles basis. They’ll say, “We’ll do that because it’s always been done that way.” Or they’ll not do it because “Well, nobody’s ever done that, so it must not be good.” But that’s just a ridiculous way to think.”

Elon!! You’re my Iron man (obviously I’m Team Iron man) 

Reasoning from first principles is not practical for most of us for most things (we accept advice and knowledge from experts in certain fields or those we trust, as we don’t have time to reason from first principles). However, keeping this concept in mind can help us see our own blindspots in every area of life.

If we aren’t attentive sometimes our collective human nature can lead us down some very wrong paths. I’m not saying that you’re like this or that you’re the devil…..

 

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This ideology was supported in with Jack Black and the loveliest voice on earth- Mr Tony Robbins

Remember Shallow Hal? Or maybe you don’t remember because you have yet to get your world rocked by belief. I mean I’m trying…..

Anyways in Shallow Hal. Following the advice of his dying father, Hal dates only women who are physically beautiful. One day, however, he runs into self-help guru Tony Robbins, who hypnotizes him into recognizing only the inner beauty of women. Hal thereafter meets Rosemary, a grossly obese woman. Although Hal see’s her as this Super hot Victoria Secrets- like model. The best part: She also found him desirable as well. Hal’s friend Mauricio reveals to Hal that Rosemary is obese. 

Mauricio, worried about Hal’s new taste in women, convinces Robbins to give him the trigger phrase to undo the hypnosis. Mauricio phones Hal, who is on a date with Rosemary, and says the trigger phrase, breaking Hal’s hypnosis. Now Hal sees Rosemary as a overweight girl instead of the person she truly is. Hal now sees in her true, unattractive state. Mauricio sees this and feels guilt. 

Mauricio confesses to Hal the truth about Robbins’ hypnotherapy.  Hal realizes his true feelings for Rosemary.  He has a hard time accepting her weight. But Mauricio stops being a jerk of a friend and confesses he is was jealous of Hal’s happiness and he was the one who told him the Tony Robbins trigger word. Hal convinces Mauricio to accept his abnormality and love for Rose Mary’s appearance. His happiness is more important. 

“Perspective is everything.”

This is called the: “This doesn’t seem right to me but everyone else says it’s right so it must be right and I’ll just pretend I also think it’s right so no one realizes I’m a stupid” phenomenon. We humans often feel an internal desire to conform and will make a wrong decision if everybody else has picked the wrong one too! In short, we would rather be wrong as a group than face ridicule or risk looking stupid if we go against the herd (even if we 100% believe ourselves to be right).

So let’s see how reasoning from first principles factors in to our own health and fitness. We operated for DECADES under the assumption that fat was bad, that squatting deep is bad for your knees, that skim milk is better for you than whole milk, that cholesterol was bad, that you should NEVER skip breakfast, and so on. In fact, I used to follow all these beliefs at one point or another in my fitness journey. If someone said Hilary Clinton sucks or Donald Trump sucks! I could care less. But when it came to these subjects. Aww hell naw.

 I was quick to become a hot head with someone if they disagreed with my beliefs on never skipping breakfast, and that a high fat diet was going to kill you. 

Gah! Baby-faced Logan, What were you thinking?! Where did you go wrong?” 

Simple: I started with the assumption that conventional wisdom was actually wise and then based everything else off of that! Luckily, I did more research and eventually became wiser and accumulated more knowledge but “hey I don’t know shit,” (and maybe more importantly, “nobody else knows shit either!”).. allowing me to modify my viewpoints.

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Mind= Blow AGAIN Jackie Chan!!

Can you see an uncomfortable truth?

Unfortunately, this is incredibly difficult because our minds put up one HELL of a fight. 

They instinctively don’t want to believe we’re wrong, and go to great lengths to keep seeing the world in the same way.  One of the ways we do this is to align ourselves with a “tribe” that can help protect our views – both the right ones and the wrong ones. We’ve been aligning ourselves in an “us” vs “them” mentality since the Ice Age days – back then it was for survival purposes, but these days its often for social recognition. 

Gah, so what are we to do about it? How are we to grow and implement better ways of living when we ourselves are captured by this knee-jerk, belief-defending reaction whenever anybody says anything that goes against our beliefs or threatens the identity of a tribe we’re a part of?

How to Be Persuadable

(Growth mindset)

From five star generals, to top psychologists and teachers to business leaders, people dedicated to absolute success, growth, health, and happiness are those that can be persuadable when the situation calls for it. Here’s how you can be like them:

1) Be flexible/ Open Minded: People are in a hurry to find out the truth, no matter what it is, good or bad. Compare this to what most people do: when we come across info suggesting that our belief is wrong, our brain is quick to give it the middle finger, rather than throw out the existing belief and expend the energy involved in rebuilding and recovering from this discovery.

2) Beware confirmation bias: We actively seek out data that proves what we already know to be true, and dismiss anything that speaks against us. We call this “confirmation bias,” and we see it anywhere. Anybody who has seen Making a Murderer on Netflix is quite familiar with our ability as humans to come up with information to fit our beliefs rather than the other way around.

When we read, hear or see something that goes against our beliefs, we skip right over it and try to find somebody that is also bashing against the study. Or, we just read the articles that reinstates our beliefs to make sure our worldview stays in tact. No more! We need to be our own watchdog, and make a determined effort to see our tendency to believe what we already believe rather than have a healthy skepticism of everything.

3) Small shifts to your perspective: Changing your belief isn’t a walk in the park. It’s difficult. It can feel a bit like making a major lifestyle/exercise change. This is because our brains love to think in binary (it’s easier), and the reality is that life is functionally muddy. “Eating meat gives you cancer! Chewing gum gives you cancer! No! eating mostly meat is the healthiest thing you can do!” “Carbs will kill you! Wait, fat will kill you!” “Eating anything will kill you!!! FAST FOREVER!!!”

The truth is most often more complicated than that:

  • Meat can be good or bad based on the source, how it’s prepared, and what it’s consumed with.
  • Carbs can be good or bad based on the source, how it’s prepared, and what it’s consumed with.
  • Fat can be good or bad based on the source, how it’s prepare, and what it’s consumed with.

The truth is most often more complicated than that:

  • Meat can be good or bad based on the source, how it’s prepared, and what it’s consumed with.
  • Carbs can be good or bad based on the source, how it’s prepared, and what it’s consumed with.
  • Fat can be good or bad based on the source, how it’s prepare, and what it’s consumed with.

Just as I had my foundational core shock with my exposure to the principles of Ketogenic dieting and intermittent fasting (skip breakfast? What!), I have incrementally shifted my perspective since then to realize nothing is black and white. I’ve found a strategy that works for me intermittent fasting in nature but I’m not afraid of carbs and something different might work for somebody else.

If you find yourself using all or nothing, absolute, or definite that may be a sign you need to be more persuadable.

4) Confront your “darlings” directly and with intention. Sometimes our beliefs are such a huge part of how we see the world, that changing our minds can drastically alter how it feels to be “you.” Who are you if you flip-flopped to being a Republican instead of a Democrat (gasp!) or vice versa. What will people think if you change from being a Vegan to a Paleo person or from a meat-lover to vegetarian (HERESY!)? Think about a core belief in your life – maybe it’s related to politics, health and fitness, or whether Star Wars or Lord of the Rings is the ultimate nerd trilogy.

If you stumble across information or have an experience that makes you think something you hold core to “you” might be wrong –  you can either discard it at your own peril, or you can realize that you’ve opened the door to a new life and that old ‘belief’ doesn’t define you – that you can change your mind and it doesn’t make you a bad person.

When we encounter this information in the world – a conversation with a friend, see a documentary, read an article – we react reflexively. Our automatic brains take over, and we don’t have a chance of looking at the thing honestly. That’s why it requires a separate, dedicated inspection. Think about these things in your life, and go out looking for why you might be wrong.

Which means we need to do our best to not try and fit our identities into rigid beliefs from a tribe we’re a part of. Conversely, we need to align ourselves as a tribe of scientists: everything should be questioned, and all hypotheses should be experimented with.

If we find out that something is wrong or that new information requires us to change, we will adapt! No earth-shattering questioning of our human soul is completely demanded: we will learn, experiment, test, shake our heads yes, shake our heads no, adapt, change, and grow.

At the end of the day. 

Smile to as many people as you can. You don’t need to take life so effin seriously!!! 

Welcome to the Logan Tyler Nelson Rebellion: a community of go-getters, average Joes and Jills, built on a foundation – not an ideology – of support and a healthy questioning of conventional wisdom.

We also love life. We love relaxing hard and working hard. We love to love. Especially every Avengers movie that comes out. So Joss Whedon please keep making gold. 

But some of us don’t like Avengers movies. Likewise, what works for the majority of people in the LTN community might not work for you (and that’s okay too!). If you want to try a new way of eating, training, or try something different than what you’ve read here, TEST THE HYPOTHESIS on yourself and see if it works!

Be your own authority:

  • Are you healthier?
  • Are you happier?
  • Do you feel more confident in your skin?

If it worked, keep doing it! In fact, keep doing it until it doesn’t work anymore, and then incrementally shift your approach as you conduct new experiments. Be a scientist that is always learning and questioning and analyzing and adapting.

If you’re curious, here’s what we stand for as a Rebellion:

  • We are actively open-minded and aware of confirmation bias that we all have.
  • We are skeptical of conventional wisdom.Wisdom is based on the past, and it’s often years behind reality. We do believe our eyes and ears and experience and experiments. If you told me 5 years ago: “Logan, don’t eat breakfast, fat is good, cholesterol is bad for you, it’s healthy to skip meals, and fruit juice is sugar water,” I would have looked at you like you’re crazy.
  • We make incremental improvements to our philosophy. I can’t promise what you read on LTN this month will still be true four years from now. In fact, I hope it’s not! We’re going to continue learning and adjusting and fighting for better lives and always keep looking for the truth.
  • LTN is cautious not to develop dogma. It should not determine our identity as a community. We are all scientists trying hard to support each other on our own quests to find out what method to health and happiness works best for us. We don’t attack other communities for their contrarian beliefs or employ an “Us vs Them” mentality for members of our community that don’t line up with our personal beliefs. We’re all in this together, and we’re in for life.
  • We don’t engage with trolls: We get very angry emails from people who are all-in on another dogma (full paleo, fruititarian, vegetarian, vegan) and feel like their identity is being called into question if we present a viewpoint different than their rigid philosophy.  Because somebody is wrong on the internet, they feel it’s their duty to call us out. To those people, we say genuinely: “sounds like you found something that works for you, congrats!.” Life is way too short to spend time on this.

I would love to hear from you:

  • What’s one thing you’ve been fundamentally wrong about in the past that you have come around on? 
  • How did you cope and deal with it? 
  • Make a comment in the comments section it’s actually super cathartic to admit and say “hey I don’t know shit.” Especially for those of us who think “we-have-to-know-EVERYTHING