If I asked you right now - what is a strong human, what would come to mind?
A hardened Navy SEAL who makes it through hell week (the toughest week of military training in the world) by sheer grit and determination? A power-lifter beating the Deadlift world record? A budding entrepreneur who, in the pursuit of success, works 80 hours weeks on 4 hours of sleep a night?
Or would it be someone overcoming their emotional trauma through introspective work and countless hours of therapy? A man daring to cry in front of his girlfriend despite being told by his father that it was weak and pathetic to do so? A woman stepping into confrontation and telling her boss "no" to staying late and finishing that report, even though it terrifies her?
When it comes to the question of what makes a strong human, there are two schools of thought in self-development.
The "soft" approach and the "hard" approach.
At the extremes, the hard approach teaches you to "suck it up" and "work harder" whereas the soft approach emphasizes tolerance and acceptance but lacks the "punch" required to create powerful change in the world.
Think of this as the apathetic, powerless hippy on the left and the restless, stressed-out businessman on the right.
In this episode of the ikario podcast, myself and Shane discuss the middle way between these two extremes (which we call "gentle strength") and how it's possible to integrate the useful aspects of both to become a powerful and strong person.
In this episode...
Some of the points covered in today's conversation:
- Why the extreme hard approach to strength is not useful for most people.
- How we can embody all of the traits that make a person strong, powerful and capable without unnecessary aggressiveness.
- What most people consider "strength" is in fact insecure posturing, and how to tell the difference.
- Why it's important to not become a pushover whilst integrating the "soft" approach into your life.
- The reason why people don't listen to the "softies" - "they don't have the things that I want."
- Why real strength only counts when you have the choice of being gentle.