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“I have to live with myself, so I want to be fit for myself to know.” Edgar A. Guest

If we accept the Four Intelligences, specifically Physical, Emotional, Intelligence and Spiritual, then we must also acknowledge that the optimum way to live would be to have all four of them as fit for purpose as possible. Unfortunately, as I see so many people sweating themselves silly in gymnasia (at a time when sweating in a crowd is potentially harmful), what I see is a focus on the physical by people whose ‘other’ fitnesses are being neglected.

The gym bunny who spends as much gym time in front of the mirror as he does on the weights: the runner who is watching ‘Loose Women’ when she could be listening to a good book: the keen jogger who follows their session with a pie: the exerciser who interacts with no-one unless they have to.

All will be physically fit, but how much effort to they put into training their other endowments?

Don’t misunderstand me – there will also be people at the gym who do exercise their whole person. In the main, however, I’m guessing that the vast majority of us don’t exercise in all four areas as much as we could, although we do exercise 2 or 3 endowments to a reasonable extent.

I bemoan the fact that I am unwilling to exercise like a trainee Royal Marine, but I do read a lot, love my family and have a sense of what I want to contribute. Three out of four ain’t bad. And those three, along with the fourth, could benefit from more attention, occasionally.

How about you?

Are you exercising in one or two areas while neglecting the others? If so, it’s never too late to begin addressing your other needs to a degree that you will benefit.

Physical – just eat and drink less or more wisely, and park further away from your home. 😮

Mental – read widely, not just professionally. Good fiction, informative historical articles, and the like.

Social – get out more, contribute rather than just attend. Write a personal journal.

Spiritual – find some meaning on what you do day by day, write a personal mission statement and fully live in congruence with your values.

It is harder than ‘just living’ but the rewards in terms of self-esteem and, I would suggest, the respect from others that follow, are well worth the effort.

But be careful not to get caught up with false prophets and doom-cults! Make sure that what you learn and what you do are positive in terms of content and intent.

If you’ve noticed, a lot of successful people do all of those things. Perhaps they’re on to something?