Saturday, November 12, 2011

"Well, that depends."

There's been something on my mind lately. Why is it that we all believe ourselves to be unique individuals and yet as a race, humans readily buy into ideas that are marketed as the one right solution? Why do we jump on the band wagon so quickly? Why is it so hard for us to step back, take a deep breath and problem solve our way to the right answer for us as an individual instead of just grasping onto the latest trend?

I had a strained conversation with a client this week that had me thinking about this. He asked me what seems to be a simple question, "What is the better way to train, aerobically or anaerobically?"

My answer was, "Well, that depends." Then I asked him what his goals were. His answer was to be fit. Then I said, "What does fit mean to you? What is your specific fitness goal?" He didn't have an answer for me. He wanted me to give him the one right answer. What I told him was that there is no one right answer. There is only knowledge to draw from and to help us find our way but only if we know what our goal is.

In my experience, that is precisely what most people do not want to hear. And I wonder why that is. Is it that people don't want to have to ask themselves the questions they need to to define their goals? How can you find the right path if you don't know what the desired destination is? If one person wants to go to Alaska and another to Europe, it makes absolutely no sense that they would follow the same path to their destinations.

So if we're willing to accept that each of us is different, how can we expect simple answers to our questions? There is no black and white, only shades of grey. Why are people so uncomfortable with grey?