For those, like me, tuned into the cultural mandate that says you are essentially a good person, coming to terms with my submission that your heart is deceptive will be tough. Let me help you see this through the lens of history.
The idea that unleashing intellect through education suffered a fatal blow in the 20th century. We left the nineteenth century on the crest of the European Enlightenment wave. The industrial revolution had delivered a great empire, slavery had been cast aside, social justice was spreading, universal suffrage was dawning and universal education was going to provide mankind’s release from the bondage of ignorance. preceeding these social strides you had the Scottish Reformation, the Great Christian Awakening in the USA, the Welsh Christian Revival, huge crowds gathering to hear Charles Spurgeon and Edwards, John Wesley amongst many others, sharing the good news that there is meaning and purpose to our lives, there is hope of salvation and a life to follow the trials of our brief time on planet earth.
And then the 20th Century unfolded in all its horror. 6 million Jews, 20 million Slavs under Stalin, 20% of the population of Cambodia, the Great War with 60,000 British soldiers falling on the first day, 800,000 in Rwanda mostly be machete. If ever you wanted evidence of our deceptive hearts and vulnerability to lies and brutality there it is. Mankind’s revolutionary political systems set to release men and women from the yolk of ignorance has enslaved us to nuclear weapons and the fear of global terrorism.
The point is that it’s not education you primarily need to make you a better athlete but these truths about the condition of your heart and soul. Now when we face obstacles to our training programme you will be able to fight off the demons that steal your time.
Now for our first exercise: Write down the time stealer in your life. Here’s some ideas: TV, the internet, blogging, and administrative matters that have suddenly become urgent because I failed to attend to them when they first appeared. And the next exercise: stop letting these things interfere with your exercise programme, time alone with the person you love in conversation and your sleep. Doesn’t matter how you do it, just do as you are told and stop. Now your mind and time are free to get on with cultivating in preparation for growth as an athlete. If you want things to change the first thing you have to do is change.