How deep does the rabbit hole go?

Once we have started to question conventional wisdom in relation to one aspect of lifestyle it generally leads us to be more open to questioning other aspects.

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The red pill/blue pill scene in the Matrix is a well used cliche so probably doesn’t require explaining (if it does then google is your friend). Once we have decided to “take the red pill” we then find out a little more which leads to more questions and the spiral continues. It feels like a gateway, a cascade, a deepening rabbit hole. An awakening of our awareness, an itch that we need to scratch. Like an itch it can become a little uncomfortable. Our views are no longer congruent with the world around us. It can feel a little like we’re swimming upstream. But if we embrace it we can become comfortable. We don’t need to walk against the flow, we’re not even on the same path anymore.

What follows are just some ideas for illustration and exploration of the differences in lifestyle, mind-set, finances and approaches to fitness between the conventional wisdom (taking the blue pill) and going back and questioning from first principles (taking the red pill).

Fitness

“Blue pill thinking” 

  • Eat a whole grain, high carb, low fat diet
  • Do long, grinding sessions of steady “cardio” at a moderate pace
  • Split strength training up into individual muscles and body parts
  • Try to combat a 95% sedentry lifestyle with individual, seperate exercise sessions

“Red pill thinking”

  • Adopt a Paleo diet (unprocessed foods, high vitality, high fat, high protein, low carb diet)
  • Sprint occasionally
  • Consider strength training in terms of whole body movements
  • Continuously vary the fitness challenge (re. Crossfit)
  • Intergrate regular movement into daily life 
  • Cold shower – google it!

 

Finances

“Blue pill thinking”

  • Continuously use credit cards and loans
  • Run a car on finance
  • Save minimally for retirement
  • Work until the “standard” retirement age
  • Keep up with the Joneses

“Red pill thinking”

  • Become debt free and stay there
  • Keep a safety net saved
  • Invest something before you do anything else with your paycheck 
  • Buy things second hand and don’t worry about image
  • Take responsibility for finding out about how to significantly improve retirement saving
  • Ride a bike or walk rather than use a car 

 

Mindset

“Blue pill thinking”

  • Make watching T.V. your main hobby
  • Be a slave to social media and smartphones
  • Indulge the cult of “busyness”
  • Be a good little consumer (believe advertising, “sales” and that you need to keep up)
  • Pay continuous attention and worry about “the news”

“Red pill thinking”

  • Media-fast
  • Be mindful 
  • Think in terms of effectiveness not efficiency and recognise that being busy is not a badge of honour (“there is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all” – Peter Drucker)
  • Be creative
  • Read regularly (if possible in fields you wouldn’t normally)
  • Minimalise
  • Be open to learning wherever possible
  • Consider the principles of the Slow movement
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