Image vs Substance


It is through language, imagery and participation that we learn. We choose our values and make our judgements from the things we see and hear and experience. Today there seems to be a disturbing trend that is affecting the values we choose and the judgements we make.  Some of us are more concerned with image and how something “appears” to be (how it looks), they live in the moment without any thought for substance or deeper meaning.We see this preoccupation with image all the time. Politicians that spin their true intentions to sensationally steal a vote, vacuous media “celebrities” that fail to contribute anything except to display their beauty, wealth and bad habits. Virtually ALL advertising has this vulgar obsession with image and lifestyle that affects every choice we make. We see it too in music, the cinema and sport. Let’s not get too excited by flashy demo’s and spinning kicks or by individuals that are so image conscious they believe they are more important than the rest of us, and make little or no contribution to our community unless it benefits them. The current success of MMA and the UFC is a great example of this. These new breed of fighters bad mouth and slag each other off, peer into the camera grimacing and snarling in an attempt to intimidate their future opponents. I find it ridiculous that anyone would be intimidated by this superficial and theatrical act of arrogance; – just because someone says they are the best or the most dangerous, doesn’t make it true. It is propaganda, it is marketing, it is spin. It is not the truth but an illusion that grabs our attention for the wrong reasons. What seems to be more important is hitting the sunbeds and getting ripped, having just the right tattoo’s or that special haircut to become the fighter that everyone’s talking about (it happens in Thai-Boxing too). Just because a fighter appears in the Martial Arts magazines all the time, doesn’t mean that much and doesn’t necessarily make them any better than you or I. Look beyond the surface image at who people really are. Take away all the sensationalism and look at what fighters really do and the skills they actually use. Image conscious individuals would rather spend time on things that will impress others. Focus your time on developing real skills that take time and are hard to come by. Do things properly and don’t rush just to get to some ideal standard. Never be frightened of failure, it is an important ingredient to becoming great. Making mistakes and getting things wrong is an essential part of learning. Image conscious people are afraid to explore, they don’t like to make mistakes for fear of looking bad. Remember, whatever you focus on becomes  your idea of reality. If you focus your attention on image without regard for substance, you are measuring your self worth by what is on the outside. YOU decide what is on the inside by holding yourself to a higher standard. You have the power right now to control how you think, how you feel and what you do. Standing up for what you believe, focusing on what you are deeply committed to will give you a healthy self worth that will help create your destiny – You are not defined by what you say or how you look…, but by what you do. One of the most important things I want you to realise is that you have absolute control over your own internal world – you decide what things mean and what to do about them.

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