Because the monkeys refuse to let go of the fruit, the tribesman can easily capture the monkeys. The monkeys have, in essence, trapped themselves by holding on too tight. You won't let go of control, and so you become imprisoned mistaking control for security. Image Management Projecting to the world that you and your family are well and happy reinforces your delusion that everything must be okay. Partners frequently learn to live in fantasy, inventing a false reality that is less painful than the truth. You become adept at living with a high tolerance for inappropriate behavior to the extent that you no longer recognize the inappropriateness. You chronically give the addict the benefit of the doubt; Smooth is fast. I take this to mean that when you rush around, you're going at an unsustainable pace and not paying attention to yourself or what's going on around you. If you're a special operator in combat, this is going to have serious consequences. This mantra also means you should apply enough effort to perform a skill smoothly, but not so much that you sacrifice form for speed or power. This is the exact opposite of the go faster messages that our devices give us. To embrace smoothness, we need to set our own pace and find the right rhythm and cadence for our activity. Just Because You Can Do More Doesn't Mean You Should We may have the capacity to increase load, work rate, or volume, but this doesn't mean it's healthy. One thing no app or device can currently do is measure the total allostatic load--which is a fancy way of saying the amount of stress something places on your body. We can look at individual measurements, whether oxygen saturation and heart rate variability in commercially available technology or muscle breakdown and growth in labs like Andy's at Cal State Fullerton. Andrew Carnegie (Who became one of the richest men in American history due to his contributions in expanding the American

I'm sorry. That's so good, we need to read it again. People who are unable to motivate themselves must be content with mediocrity. Being content with mediocrity? That's so harsh! As I broke down what this meant, I came to realize that I was secretly content with mediocrity. Does it matter if I lived a more comfortable and secure life financially than most? Does it matter if I stayed thin and had friends and worked at a job that provided opportunities to advance and grow? You lose yourself in this process, living a life of internal chaos, emotional isolation, and pain marked by control and numbness. I was busy with the kids and my part-time work. We had all of the family toys: a nice home, a nice neighborhood, and vacations once or twice a year. I always had a smile on for the world and even when I was alone I stayed preoccupied with any and everything, truly ignoring the subtle signs. By the time my perfect life was shattered, there had been multiple women, a child he was financially supporting, and job changes that all occurred as a result of his behavior. I just wanted my perfect life where I don't think, don't talk, don't hear, and don't see. Perfectionism becomes a part of many women's image management. It often stems from internalized shame, operating from the belief that a woman has to be the best to get her partner's or society's approval--or even simply to not be rejected. The belief is this: If I do more, if I am all things right, everything will be okay. At some point you learned to push yourself to excel, to be the best. But even with such tests, we still lack the ability to accurately gauge the overall impact of any session and to make a recommendation for what to do the next day based on this. We're also unable to measure the emotional and cognitive consequences of activity and competition.

You might not find a particular activity physically draining, but it might require absolute concentration and so leave you mentally fatigued the next day, or even for a few days. When we act on our smartwatch's advice to do yet another all-out workout, we often add a stress load to a body and mind that's already overtaxed and underrecovered. In his research, Frank has found that while going too far in a single workout can make our muscles sore for a couple of days, it can take up to two weeks for our bodies to fully bounce back from a session that went into overtraining territory. What if your app is pushing you too hard day after day, week after week? Eventually you're going to break down. The solution is to stop relying on technology to tell you when you're ready to do something or when you need to rest. On those days that you're not sure, you can either turn to a coach who knows how to see patterns in the testing that you are doing, or just do a light-intensity activity, like going on a bike ride with your kids or significant other. You could also do your own heart rate variability or oxygen saturation monitoring for a couple of weeks and sync this up with your perceived energy levels, improvements or dips in performance, and overall well-being. Does it matter that I had very few traumatic moments in my past? None of these variables matter because, in my 22 year-old mind, I still considered myself mediocre. While I could settle for earning a pretty good wage as a recent college graduate, I was doing nothing to work towards a wage that I wanted to earn in the future, in a career I really wanted to work in. I considered myself mediocre, because I was doing nothing to proactively get to my goals. There were no actions behind my words. Even if I did put forth action, I didn't even know what my goals were! This quote was quite a shock to my system. To realize that I'm actually content with mediocrity? If you had a passion and a goal in mind, you could easily spend 30 minutes Googling the topic and come up with what you need to do. You could call someone who knows what to do, or at least point you in the right direction. But that means that there is no room for mistakes or vulnerability. Anything less than 150 percent becomes unacceptable.

It would mean failure, and there is too much at stake to risk failure. In your mind, not only is your relationship at stake, but also the possible impact on your children, your livelihood, and ultimately your esteem. How could I not act like everything is okay? How could I say to people that my life and my marriage were a farce, a lie? They probably knew, but what did that say about me? I'm a fool? To allow myself to realize I was no different than his previous two wives when I had been so smitten. I was sure he would be different with me. Once you've dialed in the connection between the numbers and your self-awareness, you won't need the technology anymore. A Point of Diminishing Returns In the fitness industry, it has become popular to prescribe the minimum effective dose of exercise needed to produce adaptation. This is understandable, as there's no point collecting junk mileage that does more harm than good. But often the minimum dose is based on outdated research or blanket averages that work in studies of untrained athletes but not for anyone at a higher level. This is why Andy tests elite athletes to find when they break or, if they don't, to see when a certain stimulus stops producing worthwhile returns. By looking at the extremes that the world's best athletes can go to and identifying when they stop improving, we're better able to work backwards and give more informed recommendations to the rest of us. This is returning exercise physiology to its origins in the Harvard Fatigue Lab. One way that you can challenge yourself is to push further physically and mentally than you think you can go from time to time, while avoiding overtraining day-to-day and week-to-week. Doing a once-a-year event or taking an adventurous trip that you don't specifically train for once in a while can help you move past technology-imposed parameters and expand your definition of what you're capable of. Remember, the steps are simple! You identify the desire, plan steps, schedule the implementation, execute the plan, and repeat.

But just like me, most people are living content with mediocrity and we don't have the backbone to address this reality head-on. It doesn't matter what cause or mission it's for, facing reality is tough for folks to swallow. Since you're reading this article, it's obvious something isn't going the way you want it to. You don't have the contentment and purpose in your life that others seem to have. Those three world problems I broke down sound great to get passionate about, but you haven't made any headway with any passion. You have issues in your life that you can't get your butt behind. The title, Pathetically Apathetic, caught your attention because deep down, it may describe you. This is why I sympathize with your lack of purpose and contentment. I liked our lifestyle, our friends. I loved him and believed he loved me. So I just kept up the pretense, the image, because to do anything differently would make me question what this meant about me. Controlling people, places, and things is a part of image management. This external type of control, coupled with a form of internal control where you don't show your feelings or own your needs, is also a part of image management and perfectionism--a cocktail of both trauma response and codependent traits. For some women, image management is about having a perfectly sculpted body. Many submit to liposuction, cosmetic surgery, and breast augmentation in an attempt to contain the addict's behavior. When I found out about his first affair, I deliberately dieted and decided to have my breasts enlarged. I thought it would please him, but it didn't stop his acting out. I ended up feeling like my body parts were just another part of his addiction. Maybe that's signing up for a 10k even though you've never run more than a couple of miles, or deciding to do a Tough Mudder or Spartan Race despite the fact you can't climb and don't like the idea of confronting electric wires and icy plunges. Doug Larson, one of Andy's copresenters on the Barbell Shrugged podcast, does one thousand burpees every New Year's Day.