Recently I finished reading this business best seller, The Goal. Read really isn’t the right word—I devoured this work by Eliyahu M. Goldratt and Jeff Cox. I really enjoy reading narrative form business books.


What I particularly enjoyed are the main character’s conversations with a man named Jonah. Jonah is a clear thinker, and quickly cut through the main character’s—and indeed an entire industry’s—false notions of what constituted important metrics to measure in manufacturing and what the goals should be.

This is a fitness site, and I’m talking about a business book, but there are no disconnects. We have irrational ideas when it comes to fitness and our goals are incorrect. Here are a few:

Appearance—looking good is a top goal for many. Yet, appearance is an effect of proper training, not something to be sought after for its own merit. Why? For one it’s a fool’s pursuit. Looking at a cover model and saying “I want that” dismisses your uniqueness and sets you up to strive for something that might not be attainable for you and your body.

Skinny eating—I’m thin, so if I decline a sugar-laden dessert, many will say, “Oh, what are you worried about, you can afford it!” These people think of calories as calories and dismiss quality. In fact, these people aren’t thinking at all—this response, “You can afford it,” when it comes to a thin person eating whatever they want, is ingrained in our culture. People who utter it are parroting a cultural meme and have by-passed the thinking centers of the brain.

Dieting—Short-term thinking. Recently on Facebook one of my friends who lost 65 pounds so far this year posted this:

I am walking a LOT more than I used to, mainly ‘commuting’ between buildings on the work’s campus; as well as eating only 1/2 of what’s given to me in any circumstance and not drinking any calories. Other than that, nothing fancy.

Nothing fancy indeed. So why is your underwear all bunched up worrying about how to lose weight? Probably because you’re thinking irrationally about it and looking for shortcuts! (Hey, it happens to the best of us.)

In the book, Jonah is an extremely busy man and highly sought after. He can’t answer all the questions that Mr. Rogo has for him, so he routinely tells Mr. Rogo to “think about it.”

When it comes to being fit and healthy—something that is part of the natural order of being—think about it. Ignore cultural suggestions and beliefs about dieting and skinny eating and appearance. Focus on a higher goal.

What do you think the goal should be?

P.S. If you’re interested in a great business book, check out The Goal: