Strength in Numbers

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Sam,

As much as I enjoy my alone time to work on my writing, my physic, and my reading, I recognize there is a bit of value in being around others.

Writing is a solitary profession by nature. If you’re not used to being alone (whether you like it or not), then I suggest finding another way to channel your imagination. The same can be said about lifting. At least for me, I prefer to train alone because it’s one of the few times of day when it’s just me against me; when I can see how much I can push myself, to find my limits. However, it does not always necessarily need to be this way. It’s partly unfortunate for those of us who find confidence in the reliance of ourselves and our own potential. We like to do these passions individually because of the pride we get from our efforts. It too is highly beneficial to be exposed to others.

It may be surprising to read me treating the inclusion of others as something that is new or a secret. Well for those who prefer to work alone it is. If you are one of those, like me, this article is for you.

Really, people have preferred the pack traits over the solitary ones. Most people need that extra, exterior support to get through the hard times, celebrate the wins, or to simply hangout together. After all, we are social animals thanks to our evolutionary ancestors. Chimps, and other primates, survived (and advanced) the way they did/do because of their tendency to live in large groups, sometimes with a hierarchy. Operating in structured groups, where each member is placed in the position that will most effectively utilize their strengths, is what makes teams like the X-Men, the Avengers, and the Justice League such popular subjects for story and connection to their audience.

636x460design_01On paper, going to the gym when it’s relatively busy sounds awful. You know people are going to take the weights or machines you want to
use. However, when I’m in there working hard, I find that the presence of other guys and girls to be a boost. We’re all after the same thing: to perfect our bodies. Seeing other tired but exhilarated, sweaty but satisfied people makes me want to lift better; I want to look as good as them in my own way. That’s a major benefit to strength in numbers. I can literally find the strength in me I may not have been able to without the unintentional motivation of other lifters.

Every writer will have various opinions of how they like to write. There’s no wrong method. If you ever find yourself doing any kind of work in the middle of your university dining hall or any public place where people gather, you are participating in one of my favorite atmospheres to write. Remarking on strength in numbers, having a ton of people all around me lets me get absorbed in the chaos. Like being alone in a crowd of people. The indistinct hum of chatter and movement allows me to slip into my imagination and write really well for some reason. Sometimes when I’m in these situations, I don’t even need the ambient music I usually listen to. I need to be invisible in the masses as much as I need to be by myself, private and away from everyone. The occasional change of pace keeps me sharp and adaptable. That’s one of the great things about this art form: you can do it literally anywhere.

These two examples just go to show how surprisingly helpful numbers can be in otherwise introverted practices. I would caution seeking others all the time. But whenever I feel like I need to switch things up, I ask for a buddy to hit the gym with me or sit around with my friends while they talk, and I write.

Cheers.helen-keller-403x218

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