“The wise man questions himself; the fool, others.” -Henri Arnold

(This is the first in a series of QUOTEFLUENCE, where we’ll examine quotes that influence us to take positive action.)

There’s a well known piece of business advice that warns to make sure you are never the smartest person in the room.  Good news for me, as I’ve never been in danger of that.  (A point that was never so humbly illustrated than during the years I spent teaching preschool ballet.)

Actually, I can proudly say that the smartest thing about me is there is so much I don’t know. 

Because I’m aware of this fact, I have a habit of making sure everything that I know or think I know about anything – the small stuff and the big stuff – goes through a personal vetting process on a regular basis.

It’s why our household gives equal time to every news network and publication.  It’s the reason my friends of other faiths get barraged with my curiosities.  It’s the reason I consume controversial documentaries and books with the sole purpose of learning (and understanding) something from each side. It explains my love of traveling and exploring the differences between cities, states, and countries.  And, it explains my semi-weird attraction to anything that makes me skeptical.  

Questioning myself doesn’t mean I’ve ever had to compromise my principles.  What it means is that I’m strong enough to handle the possibility that what I was taught as a child or learned as an adult might not have been correct to begin with, or if it was, it might not serve me now.

Think about your phone or computer.  You’d never buy one and refuse to check for updates.  These updates serve to fix bugs and enhance existing programs, both of which help the device run smoother.  Why would you ever expect less from your own mind?

And don’t be turned off by the idea of “not questioning others.”  That doesn’t mean you have to blindly follow the leads of others. It means you stay busy enough holding your own feet to the fire so that you don’t have the time or the need to debate (or criticize) others about their beliefs.

I can safely say that the practice of subjecting my own truths to consistent scrutiny, and updating them when need be, has given me more peace than anything else in my life. It’s what allows me to stand quietly, yet confidently, in my beliefs about politics, religion, diet, lifestyle, and all the small stuff in between.  

It’s also what prompted me to start this online ProgramFIT community.  Luckily for you, I’m not the smartest person in this community, and I’ll never question others for the path they choose toward fitness.  Instead, I’ll forever be seeking out people smarter than me, searching for my next “update,” and sharing what I find with you!

What systems do you have in place to ensure you are getting consistent “updates” in all areas of your life, including health and fitness?

About Kristin Dowell

Kristin is a group fitness instructor and personal trainer with certifications from ACE and AFAA, is qualified to coach over a dozen specialty programs, and is the creator of 3 exercise DVDs. From creating physical training programs for fire academies, to teaching preschool dance, (and just about everything in between)...
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