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  • Writer's pictureWarrick

Pick our own weight - and we are not talking about the gym here

Milo of Croton and the Philosopher's calf

Hello fellow Protagonists,

Metaphorically we are all picking up weights and carrying them to our next destination. Not necessarily dumbbells or sacks of rocks (unless that is your thing) but we are all trying to carry something somewhere.

We are taking ourselves where we are to where we want to be.

This could be related to our relationships, our health, work, balancing our life and hobbies, finances, or many other things. There are aspects of life we want to carry with us with the intention of improving them in the future.

The story of Milo of Croton is an incredible lesson about the importance of carrying our own weights to better ourselves.

Throughout this story weights = ambitions, goals, desires (call them what you will).

Milo lived in Southern Italy, at that time being a colony of ancient Greece. He selected a new born calf and each day he would carry that calf up on his shoulders. Every day the calf grew heavier and heavier until eventually maturing into a full grown bull.

People may have laughed at Milo for carrying a small calf past their kitchen window but I bet that all stopped when seeing him shift a bull around. That would be like taking the piss out of a person for bench pressing 200kg, careful or you may end up with your nose being readjusted to now live below your ear.

With the help of a mentor, Milo knew what he was doing and had a plan.

We need to pick weights that push us but that we are able to carry. Even the smallest of steps to begin with in the right direction are better than nothing. Small steps achieved consistently build momentum and compound massively over time.

If Milo Jumped in at the deep end and tried to pick a bull up on his first day then I think Milo of Croton would have just been remembered as the pleb with the giant ego who was sat on and crushed by a bull.

It is an important part of the story that Milo selected his own calf. If we are in control of selecting our own weights then we are also far more likely to carry them. This is because it is easier to take responsibility for something we have chosen. When we are presented with the weights by other people that are not our own, we are not fulfilling our own purpose and will likely give up when the weight gets too challenging.

Or we end up carrying the weight anyway and resenting the process afterwards.

There also reached a point where Milo could not realistically carry the bull anymore as the bull had become too heavy. You know what Milo did? He ate the bull and found other ways to train.

Seems a touch harsh on the bull for the 4 years of service. Most people get a pen.

When something becomes unrealistic then sometimes the smart option is to drop the weight or to lesson the weight rather than continuing to be overwhelmed. Milo was flexible and adaptable to his problem.

Milo was a wrestler and his impressive strength was said to have won him 6 Olympic games, alongside many other events and titles. Basically he was like Stone Cold Steve Austin back in the 1990's but drank wine instead of beer.

Milo's death is as just as important a lesson as his life. Sometimes we get carried away and become too big for our boots and this backfires massively. Milo thought he could split a tree in half with his bare hands, his hand got caught, he was stuck and eventually eaten by wolves. The prequel to the film 127 hours.

If I had to fake my own death it would sound something like this.

Maybe this is a metaphor and the wolves were his enemies or competitors, waiting for Milo to make a impulsive, egotistical mistake and took him down? Or maybe the wolves were close mates with Milo's old bull, who knows?

In a nutshell what we can learn from Milo of Croton is:

  • To start as small a weight as we need to - progression and consistency are key

  • Don't care about those who put down our smaller weights as one day they will be much larger

  • Pick your own weight, don't let other people select them for you

  • Be flexible and prepared to drop unrealistic weight

  • Check your ego and capabilities before trying something of immense weight

  • Karma - kill and eat a bull that helped you for 4 years and get eaten yourself

Carrying our weight is seriously important. What more is there to do then to try and better ourselves for personal and also collective benefit.

Speak to you all soon, I am off to find a calf.

GLHF (Good Luck Have Fun)


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