Of course genetics exists. But the problem about believing too much in genetics is this:
We tend to believe that our future and fate is determined by our genetics. And that our genetics overpower our effort and willpower.
Let me share more thoughts with you:
I believe in free will. I believe I can craft my life however I please.
Of course just because I put in great effort doesn’t mean I will necessarily become a trillionaire or own 1,000 Lamborghinis. But, I have the power to:
- Put great industry into whatever I love and care about.
- To think great and lofty thoughts
- To write, create, and share whatever I desire on this blog.
To me, courage is 1000x more essential than your genetic pre-disposition.
Half man, half god
To be a demigod literally meant to be half man, half god. Hector and Achilles were both demigods. Their mighty strength was (in part) determined by their “genetics”. Yet their valor didn’t come as a consequence of their genetic makeup; it was determined via their valor and courage.
No matter how hard I try, I cannot “grow”any taller. Or suddenly change my Eastern Asia heritage into Western African.
What can I control, what can I NOT control?
So once again– there are some physiological aspects I cannot change about myself (my height, the morphology of my body), etc. But there are many things I can change and improve/evolve in myself:
- Increase the size of my skeletal muscle (muscle mass)
- Lower my bodyfat percentage
- Increase my physical strength
I believe by doing the three above things, I will gain continual
- Gain continual self-confidence
- Unlock a deeper level of consciousness (the zen of powerlifting)
- As a result, come up with more epic thoughts and ideas.
And by doing this– I will gain more creative confidence and power to write more, think more, photograph more, and create more!
The dangers of over-belief in genetics
I think this is the problem with too much belief in genetics, science, etc:
We trap ourselves in a box of genetic determinism, and we also self-impose racial stereotypes of racist notions to ourselves.
For example, if I believe that East-Asians are genetically inferior to African-American men, I might think:
No matter how hard I try, I will never be able to get as strong or buff as that other guy, because all Asian men are doomed to be skinny, weak, and puny.
But once again, I think this is racism towards Asian men.
Wow, you’re really strong!
For example, I noticed this:
People are very shocked and surprised how much I can deadlift and squat, given that I am an Asian-American man with generally a skinner stature.
I think the societal notion is that East-Asian men are generally more ‘effeminate’ when compared to Caucasian or African-American men. Why does this notion exist? When is the last time you’ve seen an American film starring a buff Asian-American action star, who is beating up all the bad guys? Generally Asian-American men are depicted as the ‘hacker nerds’ in these films– never the lead. Therefore this stereotype gets propagated through the media and society in general.
Why aren’t there more Asian-American men in the NBA?
Besides Jeremy Lin (#linsanity), what other Asian-American men do you see in the NBA? Or NFL? Or MLB? Not many.
Why is this true? Is it because men of East-Asian descent are ‘genetically inferior’ in terms of their ‘fast twitch’ muscle fibers?
If we really don’t believe in genetics, then the sociological explanation is:
There are generally fewer Asian-American boys who play basketball compared to African-American boys who play basketball. Thus, more African-American boys end up in the NBA because there are just a higher percentage of them playing in elementary, middle-school, high school, and thus college.
It then becomes a cultural thing, not a racial-genetic thing.
What matters in modern society?
In modern society, we prize intelligence, skill, and entrepreneurial drive above all. Some nerds try to quantify this with IQ tests. But the IQ test is philosophically flawed:
Having a high IQ signals that you are good at taking IQ tests, not that you are ‘intelligent’.
Because the nerds who design these IQ tests use themselves as a benchmark. But intelligence cannot and never will be able to be quantified.
Not only that, but I don’t even think we need more ‘intelligent’ people in society. We need more courageous people in society!
Why IQ tests are dangerous
There are a lot of Neo-racists who want to use IQ tests to claim that certain races are ‘smarter’ and thus more ‘worthy’ than others. I find it highly problematic that even Steven Pinker (one of the most popular mainstream intellectuals) makes a claim that some ‘genetic aberration’ causes Ashkenazi Jews to score higher on IQ tests, and thus they are more ‘intelligent’ than the rest of the population. And I think secretly a lot of racists in America want to “prove objectively” that African-Americans are less intelligent because “on average” they score lower on IQ tests than Caucasians, Asians, and other races.
Ability is all effort.
I like the notion that all of our ability is dictated by our effort.
Of course there are many things we cannot control such as:
- What your personal background is (how you were raised, who your parents are, the culture into which you were born).
- The life events which happened in your past
- Other past circumstances of your life
But what can you control?
- You can dictate what your life goals are.
- You can dictate how much effort to put into these life goals
- You can decide what to sacrifice in your life.
EFFORT OVER ALL!