I’ve been in the world of human performance for many years now. I’ve been lucky enough to witness amazing achievements in life and sport.

Training and repairing people who want to achieve new heights has been a part of my professional life. Throughout my experiences I’ve used every possible tool and approach in my repertoire in order to create the right solutions.

One of the things we have a habit of doing that I believe limits the possibility of creating unique solutions or opportunities is that we love putting things in boxes.

In the health and fitness industry today we see so much categorization, so many labelled trends or systems, and the approach or solution to any one person’s objectives is defined through a particular trend, fad, or system rather than a unique melange of approaches.

We’ve done this forever, each time a new concept, service, or material item has been created, we’ve established where it fits, what it feels like, sounds like, is perceived like and then we put it in that box.

Music is a classic example of this desire to categorize: Classic, Jazz, Blues, Folk, Rhythm and Blues, Country, Hip-hop, Rap, Rock, Metal, Alternative, Disco….and the list goes on an on.

The ability to categorize gives rise to the ability to compare and contrast, establish leaders and followers, those that are on the rise and those that are on the fall. It allows the listener to associate an identity with the sound or the genre to which they connect. We can “feel” others that listen to that type of music, be connected to a tribe or group of fans or followers of that type of music or artist. It gives it meaning in our lives, and gives US meaning.

It’s in that dogmatic definition or label where we create all the pain and suffering we see today in our society. We establish the category or label, we define what it means, in some instances we even define what the person who would do, use, or like that item or element would look, be, or behave like. This leads us down the slippery slope of judgment.

You listen to this type of music, therefore you are this type of person, therefore you will have this set of morals or values, therefore I will judge you and place you in a box called “X” and sometimes that box is judged good, and sometimes its judged bad, again, a way of categorizing something!

In the health and wellness world today (in an of itself a category) we do that as well. Types of training, body building, Cross-fitting, HIIT training, aerobics classes, powerlifting, yoga, Pilates, Olympic lifting. These are all examples of trends or systems in training and they all are born of various concepts and fundamentals. Ultimately it’s the fundamental properties of these things that we need to understand so that we can create the results we are trying to achieve.

Just like in music, we need to understand the fundamentals of music, how sound behaves and is produced, and how we can manipulate it, then we can make sound behave so it creates what our ears perceive as music.

When we train we need to understand varying methods of practice in varying combinations that suit our “listening style” and allow us to flourish most effectively.

We don’t need dogmatic application of trends or systems we need to establish what combination of ingredients will create our unique success, or the success of those with whom we work.

Don’t box yourself in to one method or one way; explore all the possible combinations and permutations to create a unique solution!

Originally published at medium.com