Marriage and Family

May 27, 2017

What about your mental muscles?

What about your mental muscles?

By Francis Ewherido

I get amused while passing through some neighbourhoods. I see bare-bodied young men walking in the streets, parading their well-chiseled bodies. I always say to myself, I hope these guys are also building their mental muscles. I do not know what goes on in their minds that make them walk the streets in daylight half naked, but I hope they are not fixated on the illusory assumption of the kind of man women want. In our teenage years, we were misled into the same illusion: Tall, handsome, muscle-bound with six ridges (albs), etc. As I grew older, especially when I became an undergraduate, I got confused because I saw “ugly” lecturers and professors, some of whom were barely five feet, married to tall, stunning beauties.

Then the inquisition started, how come these short men are marrying tall, beautiful women. How do “ugly” men attract beautiful women? Then the scales fell off my eyes. Women might DESIRE tall men, muscled men, charming and handsome men, but what a woman NEEDS is a young man who has prospects, a young man with focus and purpose, a man who provides economic security; a man who is humble and yet self-assured, a man who is intelligent and knowledgeable, a man who will be a good husband to her and a good father to the children; a man who offers peace of mind. These qualities thrash height, muscles and good looks.


I advise these youngsters to add mental muscles to their drop-dead physique, if not they might end up as bouncers and bodyguards to these short, fat or/and “ugly” men. Make no mistake about it, they are honourable and noble jobs and I am not denigrating them. But sooner or later, younger and more capable men will emerge and replace them and they will be in the labour market, except they develop their mental muscles and move on to other things, for instance, running a security company, which provides security guards to companies and VIPs. But you also need mental muscles to run a successful business.

If they take to sports or modelling, they might not excel either unless they also build their mental muscles. I have more advice for them. If they do not develop their mental muscles, the later part of their lives might be miserable. They might face an uncertain future because physical muscles do not last a lifetime, but mental muscles do, all other things being equal. If in doubt ask 69-year-old Arnold Schwarzenegger, then tell him to remove his shirt.

Schwarzenegger won the Mr. Universe contest at age 20 and went on to win Mr. Olympia seven times, but the muscles are all gone and those victories are now distant memories. See how Wikipedia described him: “Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger…is an Austrian-American actor, producer, businessman, investor, author, philanthropist, activist, politician and former professional bodybuilder.” “Former professional bodybuilder” came last in the description because our world lives in the present; do not be caught in the trap of ex this and ex that. Live your life in the present, not on past achievements. That is another lesson for youngsters

But do you know why Schwarzenegger was able to graduate from body building to other things? In his prime, Schwarzenegger was the ultimate muscle man, but he was intelligent enough to know that physical muscles are ephemeral, so he also developed his mental muscles. His physical muscles have collapsed, but his mental muscles live on and are getting better. But for the US Constitution, which bars him from contesting the US presidency, because he is a naturalized America, he would have vied for and probably become an American President by now.

Other muscle men like

Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield, who did not learn this valuable lesson early enough are paying dearly for it. Holyfield is currently worth $500,000, while Tyson is worth $3m. Tyson made over $300m in prize money alone and Holyfield, over $150m, minus endorsements and other earnings, during their fighting careers. Meanwhile, Michael Jordan, another muscle man, whose total salaries during his illustrious career were $90,235,000 (some say $94m), is currently worth $1.3b. Jordan conquered the world of basketball and is now conquering the world of business because he also developed his mental muscles.

The same cannot be said of Dennis Rodman, another basketball great and contemporary of Jordan. His net worth is negative $1m. Yet he made about $30 in contract earnings alone during his playing career!

These youngsters have plenty of literature to guide them. No doubt they do have great bodies, which many of us with sagging and flabby bodies wished we had, but they should not be carried away. Those of them reveling in their gigolo status should also know they are time-bound. By the time they are in their 40s, their patronesses will replace them with younger and more agile blood.

Today is Children’s Day. I pray these children get their bearings right early enough. It will do them a world of good. Happy Children’s Day.