Being the sci-fi nerd that I am, I love Star Trek. Now I’m not a full-on Trekkie, but I couldn’t very well call myself a fan of the genre without a basic appreciation the exploits of the Starship Enterprise and its crew. In every episode they face a different threat to humanity (and non-humanity), and one of my favorite villains is The Borg.
The Borg consists of an enormous cube (see above) that cruises through the universe looking to conquer all living things and “assimilate” them. Anyone (or anything) that is captured by The Borg is made into a cyborg-type creature that looks the same, thinks the same, acts the same, and has the same goals as the rest of The Borg. The Borg’s motto is “Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated.” Their reasoning is simple: although they’re ruthless when it comes to others they’re trying to capture and assimilate, within their own community they are free of conflict. It’s sort of like “Gee, if you would just assimilate things would go so much more smoothly.”
The analogy: everywhere you look you are surrounded by The Borg. Everything in our society tells you that you must assimilate. Every t.v. show and commercial, every magazine, every billboard, every mall, every car dealership, every home show, every music video… everything is designed to assimilate you; to tell you what to wear, what to buy, where to live, what to eat, what to spend your time on, what to think and in short: who to be.
None of us is immune. We’re all affected, the only question is to what degree. This is one of the reasons it’s so hard for us to change. Depending on the challenge, we’re not only working against our own fears but against the grain of a society that expects us to fall in line with a certain way of living and thinking. And while no one actually comes out and says “resistance is futile, you will be assimilated,” the sentiment is most definitely implied. Sometimes we experience it as peer pressure, and sometimes as pressure on the job, but we all know there are consequences if you dare to think or live outside of certain “accepted” parameters. (Trying doing anything other than standing quietly and looking straight ahead the next time you’re in a crowded elevator and you’ll see what I mean.)
I experience this quite a bit in my life, for various reasons. When people clue in to the fact that I’m not adhering to protocol, they naturally want to pressure me into submission. But fortunately for me (or unfortunately, depending on how you view things), I’ve never been the compliant type. I’ve always followed my own path and, because of that, been somewhat of a loner. Trailblazing is exhilarating, but it can also be difficult and lonely at times. Sometimes that’s what happens when we willfully move forward in our own unique way instead of the way society or our own little community has prescribed.
So what does this look like for you? As you move forward in your own journey toward health, what opposition are you encountering… what pressure do you have to stick with the herd? Is it the lunch crowd at work or school that insists on eating out every day? Is it the boss who continually expects you to go above and beyond normal work duties and hours and sacrifice your personal life like so many others? How about the family members who refuse to incorporate healthier foods into holidays, get-togethers or just everyday living because of “tradition”? Could it be the group of friends who always plan outings around food and alcohol? What happens when you resist?
When you start trying to claim your own life and health you will hopefully have some wonderful support, but you’ll also inevitably encounter pressure to stay exactly the way you are. Sometimes it will feel like resistance is futile; like it’s easier to just stand still than to keep trying to move forward on your own. And in some ways it IS easier to just succumb to more of the same. But my message to you is this: RESIST. It’s harder, but I promise you it’s worth the effort. There is nothing like being vibrant, in shape, and in control of your health – no food, drink, lifestyle, activity, level of acceptance by others or amount of money can take the place that feeling.
The world would stand still without movers and shakers. Just think of all the people who have changed history with their outlandish ideas and refusal to give in. I challenge you now, either gently or firmly, to resist the status quo in some area of your life where you’ve been wanting to make a change. And comment with the results if you’d like to inspire the rest of us with your moxie.
This is my FAVORITE quote:
“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” – George Bernard Shaw