Is Iconoclasm holding you back?

What is this heresy?

Are you starting to make so much progress that you’ve neglected other people?  Are you now the second coming of Adonis?  Of Narcissus?

Are you now a walking talking, Casanova that you can’t bare to hear someone else’s concerns, asnwer their questions, or provide help because now you’re super strong, super athletic and realized your human potential?

Maybe you need to have your ego broken down.

They say you should leave your ego outside of the gym or any physical goal before you undertake it. That was the case when I started playing football in high school.  A teammate of mine said to a guy who was considering quitting, “Just come to practice with the mindset that you’re going to learn something.”

That’s the mentality that helps to realize your ceiling of achievement and prevent it crashing own  on you.

Why you gotta bring Iconoclasm into this? 

What is iconoclasm?  First off, it:

“is the social belief in the importance of the destruction of icons and other images or monuments, most frequently for religious or political reasons. Over time, the word, usually in the adjectival form, has also come to refer to aggressive statements or actions against any well-established status quo. It is a frequent component of major political or religious changes.”

During the medieval period, a movement came about in the Roman empire of removing of facial depictions.

The ideas of pro-facial depiction and anti-depiction have been around long before Christianity, Islam, and Judaism, and had been a source of debate within Byzantine culture long before their movement arose.

However, they reached a point where people of influence (the Byzantine emperor) took an anti-image approach and ordered the stripping of facial images and statues.

now, what you may be thinking is, what does this have to do with anything?

Isn’t this offensive?

Well, if you know the title of this post than you can be sure to avoid it.

The point we’d like to make here is that a lot of times, we tend to create grandiose visages of other people always in fear of holding back

There’s a saying that when you create an image of something, its like you’re putting a limit on a limitless construct. Something that was meant for everyone has been , however intentional or unintentional, been portrayed for a certain segment of the world.


Iconoclasm of the Self

On that note of limiting something, let’s take a look at how iconoclasm can apply to the ego.


Al-Ghazali is a man of the ages says Hamza Yusuf.

He is a guy who was totally epic in his doing.

He became in Cordoba what his peers in the theological academic world called, the pinnacle.  He ‘was a sea of knowledge’ in which you would find yourself drowning in due to its immensity.

And he talks about his journey to humbling his spirit.

He gave all of his titles up and began working secretly as a cleaner in the premier Damascus Masjid.

He humbled himself, destroying the narcissus inside of him.

Destroy your own idol inside of you.

worshiping yourself leads to situation of not working hard enough.  Its potential left untested.  Its dynamite that hasn’t been pricked with a harsh enough spark.

Are you spending TOO MUCH time training?

Are there other aspects that you’re ignoring and its leading to overcompensation in training?  Focus bro.  Bring purpose

This New Year, many here are attempting to become new people and transforming themselves, taking on new challenges.  You’re working out in the gym and you’re finding yourself possibly intimidated by the gym crowd.  There are people lifting more than you, have far greater work capacity than you, and are just tearing it up.

They are the gym rats.  And the love this.

Part of you could not even imagine seeing that change in yourself and that dedication.

Part of you feels intimidated when you see that work ethic.

However, don’t be so distraught that you think you’ll never overcome them.  Iconoclasm is the breaking of images.  It is the breaking of this barrier that you see as the other person.  You don’t know how far you’ll go and the fact that you’re intimidated by these gym-brs or these other folks with impeccable fitness, is just a matter of change over the course of a long time.

You can accomplish the same by establish the same habits.  Habits after all are far superior to goals.

Don’t put limits on something that you don’t really know you have a limit for.  Don’t be the person re-inforcing that shit either.  You don’t know.  The reality is although potential is logarithmic, you can still eek out more progress its just, its goign to take more time.  At some point diminishing returns may seem discouraing tha tbthat doesn’t mean thta the ceiling is set.

Don’t create an environment like the Byzantine political arena where people are chopping noses, weiners, and other bodyparts off to disfigure and prevent others from improving their mobility as well.


Sometimes, you have to take yourself apart.

Not just in the sense of your weak points and next steps for improvement, but of the reflection of yourself.

Are you worshiping yourself?

Are you, as the Icarus Deception goes, not finding the middle path of thinking both enough of yourself but not too much?  Are you going so high that the wax that holds together the feathers of your flying ability…melting?  Leading you to plummet to your death in the powerful Aegean sea of Greece?

Take down the numbers in your head to reach.  Go after processes and you’ll overcome whatever result-based goal that you thought you could achieve.  My coach said you have to finish strong.  MY sensei said punch through someone.

Continuous acceleration.

No idols.

What about role models?

That’s a fine lie my friend.  Idolatry or completely worshipng your role model such that you self-sabotage yoru own performance?  Go back to the Icarus deception problem.

When there was a painting of the prophet Joseph, dr. akram nadwi described it as an experience where soeone has now put a limit on something limitless.

Use that improved fitness to become more useful.  Use it to be more of service.  Use it to widen your base, not just within your physicality but all other areas.