In the 1980’s and 90’s, the Bulgarian weight lifters dominated the rest of the world in the highest levels of competition. Many people within weight lifting circles wondered what it was that led to their incredible strength. Eventually, some American coaches were invited to Bulgaria to take a peak at how the Bulgarian weight lifters trained. They were shocked.
Breaking the Rules
The Bulgarians broke all of the rules in regard to how American’s believed lifters should train. The primary belief among American lifters and coaches was that an exercise should only be done two or three times per week. Anything more was considered overtraining and counterproductive. In contrast, the Bulgarian’s thought nothing of doing the same exercise every day, and even doing the same exercise in three different workouts per day.
The American’s were hesitant to work up to a maximum weight more than once per week, and some preferred starting with lighter weights and taking two to four months to slowly build up to a maximum weight. In contrast, The Bulgarians often maxed out every day. According to American philosophy, the Bulgarians were training all wrong. The Bulgarian coach didn’t care what anyone thought about his training methods because he knew how to make them work. He wasn’t about to change to fit in with popular thinking, he had figured out what was right.
A Different Approach Isn’t May be Right
There have always been popular methods for just about everything you can think of. Many people succeed with popular methods, which is often why those methods are popular. However, it is not uncommon for a small percentage of people to do things so different that it appears that they are using a wrong approach, but they succeed anyway. This is true in life, it’s true in weight lifting, and it’s true in a spiritual context.
Jesus healed on the Sabbath, this was viewed as wrong. He ate with sinners, this was viewed as wrong. He claimed to be from above and made many references to being the Christ, this was viewed as wrong. He told his disciples that he would be put to death, and Peter told Jesus that he was wrong for saying this. In spite of what others thought, Jesus knew the right thing to do in every instance, and he always did it, even when others thought he was wrong.
Hold to Your Convictions
If the popular way isn’t the best way, and you know there is a better way that isn’t so popular, don’t be afraid to do it. I’m not saying to do what you want to do even if people think it’s wrong, I’m saying do what is right, even if others think it is wrong. Doing the right thing may seem like the wrong thing to others, who may try very hard to get you to believe that you are wrong, but hold to your convictions, because it’s alright for others to think you are wrong, if you are right.