Monthly Archives: October 2015

The Virtue of Tenacity

I learned about Ido Portal yesterday. Mr. Portal has a Youtube video entitled “Take It Uneasy”, and in an interview, he espouses a similar idea to that of Mr. Money Mustache: challenge yourself with little inconveniences each day to build your ability to adapt to adversity. Mr. Money Mustache calls this ‘developing one’s badassity’, and he gives an example in a blog post of wearing a slightly lighter jacket than the weather requires. I don’t know that Mr. Portal has one technical term for his analogous concept, but the two ideas’ similarity seems obvious.

I find it interesting that both of these people reached a similar appreciation of physical discomfort as a means of personal growth, despite their drastically different vocations. Mr. Money Mustache is a personal finance blogger, who also happens to have a passion of physical fitness, and I believe he would appreciate Ido Portal’s ideas and practice of Movement, if he isn’t already familiar with Portal’s ideas. Portal is a fitness coach of a peculiar sort, somewhere between gymnastics, yoga, dance, and martial arts: Movement is what he aims to research and train his students to do. Look-up his Youtube channel to get an idea of his practice: even if you disagree with him, his ideas and practice are cause for reflection on your own views of fitness and strength. The topics of MMM and Portal couldn’t be more superficially different, but there is a common thread linking the two.

MMM’s version of financial independence and Portal’s fitness program share the idea of strength through adversity. MMM claims that financial independence arises more quickly by realizing what we don’t need in our lives, namely superfluous consumer goods, and we realize a reduction in spending and a subsequent increased savings by eliminating these superfluous purchases; while Portal claims we realize increased fitness by practicing tenacity. The product of both MMM’s and Portal’s programs comes from the virtue of tenacity.

What’s more, tenacity is a foundational trait of achieving anything that’s difficult, not only saving enough money to retire by age 30, or performing multiple handstand push-ups: writing a novel, or composing a sonata also require tenacity to sit for hours on end, writing and editing the composition until it’s ready for publication or performance. Tenacity is something that’s admired around the world: the Bhagavad Gita, the Old and New Testaments of the Bible, the Icelandic epics, the Buddha’s tale, the Odyssey and Iliad, all are founded on tenacity that allow the protagonists to persevere in the face of spiritual, intellectual, and physical hardship. Tenacity is a foundational virtue in human society, despite variations in its presentation. It’s a virtue I hope to improve.