Throughout our lives, we accumulate a lot of baggage, both physical and mental. Often times we believe that the accumulation of knowledge is somehow prestigious, but the truth is that knowledge for knowledge sake is unnecessary at best, only that which is useful in a very practical sense is going to add benefit to your life. Your knowledge and your memories of things you have learned and experienced, is really only useful if it can be applied later in life. Otherwise, it is just clutter taking up space in your mind.
Be more selective with what you choose to remember, or bring with you on your journey. Too much information, even if it’s good information, can do more bad than good. Learning is important, but being able to shut off your thoughts and just do is just as important. This is similar to putting your mind on more of a calorie restricted diet. If you want your body to be lean and trim and effective, restricting your caloric intake at times can be beneficial. Similarly, restricting the amount of information you consume can also be beneficial, especially since this allows you to begin to come to your own conclusions, with training, diet, and life in general.
Each body is different. Our needs, goals, and aspirations are different. Following a certain method and learning more can take you places, but ultimately for the answers you need, you must look inside to your own self. We spend far too much time adhering to sequences and systems of thought, and not enough time exploring what our own bodies and minds would find useful and optimal. Find out for yourself what your body likes, and dislikes. You may find a certain training method that works great for a friend may not give you the same results, or a diet that someone else can sustain may be unsustainable to you. All of this is fine, and experimentation is good for a time, but eventually it will benefit you most to find what works for you, and leave the rest behind.
In regards to following a school of thought, if you wish to become the most you can be, forget it. You may learn something in its entirety and then keep pieces that apply to you and discard the rest, but to follow a system devoutly will not bring you to a place of peak self progression. This isn’t because the system in question is inferior, the idea of a system itself is what will limit you. You become bound to the sequences and principles of the practice, even if you would be better served doing something differently in certain situations.
All systems will also have a level of usefulness in a practical setting, and beyond this threshold its practices become inapplicable. Yoga, various martial arts, sports, Olympic events, and exercise programs to name a few will all have very useful aspects that can be applied to the real world, but other portions that are useless outside of the practice, or that could be trained in a better way than adhering to the practice. For example, Yoga is a great method for relaxation, balance, and flexibility, to a degree. There are poses in yoga that are relevant to daily life, and help to increase your range of motion and stability. However there are many other poses that are not applicable to daily life, that the human animal would never find itself in, in civilization or the wild. Also, yoga lacks sufficient strength training stimulus, in that one could argue that it does build some basal strength, but nothing compared to a well structured strength program. It is then not a complete training protocol, but a useful tool with methods that could be applied to an individuals program.
As soon as you can allow yourself to let go of the idea of a system, and use only what is useful, your progress becomes limitless. Look honestly at the aspects of your life and ask yourself, is this structure serving me best? Keep what is useful, discard the rest.
What say you?