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The Swimmer’s Body Illusion


The “swimmer’s body illusion” occurs when we confuse selection factors with results. People think they can get a swimmer’s body just by training hard. However, professional swimmers don’t have their kind of body because they train hard; rather, they are good swimmers because they have that kind of body. How their bodies are designed is a factor for selection and not the result of their activities.




Let me give you one more example. Lets talk about best colleges like Harvard, Yale, Stanford. Are they actually the best schools, or do they choose the best students, who do well regardless of the school’s influence? These colleges have the reputation of being the top universities. Many highly successful people have studied there. Does this mean that these good school? We don’t know. Perhaps the school is terrible, and it simply recruits the brightest students around.


How to avoid falling for this illusion?


Be aware when you are encouraged to strive for certain things–be it abs of steel, immaculate looks, a higher income, a long life, or happiness. You might fall prey to the swimmer’s body illusion. Before you decide to go ahead with anything just introspect

and see if you really want it and you have it in you.. Before you decide to go ahead with anything just introspect and see if you really want it and you have it in you.

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