This article will take you 6 minutes to read. Feel free to leave your questions in the comment section, they will be answered!
Vincent has gone from wanting to become a fitness model to being a monk! Well, not exactly. But Vincent has now headed towards the spiritual world where he says he intends to find happiness from within and help others do so once he’ll have got enough experience.
Hi Vincent, I think it is good to start this interview by asking you a bit about yourself, where are you from and what’s your sportive background?
Hi, I come from France on the north west side.
I have always grown in sports and was playing tennis (4 years) and football (7 years).
I was very interested in being fully involved in sports but I didn’t have the same support back then that I have today with my parents. I was wondering how I could live a lifestyle involving a sport or a future career.
I realized fitness could be somewhere I would do well.
When did you start fitness and what was the reason for it?
I’ve always tried to keep fit at a young age. I would do push-ups and abs every other day when I was 14. Then that’s when I was 16 that I decided I wanted to invest myself into fitness morevand give it a 100%.
The main reason was just that I wanted to follow this fitness lifestyle and it was not much for what you’d call external validation purposes.
Was it hard for you to get started?
I was really motivated so I would not say this was hard. Once you’ve got some goals set and you know why and what you are committing for, it gets easier.
When you say you wanted to be a professional, what was it exactly?
I wanted to be a fitness model. I was inspired by Greg Plitt. I wasn’t interested to get very muscular, I was really orientated towards getting a very fit shape.
Today you are 22, have you reached these goals?
Not exactly. I did get what I wanted as some modeling agency offered me a contract in America. Unfortunately, I could not get the right VISA at the time and was not able to go in that direction which I worked hard for at the time.
What happened then? You have built an impressive portfolio on Instagram with a good following?
I then had a period where I started my Instagram account. I made it like it was my portfolio. I did a lot of photoshoots and I actually was not too sure what I wanted at this time yet.
I just wanted to transmit what I knew in fitness to others and maybe get contacted by a new agency but for classic modeling, not fitness modeling like before and with the type of shape I had on my cut.
This period was just a bit blurry. Later I wanted to create a website called mindbodyspirit. But I first wanted to study deeper wellness. By investigating deeply I started to get very interested in meditation. I finally ended up shifting my focus to something completely different.
How does someone go from wanting to be a fitness model to practicing spirituality?
I started reading Eckhart Tolle books at 19 years old and it transformed me very deeply. Then I had my first formal meditation teachings at Chapman University.
Then I started to go to meditation retreats and I was so amazed by what eastern spirituality teach about happiness and the potential of consciousness. Slowly I started to switch my focus from wellness to meditation and spirituality.
I started to do more meditation and learned different meditation techniques to go deeper and learned how to keep a meditative state of presence throughout the day. So my intention now is to “develop myself”, my spiritually by meditating and contemplating teachings. To contribute to the world I would do my best to teach the most meaningful path to happiness.
What motivates you there?
I think it’s good to think about what’s the most important! Isn’t being happy the most important in life and then to transmit happiness to others? At least it is for me now. I thought studying happiness was super interesting. When we look at the world, it looks like materialism does not make you happy.
I started to do more meditation and learn about different meditating techniques to go deeper and learn how to feel at peace. It definitely increases your overall wellbeing and shift your consciousness. I am learning everyday how to live a more conscious and happy life and hopefully I can transmit this knowledge and indifference to others later on. I study non-duality, which is the view that reality is a perfect whole or oneness. Even the word ‘oneness’ suggests a limit or boundary, so the name non–dual, not two, is preferred.
So my intention now is to “reverse my mind” from what society has conditioned me to think, by meditating and contemplating teachings. To contribute to the world, I would do my best to share the most meaningful path to happiness.
What has spirituality taught you?
That awareness is the most important thing for happiness and to have a compassionate attitude towards others. The influence and potential of the mind is enormous, in the West we are just starting to understand this with scientific research and quantum physics.
We could say getting in good physical shape is a way of feeling better and happier but it is still quite superficial as you usually seek and expect external validation. The body is not the vehicle for unlimited happiness, it’s actually the mind.
It’s hard to deny that being healthy and in shape does not contributes to a more harmonious life, it definitely does on some level.
Eating healthy could be a way to feel happier and better, even though, it will have its limit in the potential of reaching a happier state.
Would you say going to the gym still is something interesting?
Just keeping myself fit now is enough and keeping a good physical appearance. It’s hard to deny that feeling healthy in shape does not contributes positivity to your life.
What was your experience like with cutting? You’ve gone very low.
Being very lean was not really hard because I was following a routine with a good plan and a precise goal.
Of course it was hard at times because my energy was low but I wanted to do it so that helped. I did not stay lean for too long as I would not consider that healthy.
Have you got any advice for people reading this article?
It might sound a bit cliche but to live more in the present/conscious rather than dwelling on the past and always projecting into the future.
To understand the causes of happiness is probably one of the most important things in life and then applying oneself to this understanding.
People do not know the cause of happiness. And when we talk about happiness we do not talk about ecstasy 24/7. It’s more about a profound sense of wellbeing and serenity
What’s your opinion on the fitness industry?
The most important is to be happy and fitness can surely help you build some confidence and wellbeing, but there is something superficial about it. Many people that are over emphasizing results and looking impressive use performance-enhancing drugs and for the majority their users will come from a source of unhappiness and that is sad.
We can’t blame people for “feeling lost” at times, most of us have been to some extent. Unfortunately, We are confused on where happiness comes from and we become blind by social medias and media as a whole. Get in fitness to remain healthy and fit and be happy about that. Use it to develop your determination and attention skills.
You can train in fitness very mindfully which then will definitely help you be happier. Really think about what matters to you the most. See what work you can do to go deeper towards happiness and then develop your mind through awareness practice.
Thank you Vincent!!