“Great Learner Great Thinkers” by Alen Madhi

December 1, 2023

Great learner have a good intellectual and physical balance There is an old phrase which says: “A healthy mind in a healthy body”. What do you think of this phrase?

You know, for me, a good intellectual and physical balance is just a translation of an old adage: “Mens sana in corpore sano.” It’s fascinating how this ancient saying remains so relevant today, don’t you think?

When we think about the evolving story of well-being, the forever thought of ‘A healthy mind in a healthy body’ or as the ancient Romans would say ‘Mens sana in corpore sano’ a lot of things run in our mind. Some might interpret it like only those people who have a great physic can have a healthy mind. But no, that’s not true at all. In fact, it is much more than that.

This old saying means that being clever and being strong are two concepts like best friends.
Imagine an old time thinker in a place like Athens. They are sitting beneath the shade of a tree, the air smells nice and they are thinking about smart stuff like how to invent the scientific method of analysis btw that was an Aristotle example. Anyway for this clever person this old saying is pretty important. It presents to him the idea of his friend Thales that was born 240 years before him. Having a smart brain is connected to having a strong and healthy body. Ironic that we can find valuable lessons in other ancient people’s wisdom that still remain relevant today.

Fast forward to today and meet someone. Let’s meet a student. Imagine a student in the faint light of late-night study sessions. It’s easy to forget to eat well and move around when you’re busy and stressed about a big day. But the idea of a healthy mind in a healthy body is like a reminder that doing well in studies is easier when your body feels good – when you eat well, rest and move around a bit. It might make the process a lot faster. I Know what you’re thinking, doesn’t it make the process of learning longer when I eat, rest and also move around. You’re right but not completely. Although it could make the process a little bit longer, the quality of gathering knowledge is as never before. And when you’re finished you might actually remember something.

Let’s jump back again. A long time ago people in Greece liked both brain and body strength. They left us the legacy of a cool event called the Olympic Games, where strong and quick athletes showed that having a clear and well-rested mind and a fit body make a great combination, just like the two last puzzle pieces. The place where they had those ancient games, the Olympics, was like a massive party celebrating how being smart and strong go hand in hand. It wasn’t only about running and wrestling there. They also had debates and discussions like what Plato, a smart guy back then liked. These debates and the physical stuff, they went well together, showing that having a fit body alone wasn’t enough. You need a healthy mind to. In those arenas, where athletes flexed their muscles, they also flexed their brains by talking and debating. This mix of activities said to everyone that being strong was cool, but being smart was just as cool. It was like a big sign saying, “Hey, a good body is great, but a good brain is just as important.”
So, those old Olympic Games weren’t just about sports; they were about being all-around awesome. They showed people that having a strong body was nice, but having a sharp mind was equally great. And that’s how those games sent a message to everyone, saying that it’s crucial to take care of both your body and your brain for a healthy life.

Now look at our world today, with cool gadgets and AI and great technological improvements, but lazier people. We are in a period of time where everything can be done with the click of a button from writing an article to having a full conversation with an AI. But even now the idea of a Healthy body in a healthy mind is important. Picture someone in a busy city, working hard at a job, dealing with lots of things every day, stressing about every single thing. But the old wisdom reminds them that thinking well and having good ideas come from taking care of their body too. That’s why since then every spot of time they got they would leave it for their body. Exercising or doing yoga and eventually they started thinking better and handling a lot of difficult tasks with ease.

But don’t just take it from me, science agrees with this old idea too. Scientific discoveries align perfectly with this age-old philosophy. It shows that moving around and staying active not only keeps you strong but also helps your brain work better. So the thought that being clever and being fit go together is not just an old saying – it’s a real thing that we can see in our lives.
In the end the saying “Mens sana in corpore sano“ is like a simple truth that’s been around for a long time. Having a healthy mind and a fit body are like best buddies, no matter when or where. As we go through our days, let’s remember this old lesson – that doing well happens when we balance our smartness with taking good care of our body.

The whole reason for these thoughts is to address the essay’s initial topic that great learners have a good intellectual and physical balance. To make sure that this balance between intellect and physical well-being stays in shape is crucial for the very first reason we talked about earlier: great learners aren’t just knowledgeable; they are the present an equilibrium between mental and physical balance. It’s about recognizing that our minds and bodies aren’t separate things; they work best when they support each other in a harmonic way.


Written by: Alen Madhi