What We Can Learn From Jonah Hill’s Jujitsu Energy

‘Pursue the things that scare you even though you might ‘embarrass’ yourself’

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Instagram/Jonah Hill

Look into Jonah Hill's eyes. These are not the eyes of a man who is about to take your shit. No, Hill is on a tear of self-fulfillment, and that includes forgiving himself for his former insecurities. The Wolf of Wall Street actor is putting all the negative thoughts and detractors in a rear naked choke (a deadly jujitsu move I just googled) and moving toward a lifestyle filled with confidence by trying new things that previously scared him. But this isn’t a solo venture: He’s advocating for his followers, us plebs, to do the same.

The actor turned director—he midwifed last year's skater hit Mid90s—started on this path in a very public way. His style began edging into the territory of an unlikely fashion rebel. In April 2017, the Instagram @jonahfits cropped up and began posting Hill’s outfits, framing him as an arbiter of good taste and pushing him into the ruling classes of celebrity street style. (Other famous menswear eccentrics include Shia LaBeouf, DeAndre Jordan and Jeff Goldblum.) He hasn't exactly spoken about whether or not style was an area in which he lacked confidence. But now he forgoes using a stylist to dress him up.

“Your style is who you are. Don't let people put you in clothes—fuck that!” he said in a recent episode of Complex's Sneaker Shopping. “From now on … I'm gonna come out here as me." And the dude looks good, often photographed walking around SoHo in NYC or on the way to his weekly Pilates class.

For Hill, that same attitude has extended into sport. Recently, he posted a photo of himself wearing a navy Gi after earning his first "stripe." It was accompanied by a shoutout in the caption to Sensai Josh. The caption also exposed his reasoning behind training in martial arts: 

“In high school, the dudes who did Jiu Jitzu [sic] used to beat the shit out of us at parties so it turned me off to it as an idea growing up. But quietly I always thought it was a beautiful art form," Hill wrote. "At 35, I try and get over the stuff that made me feel weak and insecure as a teenager. It’s just wasted time and lessons you’ll never learn. Trying to let go of that. Nothing more humbling than getting your ass kicked by a 12-year-old your first week.”

If you’re doing something because you’re imagining what people will think when they see you doing it, you’re not doing it for the right reason

- Jonah Hill

To project a bit of philosophy onto an Instagram caption, it appears as though Hill has embraced Stoicism, the school of Greek thought that touts virtue as the originator of happiness and suggests indifference to external forces. In other words, you can't control what happens to you; you can only control how you react to it. “Stoicism doesn’t concern itself with complicated theories about the world, but with helping us overcome destructive emotions and act on what can be acted upon," reads this brief explainer. "It’s built for action, not endless debate.”

Hill is a doer, leaving no room for self-pity or crippling insecurity to stop him from pursuing a new venture, be it directing a film or dodging a roundhouse kick. He is not only making moves on the jujitsu mat but also telling his fans in no uncertain terms that we need to vanquish unnecessary fears. What’s stopping you?

In case his plunge into self-help wasn't clear enough, he posted a Notes app screenshot musing about feelings of inadequacy. “If you’re doing something because you’re imagining what people will think when they see you doing it, you’re not doing it for the right reason,” he wrote in the caption to his audience of 1.3 million followers. “Pursue the things that scare you even though you might ‘embarrass’ yourself."

While nobody anticipated Jonah "Self-Help" Hill entering a space dominated by modern-day philosopher Eckhart Tolle and poet Rupi Kaur, his audience could be exactly the right people who need to hear this stuff. In another post, he has vowed to "challenge toxic masculinity." The man is becoming more comfortable in his own skin, and this confidence is reverberating on social media. Jonah Hill isn't just a god of the jawnz, he's also a talented filmmaker and, now, my advice dad. Thank you, Jonah. See you on the mats.

Read more: Should Jonah Hill Be the Next Bond?

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