27 July 2014

40 – Highs and Lows

Good living can be summed up in four words. And a comma. 

High performance, low maintenance.

It’s a simple phrase that can yield huge benefits when you apply it to life.

There’s no one way to do it. I can’t tell you what will work for you. It’s your life. It’s your job. You’re a big boy or girl. Figure out the best way for yourself.

Just know it doesn’t need to be complicated. You can keep things simple. In fact, you should.

Now before you get your underwear or panties into a knot just know that I know a thing or two about this. Once upon a time I was 60lbs overweight. I looked and felt gross and ate shit wrapped in pretty boxes. I owned a bunch of useless stuff that I couldn’t remember the reasoning behind in the first place. I suffocated under heavy debt. I put up with poisonous relationships that sucked the life out of me.

Sometimes I resigned myself to just mucking my way through the shit. Sometimes I felt hopeless, miserable and overwhelmed. Sometimes the wrong Rolling Stones song felt like the right theme song to my life.

I lived a low performance, high maintenance life for a long time.

Living like that fucking sucks. It’s a serious problem.

Sadly, The World turns growing up into something that breaks too many of us down.  

But it can also be fixed. And four words and a comma can provide a good starting point.

High performance, low maintenance is about cutting the shit out of your life to create more space and time for the good things you need and do.

High performance involves keeping your body fit, well-fed and well-rested. They’re three things that yield tremendous physical, emotional, and mental benefits. When you’re fit, fed and rested you’re fuelling yourself to be your best. 

Start doing these things and you’ll be better at everything you do. That’s all I need to say. There is no argument to be made against this. None. And you know it.  

The truth may hurt. Living it won't.

Low maintenance is keeping your life as simple as possible. It involves keeping your stuff, finances and relationships no more complicated than they need be. 

They’re things we care about. And it’s only natural to worry about them. But sometimes we care too much. And sometimes we care about things that don’t merit so much attention. And suddenly we’re worrying about worrying. That’s a problem. 

In serious need of some catnip and a scratching post.

Fix the problem. Get rid of useless stuff that clutters the drawers, closets and porches in your home. If you’re not using it, it’s useless. You won’t miss it.

Do whatever it takes to eliminate pointless bills that contribute nothing vital to your life. Buy what you need. Bypass what you don’t. Use money to enhance your life, not entrap it.

Cut negative and toxic people out of your life. You’re not someone else’s misery dump. Your ears are for listening, not getting pissed in. And who cares if they complain? They’d find a reason to whine anyway. Stay close with the people who lift you up instead.

This may still sound all ‘head in the clouds’ to you. But my feet are on the ground, my hands are for writing and making, and my head’s for thinking about stuff that matters.

And this fucking matters. So smarten up.

Life won’t ever be easy. Fixing it is hard work, and bad habits are hard to break. Fixing life is the job that lasts a lifetime.

But life doesn’t have to be as complicated and stressful as we make it. And bad habits can be broken. When we simplify life in the right places it becomes easier to sustain. And it’s absolutely worth the effort.

You don’t need to hit the gym like you’re training for the next Olympics. You don’t need to be able to fit all your worldly belongings into a backpack. And you don’t need to become a miserly penny-pincher. Such extremes may only spawn a whole new series of problems.

Strive to live a high performance, low maintenance life. Give yourself more of the stuff you need. Dump the stuff you don’t.

Hit the right highs and the right lows and the puzzle pieces will fit. Your life will be simpler. Your life will be better. 

Simple as that.


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