I know that we all have grandiose goals that we’d like to set for ourselves to achieve and accomplish throughout the years, especially when we are still young. We dream of conquering the world, curing diseases, making millions and millions of dollars, and becoming the best of the best. We dream of taking on that unique project at work, creating the next big business plan, and becoming crème de la crème.
Of course, part of all this is our own desires to make a name for ourselves and part of it is the way our culture ingrains us to be achievement and results oriented.
Regardless of the reason for this, there is obviously nothing wrong with that. But at the end of the day, we are only human. And there are only 24 hours in a day. And ideally, 7 to 8 hours of that time would be reserved for a good night’s rest! We all make mistakes. We all have vulnerabilities and flaws. And no matter how noble our intentions are, we simply can’t cure every single ill nor problem that there is in this world. For better or worse, we are limited in every aspect of our lives.
But at the end of the day, when you’re trying to climb Mount Everest, when you’re trying to reach your full potential, it’s best to not think too much ahead and just take it one step at a time. Take it easy, be consistent, and do what you can every single day to get to where you want to go.
One way is through keystone habits, which are habits that can stack on top of each other and lead you in the right direction throughout the day. If done correctly, it has almost a snowball compounding effect where you see better and better results and actions. Keystone habits can be a myriad of things – from making your bed in the morning, to donating some spare change at the local grocery store, to cooking up a healthy meal to start the day. There are lots of them. And sometimes, you just need to do one to get the ball rolling downhill. Just do the bare minimum and see where that gets you.
For me, when I’m working out, I honestly don’t try to push myself to the limit. I kind of set small micro-goals that I can hit and once I do that, I see where I go from there. Maybe just ten push-ups or just ten sit-ups and then go from there. If you can’t go on a 3-hour hike, try just going outside for a 5-minute walk around your neighborhood. If you can’t spare an hour to read through a novel, try reading maybe just one or two pages at a time. Sometimes, the bare minimum is enough.
I know we all want to do the most we can throughout the course of the day. We want to live a happy and fulfilling life. We want to have passion and purpose. We want to have great loving relationships all around us. We want to be financially free to have the option to do whatever it is that we want. We don’t want to be nagged and interrupted and bothered. We don’t want to be alone. We are naturally filled with never-ending desires of dos and don’ts.
I guess it’s because once you achieve something, you inevitably want more. You want to continue to grow, to improve, and to learn. And obviously, that’s not a bad thing. It’s human nature in general to want to continue to level up so to speak. Most of us are bred that way. And that’s great.
And there are so many sweeping world-shattering causes that we can support. So many needs around the world that we can fight for. So much to improve and solve. It can be a bit overwhelming at times. But as the mountain of overwhelm rises above us, sometimes all we can do is just take it one step at a time. No need to eat the whole pie at once. Even just one small step in the right direction every day is time well-spent.
So please take it easy on yourself and realize that you are doing the best you can. Realize that sometimes it’s okay to not accomplish everything on your initial to-do list. Be okay with setting some things down and recharging your batteries with a good night’s rest.
Be okay with messing up sometimes and making mistakes. Be okay with not being able to get everything. Because at the end of the day, no one can. Whether we like it or not, we all depend on each other. We all require support and help at some point. And it’s important to note that sometimes we just need to define our “enough” and be satisfied with what we got.
It’s not easy. It’s not black or white. And of course, your decisions and actions are sometimes a function of the circumstances that are given to you – which are not of your making. So, give yourself a little bit of a pat on the back and take it slowly. Just do the bare minimum and see where that can get you in the long haul.