Minimal Effort for Maximum Gain:

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For many of us, the world has taught us that we either deserve everything we want as a matter of fact or that we must sacrifice everything we want to achieve our goals. These are two very common mindsets in our culture. Our schools teach us that we are all special and that everyone deserves to be the best and the brightest whereas our legends and myths teach us that only by sacrificing everything that we want in life will we achieve our dreams. On the one hand, this has bred a culture where individuals  believe they are entitled to what they want and if it doesn’t get it, that the world has slighted them, that they are being oppressed in one way or another. On the other hand. it bred the life of driving ourselves to be overworked, over-stressed and never living the life that we have been given. There is a middle road, a road that actually reaches our dreams in a way that allows us to live them but how do we find it?

The trick to living this balanced life is to understand that the little things that we can change in our lives create massive change in the future for us. The little habits that we can develop without much effort compound into change that can be startling as long as we stick with those little changes.  Eat only 100 calories less a day and weight will start to melt off you.  That can be a simple as ordering one size smaller of coffee at your coffee.  The effects will not be immediate and life changing out the outset, but the eventual effect will be nothing short of magical.

Let’s take an example that we all face most every day. We all go to work or stores and need to find a parking spot before we go inside. We have all be trained to look for the closest parking spot because it is ‘convenient’, even to the point of circling the parking lot half a dozen times in hopes of just getting a little closer. How does this really help us in our life? If we spend effort searching for a parking spot, we are not saving any time and only exchanging the physical effort of walking for the mental effort of trying to find the right spot. What would be the downfall of taking the first parking spot we found? In the scheme of our lives, there would be no downfall, but we ignore that because of our training. Now, what would be benefit of taking that spot further out away from the other circling cars? We would walk more in our daily lives which is good for our overall health. We would also avoid the stress of trying to find a parking spot, which will likely lower our blood pressure, also good for our overall health. In one simple move, we have removed a habit that is detrimental to both our physical and mental health and gained a slight improvement to both. How would that look over the course of a year if we did it every time, every day? We would be healthier and happier than we are today with this minor change in our habits. Now take that one step further and park in the back of the parking lot. There are always empty spaces there so the stress will be reduced even more and the longer walk will help up physically even more as well.  These positive effects will get compounded over that course of the year.

This idea can be applied to most everything in life, finding little things that we can do to improve the impact of our activities over the long run. We don’t need to sacrifice our dreams to get where we want to be, nor do we deserve to be there without any effort on our part. Instead, we can go about these changes intelligently and maximize the effects of minor changes in our lives.

What little things like this can you do to improve your life every day without feeling entitled or sacrificing your dreams? What little things can you change to better your life? Are there some things you can do to even get closer to those dreams?