“The perfect is the enemy of the good.” — Voltaire
Spoiler Alert: Breaking Bad is Macbeth. Fuelled by emasculation, a respectable man – Walter White – is consumed by his reckless ambition to become a drug lord. Immersed in a lucrative meth operation, the teacher-turned-kingpin loses sight of his end-goal to create a nest egg for his family — a goal which he exceeds several times over. But “MacMeth” is insatiable. In his arrogant oversight, he becomes estranged with his family and loses his life.
At the centre of any tragedy is the concept of “Hamartia,” which is rooted in the notion of “missing the mark.” Oversight can become a fatal byproduct of peak performance. We exchange our time, energy and money for results. And to be economical with these resources, we create rules. But rules, as you know, are meant to be broken. As illogical as it seems, your time, energy and money should be of little to no consideration when thinking about the following things:
Blood may run thicker than water, but neglect is an effective blood thinner. Don’t treat family like an inconvenience; be generous with your time. Give your family the power to trump anything in your calendar.
“Get to know your parents. You never know when they’ll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings. They’re your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.” — Mary Schmich
Connections are easy. Friendships, not so much. Research shows that we lose half of our friends every seven years. Cling to the friendships you have and rekindle the friendships that you’re losing.
“Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.” — Oprah
Your body is a vehicle. Give it premium fuel and regular maintenance. A better body equals a better quality of experiences. Eat clean, train dirty and sleep like a baby.
“No man has the right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training. It is a shame for a man to grow old without seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable.” — Socrates
Good shoes are expensive. But let’s face it — we spend a lot of time on our feet. If life is about the journey and not the destination, then invest in the best shoes that money can buy. The extra bounce in your step is worth it.
“Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world.” — Marilyn Monroe
We spend one-third of our lives asleep. The quality of our sleep affects our mood, appearance, eating-habits, performance and ultimately our long-term health & wellness. Give your body ample time to recover.
“Think in the morning. Act in the noon. Eat in the evening. Sleep in the night.” — William Blake
Most of the interesting people I know are well-travelled. What you’ll lose in finances while travelling, you’ll make up for in perspective. Explore the ends of this pale blue dot. Oh, the places you’ll go.
“The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” — Saint Augustine
No good story ever started with “I was eating a salad…” Explore. Discover. Keep an open mind. View the world with a childlike sense of wonder. New experiences are the best ways to learn about ourselves.
“I got high for just the opposite effect, something that could push questions of who I was out of my mind, something that could flatten out the landscape of my heart, blur the edges of my memory.” — Barack Obama
Bronnie Ware is a nurse who spent several years caring for patients in the last 12 weeks of their lives. She recorded their dying epiphanies in a blog called The Top Five Regrets of the Dying. Among the top regrets was: “I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.” A certain degree of intensity and systematicness is required to do your best work. Once hit, peak performance becomes intoxicating. But learn when to stop and be present. It’s okay to trade the possibility of happiness tomorrow for more guaranteed happiness today.
“Done is better than perfect.” — Sheryl Sandberg
This post was originally published on Medium.