Topic: How to lead a good life
Conclusion: Do some work, not too much, then rest
I think my entire life philosophy can be boiled down to this one soundbyte:
Extertion And Recuperation
The key get anywhere, as well as maximize enjoyment, is to challenge oneself and then get some rest. You need to regularly go just outside your comfort zone mentally and physically, stay there for some time, and then recover.
That’s how mankind evolved. That’s probably why we spend one third of our life sleeping. That’s what’s been proven to work for bodybuilders and intellectuals alike.
You should try it.
I recently wrote a more complicated post on the meaning of life here. It dealt with more abstract notions of perspective and productivity. Those are of course very important, but if I don’t get as many words, then I’d put it all down to first making sure you are tired from some sort of strenuous activity and then getting your well-earned, high quality rest.
- Fast, then eat
- Lift weights or run, then rest
- Learn something new, a physical skill or a difficult and complex theoretical subject. Then sleep on it (I’ll write more about sleep in a coming post)
- Read a book, solve a mathematics problem, then meditate (or sleep)
It really doesn’t have to be more complicated than that. The exact form of challenge and rest can and should vary. What’s more important is the principle in itself:
Strain yourself at least a little, but not for unnecessarily long, and remember to recuperate
Don’t do this at home
What you shouldn’t do is working yourself to the ground, never setting aside time for re-building the resources you use up during certain frantic periods. What you shouldn’t do either is never doing something new and challenging. The latter would definitely put you in the loser camp of lost causes.
Practical tip – record your Exertion and Recuperation
Keep a notepad, whiteboard or something to that effect and make sure you get two marks every day: One for the day’s challenge and one for the day’s quality rest (once going the extra mile or minute becomes a true habit you can stop recording)
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