I understand that I will always be suboptimal. I will neglect to take my fish oil or to stretch enough. I will eat more meat than I ought to or fail to get the balance between work and recovery right. There are whole muscle groups I’m not activating. I don’t meditate every day. Really, I’m not sure how I get out of bed in the morning.
Also, fuck all that.
We are subjected to so much advice from silver-bullet thinkers, people who believe that if they just do one thing differently they’ll unlock all their superpowers and yours too. And there is just enough truth, just enough traction, in the things they say, that it creeps into our heads and even though we are not going to buy an inversion table and chew raw garlic, it leaves us feeling like we’re not doing the right things.
If you’re reading these words, likely because you like to go outside and do things, then you’re doing the right things. I know as much as any garlic chewer, all the blood having run to their head a long time ago. Trust me.
I’m not saying, don’t do anything, but I am saying, don’t do everything. Most people don’t need to hear that, but some people live with the suspicion if they just do all the things the magazines and internet tell you to do then they’ll receive some deliverance from their mortal body, rising to a higher plain where they can exchange their washboard abs for cash and prizes.
If you like yoga, do yoga. If you like chocolate, eat chocolate. I’m not even going to say ‘everything in moderation,’ because that would be hypocritical of me. I like to do a LOT of the things I like to do. I just don’t suffer the delusion they’re going to set me free.
I’m already free.
What drives all this drive to perfect? Profit motive is one thing. FOMO is probably another. Both prey on our feelings of inadequacy, right? Fear of death might be another factor. Maybe if we lose five pounds and foam roll our butts we’ll live an extra year.
You can chase all these things if you want, and if you think it’s fun. Just know that I am suboptimal, by design, and I love you and think you’re good enough just as you are.