You might like to push yourself in different aspects of your life, but sometimes less really is more. Whether it’s exercise, work, or just a nice place to eat, you might be a much happier person if you always leave yourself wanting to come back to things later.
Photo by George Redgrave
Life has a way of draining your fuel tank, and it’s much harder to handle the curveballs that come your way when you don’t have a reserve tank ready to push you through. You become unhappy because you’ve stretched yourself too thin and everything starts to bear down on you like a tonne of bricks. Leo Babauta at Zen Habits suggests you keep yourself energised and excited about life by knowing when to hold back on things:
When we go to a great restaurant, we want to try all the dishes, eat as much of the delicious food as we can. And we leave overstuffed, sometimes painfully so, and our waistlines expand. When I go for a run, often I’ll want to run as far or as hard as I can … and then I’m exhausted, and less likely to want to run tomorrow. When we work or read online, we go from one task to the next, continuously, quitting only when we’re spent, well past what might be healthy for us. How can we counter the tendency to want to do as much as possible? Leave yourself wanting more.
It’s no wonder you don’t want to exercise. You’ve worn yourself out and all you can think about is how hard it was last time. You don’t want to go to work tomorrow because you’ve burned yourself out today. You might be a lot happier if you just stop while things are good. It will still be there waiting for you next time.
Leave Yourself Wanting More [Zen Habits]