The Minimum

Often we think in terms of minimums.

What is the floor? The least amount of effort in order to get passable results. Results that help us get by. Not praise worthy, but also nothing to get us in trouble.

Because, we tell ourselves, we need to save our energy for the things we actually care about, the things we’re passionate about. So we’re on the clock, waiting for the exact time we can check out.

But what are those things we’re passionate about? Do we actually bring our best selves to those tasks, hobbies, projects, experiences when we’re not on the clock?

Just like any muscle, habit, or belief, the more we do and act in a certain way, the more that behavior becomes part of who we are.

I don’t believe that passion or energy are limited resources. That once they are used up, we are tapped out. I believe they are actually self-perpetuating forces. That just like working out is a deliberate stress we put on our muscles in order to gain strength, that when we do things passionately and with the best of ourselves, we become more in tune with those parts of ourselves.

The point isn’t to never do just the minimum, it’s to understand that if we’re not mindful, we move closer to accepting that as our own standards. What once was our baseline becomes our benchmark.

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