The Importance of the Basics

‘It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it’s the pebble in your shoe’ – Muhammed Ali

Somethings in life get pushed aside.

In our drive to be better, live better our priority is going to be the work. But in our drive to climb upwards things get forgotten.

We all know it. Yet what we let slide turns out to be the basis for success and happiness.

Health is one thing we forget too often. But also personal relationships. Even Joy and fun often get sacrificed on the altar of success.

I’m guilty of all of these.

Health is obviously important. Without health, we can’t do the work to get the income to pay the bills.

It’s in jeopardy if we have a serious illness.

You can’t do what matters if you neglect your own health and wellbeing. It’s the foundation for everything else.

Relationships are another example. Workaholics will forget their friends and family, so connections wither and die.

But without them, success can be hard. Our connections can provide us with opportunities we wouldn’t otherwise get. (It’s not what you know, it’s who you know).

They cal also help us relax, and cope with the stresses we face.

They are an interesting diversion because a partner is not means to an end, but an end in of themselves.

The basics are part of a balanced lifestyle, and that leads to a sustainable life.

Here are some of the things you must never forget in your life.

  • Health. Exercise and diet. We all know we need to do it. Remember these can be enjoyable practices themselves.
  • Relationships. Our happiness is based upon the connection we have with others. Depression is often because we feel lonely, or a lack of meaning and connections.
  • Downtime. Those times when we put aside work, and take time to relax. Do things for the fun of it. Vacations, hobbies. Time away from the hard work to enjoy doing something.
  • Sleep. Need I say any more? Without enough sleep life is unsustainable. Poor concentration, stress, and ill-health are soon to follow. Worse still it affects other areas like relationships. Never compromise on sleep for too long.
  • Tidy, clean home. Clutter is stress. Because each pile of stuff lying around is a burden on you your already full todo list. It’s a task that lurks in the back of your mind.
  • Finances. Not managing your finances can mean losing money, spending far above your means, and the threat of repossession. Money problems are a source of a lot of stress.

Think of all of the above as a form of self-care. Maintenance work on your life just as maintenance on your car.

People who ‘let themselves go’ are those who neglect one or more of the above. They neglect themselves.

Get on top of all of the above points. Turn them into habits you run through regularly.

The things that take us down are usually the things we have neglected.

Otherwise, it just makes it all a lot more difficult. Think of habits that keep your house clean, yourself healthy as the oil in a well-oiled machine.

Without it, life becomes a grind, a gritty struggle. With it, the machine moves a little more smoothly despite the occasional problems.

It’s a lot harder to deal with life’s upsets when we are burdened by ill health, isolated, or come back to a messy home.

When you are healthy, have a circle of friends, and a tidy house you feel supported, stronger, more capable. So when a challenge does arrive you’re better able to adjust and recover that equilibrium after being knocked out of balance.

Before you can do the great things, you need to take care of the little things.

By keeping up with these tasks you can feel in more control of life.
Feeling in control can help us feel brave enough to face the stuff we can’t control.

Tackling the basics is what lets us face all the others things with a braver heart, a calmer mind, and the persistence to keep going.

For more ideas on lifestyle and living subscribe to my newsletter.