What’s the Least your life could be?
Don’t look up the stars and think you need to reach them. Don’t think that your life will be incomplete if you don’t make it to the moon.
Those stars are a long way away. If the only way you can be happy is by reaching the stars, we can be certain of one thing at least – that you will not be your happiest self on your journey there.
We cannot be certain that you will get there.
We cannot be certain how long it will take.
Also, we cannot be certain that if you make it there, you will like what you find. That it will be what you expected.
What can we be certain of?
Well, we can be certain that if you accept yourself right now, that you will enjoy the journey. It doesn’t mean you can’t adventure or journey to the stars, but the whole dynamic has changed.
The journey is made rich by what you see along the way, at the peace and quiet of space, the constellations and the wondrous planets in orbit.
If you are content with what is around you on earth, you will have a wonderful journey regardless of the outcome.
We focus on the MOST because someone thought it would make for a good economy.
When I was in Nepal, they weren’t looking for the MOST. They just needed a few things to make life more comfortable, to give them more control of their destiny. That was all. They’re not as capitalist there.
Our economy revolves around everyone pursuing MORE. This is why the most common religion in the world today is not Christianity or Islam, it is Consumerism. If I want to sell you something, I need to convince you that you need it. That to get better you must buy.
The more people I convince, the more sales I can make.
The more insecurity I can make you feel, the more I can sell to you. Social media is useful for that, it makes you compare yourself more often to more ideal images of more people.
With everything I sell to your neighbours, you’ll think you’ll need it too. Because you’re all looking for the MOST. The journey for the MOST is a good one for sellers, because it never ends.
But you’ll be chasing the stars forever.
So how do I fix this? You ask. Well, someone sells you a solution to the problem of all the things being sold to you. That is, you need to pay for lots of personal development and business coaching to start your own business, so you can quit working for the man and run your own show.
Wanting to start a business can lead you to discover a great goal, but wanting to start a business is not a good goal on its own in life. It’s like saying I want to use a hammer.
What do you want to use a hammer for?
I don’t know, I want to use a hammer. I want to use a tool to do something.
Everyone is telling you to be MORE.
Instead of understanding if you can be happy in the job you’re in, they sell you a business course.
Instead of understanding if you can be comfortable and healthy in the body you’re in, they sell you a diet and a gym membership.
Instead of teaching you to love your modest home, and your modest community, they sell you somewhere fancy to live on the other end of town.
Instead of teaching you to accept yourself as you are, warts and all, they sell you a “you’ll be happy when…”.
The race for the MOST will never be over.
But the race for the MOST will never be over.
It doesn’t mean you can’t have a business coach, a bigger home, or a gym membership. But there is nothing more expensive than neglecting your Minimum Viable Lifestyle, your sacred MVL.
Your pattern of asking how your life can be better, about asking the MOST it can be, comes from a system that we’ve been playing in Western culture. It’s the wrong question… a poisonous question.
Instead ask, what’s the LEAST your life could be?
On the outside, it looks like I’m doing too much, like I’m compensating for something. How does one kid go from nonprofit to real estate to all this other stuff… how is he living his LEAST life whilst he seems to be doing the MOST.
He writes about ‘Minimum Viable Lifestyle’ but looks like he is pushing harder and harder? The answer is, all these things are bonuses, used to optimise the experience as much as possible. It’s a life of bonuses.
It’s a life of bonuses.
In a soccer game, you only need one goal to win. No matter the margin of victory, you only move three points up the table if you win 1-0 compared to 10-0.
Scorelines are important. Many of us lose 5-10 when we could easily win 1-0. It’s that simple.
You don’t have to play the prettiest football, the goals don’t have to be awe-defying or artistic. It doesn’t matter how the ball gets over the line – 1-0 is 1-0.
Once you’re winning 1-0, you can keep going as long as you don’t lose your lead
Every additional goal brings more joy, and so more goals can be acquired. But we must play defence at the same time, we must make sure we don’t lose our lead by going for more.
What’s the MOST you can win a game by? No one knows. My beloved Australian Socceroos hold the current record, when they beat American Samoa 31-0 in 2001. But there is no limit, so you can’t say “I’ll only be happy when I win by the MOST”.
But what’s the LEAST you can win by? Everyone knows that. 1-0. After 1-0, each successive goal brings a little less joy.
Be content to stare at the stars in wonder
Maybe the stars are not in the sky so that we can long to reach them. Perhaps they’re there so that they can decorate the rooftop of the perfectly wonderful life we have now.
No one joins a soccer team to sit on the bench and watch the team win 1-0, 2-0, or 3-0. The joy comes from playing, from being on the field.
What if you only got ten minutes to play? Would you complain and whinge to the coach, or would you instead focus on making every second count?