One day when me and my daughter were out for dinner, she remarked how I ate lot less than other men at my age. I agreed and I have observed that my appetite has gone down in the last decade. But since she knows the athlete that I am, she had to acknowledge that my low appetite, does not impact the amount of energy I have. When I can do everything that I wish to, with limited (read smaller) quantity of food, then why have more – When Less Is More.
When people ask me tips to start running, they talk about running a marathon. I tell them, start with short distances, as short as 100 meters, 500 meters. “Not even 1km? Are you kidding?” – is how they react. My point is, one should gradually build a level of comfort. Not everyone who picks up running, needs to be frequently running 42km, the distance for a marathon. One can also get a lot of advantage from running, by just doing 5k or 10k distances. But, do it consistently and do it confidently, with a steady pace. – When Less is More.
Cricket fans would have been witness to many matches in the past, when Sachin scored a century and got out early, when India still had to score many runs to win the match. And towards the end, a lower order batsman, known as ‘the finisher’ scored a 15 ball 40 to help us win the match. – When Less is More.
Parents many times have a tough time convincing their child to study. Kids love to play and want to spend more time playing with their friends. But we all know, that one would rather have the kid study for one hour, but study with apt concentration and remember all that he studied, rather than to pretend studying for three hours, which included frequent bio breaks, looking at the phone, staring out of the window, listening to music in parallel, etc. – When Less, is More.
When it comes to meditation, people do not even try, as they think that meditation requires to sit in still in silence with rapt attention to what is going on in the mind for hours. Little do they realise that quality meditation, done without pressure for even a few minutes, is far more effective than hour long meditation, done with great effort and distracted mind. – When Less is More.
In all the above instances, the emphasis is clearly on quality, and to downplay quantity. This is amazingly true in almost every aspect of life. Even for how much wealth one needs or the no. of years that one wants to live. There is tendency to have more, do more, seek more, try for more. But in reality, a lot less is fine, not just to survive, but also to thrive.
The sad part is that when it comes to wisdom, less is less and it takes time for one to appreciate the importance of ‘When Less is More’. This does not come easily as it does not sound logical to the naive mind, and we needlessly join the rat race of constantly working hard to earn lot of money, losing out on the finer moments of life. We try to spend hours in the gym, when even 30-40 mins of workout done regularly with a plan, can do wonders to the body. We go crazy when see a buffet spread and are keen try maximum number of food items, because of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out), instead of concentrating on a few items which we are genuinely like, or the few items which the place is famous for.
In summary, look at the finer aspects of life. Do not get carried away by what others are doing or saying. Access on what works best for you. Take life in small portions, taste first before filling your plate with every thing. Cherish the fact that the even with a small quantity, you can satiate a large part of your hunger. Going slow is the best way to embrace ‘When less is more’. Do not be in a rush all the time. There are some things which you will only experience when you slow down. You can gain anything in life, except the moment that passes by when you are in a hurry. Focus on a living a fulfilled life, not a life full of everything. Aim for contentment, and not for containment.
pic credit: icca
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