September 6th, 2013


The Most Important Thing

I was reading one of LinkedIn's numerous articles on how to lead an über-productive life for a write-your-own story of success. I don't remember the specifics, but the most important thing was simply taking the 15-20 minutes a day to do it.

The same 15-20 minutes most Lama masters suggest would help with life success through meditation. 15-20 minutes of daily exercise is all it takes to live healthy nowadays, and only 15-20 minutes a day on oral health which is increasingly linked to heart disease. 15-20 minutes of prayer to Our Father who art in Heaven for a focused, healthy relationship with Jesus Christ provide more satisfaction from life and would be argued by most Christian religions as nothing being more important. 15-20 minutes a day of stretching to overcome the stress on the body of too much sitting (sitting is the new smoking they say) or better yet daily Yoga, clearing ridding both our body and our mind of toxins, at only 15-20 minutes a day.

Reports which have learned if you play with your kids for just 15-20 minutes a day you'll make a lasting positive impression on their future, and 15-20 minutes a day for calming breathing exercises. How about one of the newer trends from the life coaches - a 15-20 minute nap in the middle of the day for increased blood flow, stress release, and clearheaded thinking - this is going to be the new most important thing for the "always on" digital age. Spend 15-20 minutes of "active listening" a day to strengthen the foundation you've built with your significant other, and if you spend only 15-20 minutes a day cleaning one part of the house it won't seem like an impossible chore at the end of the week. An uncluttered house is an uncluttered mind, and that's the most important thing.

Spending 15-20 minutes chewing slowly at each meal is the most important thing you can do for naturally sustainable weight and don't forget 15-20 minutes of alone time - doing something you want to do (you have to take care of #1 before you can take care of others adequately) - to renew your positivity. 15-20 minutes of teaching yourself a new hobby will greatly increase your mental acuity as you age and 15-20 minutes of music each day will help you relax. Spending 15-20 minutes a day with your pet of choice helps to lower blood pressure and only 15-20 minutes of sunlight can energize you with a whole host of good things.

Each of these tidbits on self-improvement reminds us that out of our whole day, 15-20 minutes is an almost nonexistent investment in time for such a huge return. How very selfish of them. Because collectively they represent a full day of sycophantic suggestions vying for prioritization in my already full day with things like working for a living, with little or no cooperative interoperability, no suggestion of meshing with another equally-important daily task. Its enough to make a person feel like a failure. After all, its only 15-20 minutes out of the day.

But its really not. And the number and rate simply aren't sustainable and at times even opposed to one another. If I followed all the guidelines I was supposed to follow they would collide in the most unimaginable ways: eat protein half an hour after you awake but don't eat if you're not hungry wait half an hour before any resistance training do resistance training prior to cardio take this medication with food do not drink water half an hour after brushing your teeth rest between sets...

I've started combining them anyway - so I can at least say I've done them, despite the mixture being possibly counterproductive. I meditate while exercising, practice "active listening" with my kids while playing breathing exercises with them, stretch and pet my pet while cleaning house and nap just prior to, and leading into bedtime. Which reminds me, experts say we require 8 and a half to 9 hours of sleep each night too.

What's the Most Important Thing to you?