You probably already know way more than you need to know to make some big improvements in your life. Mastering the basics is all you probably need to greatly enhance your health, fitness, relationships, finances, and career.
Few people really need to move beyond the basics. Your life would change for the better if you spent more time mastering the basics and less time worrying about the complex.
Keep these facts in mind:
1. The basics provide at least 80-90% of the results of nearly anything you want to accomplish. Mastering the basics is the most important first step toward mastering anything. In fact, unless you want to take something to the highest level, the basics are likely all you need.
- Let’s take your health, for example. What are the things that matter the most?
- Diet. If you eat your fruits and vegetables, consume some protein, and avoid the foods you know are unhealthy, you’re in a good place.
- Exercise. Thirty minutes of basic exercise five times a week is sufficient to maximize your health.
- Sleep. Get enough of it. How much is enough? If you’re not tired when you wake up, you’re getting enough.
- There’s really not much else that matters. Eat well, get some exercise, and get enough sleep. If you do these three things well, you’ll look and feel great.
2. It’s easy to learn the basics. This is good and bad. Since the basics are easy to learn, we assume they’re not relevant. But if you realize how relevant the basics are, you can make a lot of progress in a short period of time.
3. The basics might be boring. The details and the complexity are always more interesting than the basics. Eating your veggies and getting 8 hours of sleep isn’t as interesting as figuring out the perfect blend of amino acids or finding the optimal training shoes.
- The basics might not be interesting, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t important.
4. The details and the complex contribute little. The small details only contribute to incremental improvements. It’s not beneficial to spend valuable time on complex strategies until you have the basics mastered.
5. You’re addicted to the complex. Our brains love complex things. We’re addicted to trying to figure things out. This makes mastering the basics much more difficult. Recognizing the value of the basics makes it easier to avoid the trap of becoming obsessed with the details.
6. The complex can take a lot of time to master. Another downside to focusing on complex ideas and strategies is the vast amount of time it can take to make any real progress. Spending a lot of time on something that contributes very little is a poor strategy.
- That’s not to say that the more complex ideas and techniques are never worth your time. Get good at the basics, and then see if there is a need to go further.
The fundamentals matter, whether you’re talking about boxing or dating. Completing five advanced courses on flirting won’t help your dating life as much as looking your best, having a life you’re excited about, and being pleasant and sociable with everyone you meet.
Consider these impactful words of Bruce Lee:
“I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once,
but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.”
Let go of the complex and develop a desire to master the basics of life. Most of the challenges in your life are from a failure to master and apply the basics consistently and intelligently.
Whether you need an upgrade to your health, social life, finances, or career, the basics are all that you require.