Life, work, relationships are easier with some boundaries, with a clear(er) path lined up. Let’s line up a path of sensimism in a more concise and easy to follow structure. Here are the key principles of sensimism.
Anything worthwhile takes time
Rooted in how nature works, sensimism acknowledges that most of the things in life take time. As in nature, where everything happens slowly, but surely, it will take a lot of weight off your shoulders if you realise, that in life too, anything worthwhile requires time. Relationships, career, business, investments, fitness – they all show the best results when given enough time.
Frequency over intensity
If you adjust your life to a longer time-window and realise that good things and results require more time, you can slow down and stop frantically chasing after something. At the same time, you will discover that even smaller steps, if frequent and over longer periods of time, bring better results than infrequent but intensive actions. Like an acorn growing into a big tree, a single cell developing into a human being, continents moving and changing shape or a fragile plant growing through concrete – small but sustained and gradual steps deliver better results than big jumps.
“Natura non facit saltum – Nature doesn’t make jumps”
This holds in most of the things that fill our daily lives – relationships, exercise and healthy body (healthspan), success or investments (compounding), parenting, overcoming obstacles – it all takes time, patience and sustained effort for best results.
Nothing is worth stressing about
By stress, we mean mental pressure that is not healthy for us. Some kinds of stress are good for us, see below. But this kind of stress – when we feel that we don’t have enough time, money, control, we feel under pressure – is not healthy. No research/study quotes are needed here, it’s common knowledge. Therefore one of the best steps we can take in our lives is to realise, that stressing about anything won’t help the actual thing or our health. Stressing over a project won’t make it happen – working on it, in small steps, gradually but frequently will. Stressing over a broken relationship won’t fix it – taking action will. Stressing over money won’t make more of it – setting a goal and working towards it will.
Nothing in life is as important as life itself to stress about – to lose health over. Love, sex, wealth, legacy, family, fame – they all feel good once you achieve them, but they should be your source of direction and joy in life, not your source of stress.
If you ever struggle with anything, imagine how nature handless stress – best seen in animals – as soon as any immediate danger is over, they forget about it. A dog will be stressed if chased by a bear or if you leave him behind. But as soon as the immediate stress source is out of his sight, he will relax and just take it as a given. He won’t imagine future scenarios of how you play with other dogs instead of him or how you shouted at him four months ago. He’ll happily lie down and relax, stay in the moment. What is the best thing you can do in this situation? At the same time, he won’t stress about his fitness levels – he’ll just run around and be healthy, without even knowing it. Go, run around, don’t stress about why, when, how often.
Controlled physical stress is good for you
Some level of physical stress does a lot of good for your body primarily on a cellular level. It activates our longevity – survival genes and helps get rid of bad cells, cleans up your body. Therefore don’t run away from hard work, bad weather, don’t spoil yourself with comforts everywhere. Don’t eat whatever and whenever you feel like – some restraint with food will literally extend your life. Controlled cold or heat exposure, exercise where you get out of breath, hard work where you really sweat, they all contribute to a healthier body that will last longer. Comforts feel nice at this moment, but they shorten the number of moments you can have overall.
80/20 – Pareto rule alleviates pressure
Apply the Pareto rule to everything you do in life. Perfectionism is pointless – the last 20% will take too much effort and stress you out, but won’t make a huge difference in the results. Don’t aim for 100% – you will burn out easier. Aim for achieving the best results for yourself with whatever feels right to you. Running for 30 minutes daily will be great for your health, but it’s harder to achieve – you might burn out and then stop running overall. But running for 30 minutes every second day is easier to achieve and you will be able to sustain it for much longer – achieving much better long term results. What’s better – doing 25 push-ups or 15 every day? Both will probably have roughly the same results but are way better than doing no push-ups. Therefore don’t stress if you don’t manage to do 25 per day, as long as you do some. Set yourself health goals, but don’t stress if you sometimes don’t hit all of them – what’s more important is the fact that you try and do something every day.
You don’t have to stop eating for a whole day to get great long term health benefits – it’s enough to reduce your caloric intake even by 10% – and it’s enough to just skip one meal a day. Or perhaps just change what you eat – less animal protein, more plant protein. (see “Lifespan: Why We Age―and Why We Don’t Have To“).
Apply any of these rules in your life and enjoy the results. Apply all of them (or maybe 80/20 these rules 😉 ) and find yourself in a less stressful, healthier life with stronger relationships, more sunshine and peace. A better, more balanced life 🙂