Steve Jobs had a thing about bikes.
He’s well known for choosing a velocipede as his mode of transport when exploring a city.
Even more famously (and somewhat ironically), he was noted for calling the personal computer a “bicycle for the mind.”
At the time, it was difficult enough to fit a computer into a garage, let alone your pocket.
But Jobs was talking about evolution and efficiency.
Humans are very average at converting food into movement until you put us on a bike. Then we can go further and faster on fewer calories than any other animal.
Now that we can fit the computing power of the planet into our pocket, we can achieve an incredible amount with the mere lift of a finger (or thumb).
We can move the world — without moving our ass out of bed.
Eat that dust, evolution.
Did you know there’s a Toe Wrestling World Championship?
That’s another weird side to humans.
Pick any activity — and I mean any — and there’s probably an International Federation and a World Cup. There’s definitely a World Record.
It’s our competitive nature. Nobody wants to be the slowest when the village gets attacked by a saber-tooth tiger.
Just add agriculture and wait 10,000 years, and you get the World’s Greatest Cherry-Pit Spitter.
Of course, it’s important to try our best. But not everything has to be done to Olympic standard to be worth doing. And perfection is a poor excuse.
You can be awful at meditation or sudoku or singing and still enjoy them. And you can be terrible at picking up litter, running, giving to charity, or writing, and yet they’re still all worth doing.
Most things that are worth doing are still worth doing badly. And you’re never too bad to get better.
So, get out there and give it your worst shot.
Hindsight is a funny old thing.
We rarely give ourselves enough credit for the great things we’ve done.
The trials of education, the stress of finding a job, getting punched in the face, heartbreak, or an early morning run are all hellish at the time.
But this pain fades pretty quickly, and before too long, we think it was easy. We might even think about doing it again.
A bloke called Seneca said something about this back in the day:
“It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare; it’s because we do not dare that they are difficult.”
Once we decide to take on — or are forced to take on — a challenge, it becomes a lot easier.
We’re capable of doing so many difficult things, even those we thought impossible. You’ve already done so many!
Doing the bare minimum is often a negative thing.
But some days, it’s the best we can do.
On those days when all we want to do is crawl back into bed, turning up is often enough to make progress.
Putting in the minimal effort every day isn’t how to get what we want from life.
But if ‘doing the bare minimum’ means showing up on the worst days and doing a shit job, that’s still better than doing nothing at all.