By Dr. Tim Maggs
This past summer, I had just completed mowing my lawn and wanted to have my 10 year old son, Tim, help clean up. I actually enjoy the simple task of cleaning up after myself, but I know it’s my job to teach my kids about work and all that other important stuff.
So, the driveway is covered with grass clippings, and I have him grab the broom and shovel, along with our garbage can on wheels. Tim’s a smarter than average 10 year old, which only means he’ll say “yes” to anything I ask, and then decide what really needs to be done. His decision is always less than my request.
I ask him if he’s ever heard of the Law of Maximals and the Law of Minimals. I knew he hadn’t, since I was basically making it all up as I went along. “No dad, never heard of either”. By the time I finished explaining my newfound Laws, I saw the application in my own life. Kind of like hearing your own confession.
The Law of Maximals
I told him that in life, you will be called upon many times to perform a task. Although we all grow up thinking success is based on intelligence, looks, who you know, or some other extraneous factor, the truth is, success is based largely on how well you perform each and every task you’re asked to do. “On each task, you can either do the minimal amount of work needed, or you can do the maximal amount, which would speak volumes about who you are. It’s that simple”, I told him. I went on to tell him the world is made up of people who follow the Law of Minimals, while the world is begging for more people who follow the Law of Maximals. “Make sure every piece of grass is picked up. Make sure some innocent bystander wouldn’t know if I just mowed the lawn or not. That’s the job you want to have your name associated with”.
Our Health Care System
I’ve treated a few people over the past thirty plus years. If I had to define what the difference is between those who succeed with injuries, pay fewer dollars over the years and have a higher quality of life, it would be the person who follows the Law of Maximals. If you want to know who spends more money, is sitting on the sidelines watching events more than participating and has a lower quality of life, it’s the person who follows the Law of Minimals. It’s really that simple, and unfortunately, it’s never taught in school. This is what Obama should be talking about in his new healthcare plan.
The Law of Maximals Principles
Be Proactive. See your dentist every 6 months. Have your eyes examined at least every 2 years. Get a physical every year, including blood tests. Over 50? Think colonoscopy. Finally, learn your biomechanics (Structural ® Fingerprint Exam) before you break down. Fix what you can before you get injured. When injured, learn the cause and correct it, don’t just treat the symptoms. Yes, that takes longer, but “you’ll thank me in the morning”. Your Finances. There’s 2 ways to become wealthy; make more money, or want less. Wanting less is the more attractive pathway, because it leaves you with a clearer mind to recognize and enjoy those things in life that are free. Take a walk, go to a museum, help someone else or work in your garden. Own a garage with nothing in it. Maximal joy with minimal stress.
Sleep. The body needs more rest than most of us allow for. Sleep is the “cure-all” of life, and with enough sleep, everything from our immune systems to our sense of humor improves. Secondly, 8 hours from 11p.m. to 7 a.m. is far more beneficial than 4 a.m. to 12 p.m. Throw in a nap here and there, and it’s like money in the bank.
Relationships. When younger, you think “more friends” is the answer. However, as we grow older, “real friends” is the key. If you have anyone in your life who is unconditional, you can call them at anytime and they’ll stop what they’re doing to help, you’re blessed. If you have more than one, you’re double blessed. However, to ever have someone who is unconditional, you need to nurture a relationship and give unconditionally in the building process. This takes time, caring and the understanding of the value of unconditionalism.
Training. As runners, we are basically an irrational and psychotic bunch. We don’t want to follow the laws of nature or the laws of injury and healing. We want to go hard every day, and when we’re reminded with injuries that we’ve overdone it, we want to scream as though there is some court of law that will hear our case against Mother Nature. Preparation, logical training and recovery are mandatory for the long haul. This simple formula could probably cut our healthcare expenses in half if we’d all follow the rules, but for some reason, it’s a challenge.
In the end, check each aspect of your life, and ask yourself, “Am I living the Law of Maximals or the Law of Minimals?. Am I giving it my all?”. What you’ll always see is that your return on investment will be proportionate. Have a great month.