The perfect push-up or the art of doing less

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Today I want to share with you a Taoist inspired reflection on doing less. I once heard someone say that if you wanted to build discipline, you should focus on doing one simple thing every day, like a push-up, but you should choose the fewest number of reps you could do, because most people when they start doing push-ups what they do is they perform as many repetitions as possible, until failure, until they cannot do one more, and then they rest, to later do their maximum amount again, but that's not right, what you should do is perform a single push-up, no more. Then you would rest and the next day, you would do another one. And so you continued every day. The point here is to put all your attention on doing that one push-up. Placing the hands at the right distance. With a straight back and neck. With head looking down. Lowering to touch the chest with the ground. Going up to fully extend your arms. Full and controlled range of motion. Watching the breath. Pressing the muscles. Concentrating on this and much more, ultimately, focusing one hundred percent on doing the push-up in the correct and most perfect way possible. When you do that pushup, you are completely absorbed, directing all your attention to doing it. Synchronizing body and mind and merging them into one. Until you finish.

The man who does a single push-up trains not only the body but also the mind, uses all the muscles of his body to flex and not only the arms, does less executions than the others, and yet his results are worth more, because he does not count reps, but makes reps count.

The difference between doing a single push-up and doing many is that one way of acting is more oriented to quantity while the other is more oriented towards quality, one is based on doing more and another on doing better, because it's like they say, you can do something a lot or you can do it well, but not both. In my opinion, only one of those mindsets leads us to do things the right way while the other leads us to error.

Most of the time we tend to think that to be successful at something we must do more. I think the opposite. If you want to be successful at something and you really want to do it well, you should do as little as possible that you can do, because that way you can fully focus on doing it the right way and guarantee that that little bit that you have done is done in the best way. The less you have to do, the better you will do.

You will realize, if you act in this way that few things well done are worth more than many things poorly done.

Only after a person has mastered the perfect push-up, with excellent technique and form, then and only then should he proceed to do a second push-up. But it is not necessary to exhaust yourself doing a lot of repetitions in bad form that only cause us to do more and achieve less.

We would be surprised to find that most of the time people are actually doing more than they have to to get the desired result, many times we just do too much, and it is not necessary. If we only reduced the amount of things we do but focused on doing them well, then we would likely get better results. It is the old dispute between quality and quantity. Reduce the quantity and you will see your quality grow.


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