Minimum Requirements vs. Maximum Effort

A habit many of us learn at a young age is to look for the minimum requirements for a given responsibility. By the time we reach the fifth grade, we are experts. A teacher assigns a composition; no sooner are we given the topic, and all the hands go up to ask, “How many words does it have to be?” We wisely figure that it is a smart idea to establish the minimum requirements before we start down a given path or identify it along the way.

We didn’t abandon this time and effort saving approach to our life task just because we graduated eighth grade. It may have become inappropriate to ask what our minimums are out loud or in public, but we have it pretty well figured out where we can cut corners in our lives. It has become part of our natural and automatic thought process. Most often, we aren’t even aware that we are doing it. As we grow into adulthood it becomes a subconscious thinking process. We have the minimums all figured out in way too many areas of our life.

Too often, we make our life decisions based on the minimum requirements needed for the task. It becomes such a part of our nature we don’t even realize when we are doing it, and therefore, cannot consider its impact on our lives. We cheat ourselves of the success we could achieve and enjoy in so many areas of life because we do the minimum to get by. This approach drastically affects the quality of our existence. When the minimum we must do becomes the maxi­mum we are willing to do, the sum of the results of our lives is mediocrity. Many opportunities for growth are lost forever.