June 09, 2014 / The Status Quo Takes Work
Maintenance is also a form of effort
A lot of what I advice is based on a few simple principles. One of them is that improvement take both time and effort. I want to expand on this point a little bit more, because in reality, in life, often times simply maintaining the status quo takes effort! This is something that many men, including myself, often miss. They think they are coasting along in a particular area of life and while they know it will take some effort to make things better, they don’t always expect to have to continue to put in effort just to stop things from getting worse! Unfortunately, sometimes thats what the doctor ordered.
The status quo is in flux
In many aspects of life, the status quo is a "living thing". It isn’t static. It isn’t a level in a video game that you unlock and you can always go back to it without paying through the previous levels first. The status quo can be a process, and a process takes energy to maintain.
For example, getting a girlfriend may be a difficult thing to do, but maintaining a girlfriend isn’t something that just happens with no effort. One is a clear process, the other seems like simple maintenance, but it isn’t always so simple, and you sure as shit can’t just do nothing and expect the status quo of being in a happy relationship to just continue on its own.
Another prime example is fitness. You may think that being in shape simply involves getting there, but that is wrong. Maintenance is perhaps the bigger challenge for most men (and women). Use it or lose it applies to many things, but especially muscles. If you don’t use your newly built muscles, you’ll lose them. And while you don’t have to work nearly as hard to build muscle as you do to keep the muscle you have, the maintenance project never ends and still involves work.
It’s ok for maintenance to be a goal
It may sound quite demoralizing that you must never stop putting in effort; that even just maintaining what you have takes work. However, the good news is that maintaining the status quo can in itself be a reasonable goal. If you are in great shape, you don’t have to always try to get better; setting a goal of maintenance is quite reasonable and frankly, challenging in its own right.
Have a great girl? You don’t have to be looking for an upgrade or ways to make things even better. Setting a goal of maintaining the good relationship you have is quite a worthy, realistic, and maybe even ambitious one.
So, don’t rest on your laurels but at the same time, it’s often ok for simple maintenance to be part of the plan.