Recently I have gotten immensely fascinated with a guy named Josh Waitzkin. He is the author of The Art of Learning, world champion in chess and tai chi and a high level Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioner.
He has been on two episodes of the Tim Ferriss podcast now, so check those out, if you want to learn more about him.
One of the things he talks a lot about is a concept called “quality as a way of life”. What I personally translate this into is: the pursuit of perfection in everything that you do.
Obviously, it is impossible to do everything in life perfectly, but it is never too late to try and reach for this impossible goal.
This is not about making perfection the criteria for contentment, or even the criteria for anything actually. It is just about having an internal compass, and a healthy set of habits, that will guide you onto the right path at all times.
I love this idea, and I will start incorporating into my life today.
If you also want to try this, it will imply two things for you:
You must be mindful. You cannot rush perfection. You cannot fake quality. You must be fully present at all times, and completely aware of what you are doing right now. This makes the concept very closely related to mindfulness.
You must be an essentialist. You cannot take on too many projects or obligations. You must stay focused on only a few things, otherwise, you risk spreading yourself too thin, and you cannot do anything perfectly this way. (Read the book Essentialism for more)
So to live the life of quality, you must combine mindfulness and essentialism/minimalism – it is no wonder I feel intrigued!
The exercise is, to constantly stop in whatever you do, and remind yourself about doing it with quality, until it becomes a habit.
Take your time, take your breaks, think about what it is you are doing right now – how can you do it better? Do you even have to do the thing you are doing?
If something is worth doing, do it with quality.
Be selective and be critical.
Breathe with quality.
Talk to your partner with quality.
Work with quality.
Walk with quality.
Read your book with quality.
I have always been a quantity over quality kind of guy.
My mantra has been “if it is good enough, I am done”.
Now, I am striving towards a new mantra, that will flip this on its head: “I am not done until its perfect”.
But I am also not going to focus on anything unimportant from now on – I won’t have time for that.
What do you guys think?
Would you join me in living this life of quality?
Further reading recommendations about the subject: