I am not a car guy - when people talk about engine size, horsepower and number of cylinders I just nod my head in agreement. My base of knowledge is limited beyond miles per gallon, towing capacity and how to engage my 4-wheel drive in the snow. I've not needed anything else (though I did install the towing kit on the Jeep, so there's that!)
But if I knew that my beloved Jeep would be the only car I'd be able to drive for the rest of my life I would most certainly invest in learning every aspect of how to take care of it. I'd ensure I was using the best fuel, keep tires inflated, maintain fluid levels, change oil every 3,000 miles, perform all scheduled maintenance, drive the speed limit, always use turn signals and never text and drive.
You and I both know we are guilty of falling short on all of these simple standards.
Now here's the thing: you only have one body and one mind for the rest of your life - how are you treating them? Are you using the proper fuel? Are you performing regular maintenance? Are you pacing yourself or are you constantly running in the red? Or just as bad, are you 'leaving your car in the garage' to waste away over time?
Like your vehicle, your mind and body need regular and intentional care. To me it comes down to these three factors:
The fuel must be appropriate for your type of vehicle and activity. Every body is different and you can't fuel a diesel engine with gasoline. Find the right fuel for your body and mind. Don't rely on diets, rely on lifestyles. You are optimized when you use the correct fuel and you can breakdown when you use the wrong fuel. Your electric car can't drink 20 gallons of gas because it wants a cheat day. Find the right fuel for your mind and body based upon your goals, your activity, your values/beliefs and every other aspect that contributes to optimal nutrition. Then be consistent.
Maintenance is really about prevention and optimization. Again, same as a vehicle. A properly maintained vehicle will perform as it should and chances are significantly reduced that you'll be stranded on the side of a highway. And when unexpected issues arise, proper maintenance will allow quicker recovery. Exercise, mobility, stretching, reading, laughing, relaxing, proper sleep, hygiene and mind-strengthening are just a few examples of proper physical and mental maintenance that is required to keep you performing as you should. Further, you cannot just pick one activity expecting it to cover all the other areas. Changing your oil won't take care of your spark plugs. You must maintain yourself holistically.
I have great respect for the hustlers out there - those who work hard, who sacrifice and set the pace for all of us as they chase their goals. Those who constantly push the limits of their minds and bodies. The pro athletes, the business moguls, and the inspiring leaders. The image that is portrayed of them constantly on the go, full throttle and full speed ahead may motivate you to act upon your own goals. But you probably don't pay attention the balance they maintain. You may not know the time they spend turned off and tuned out. You cannot constantly run your engine in the red, you will burn it out. You also can't floor it and then slam the brakes - you'll ruin your engine and your pads (plus who wants to ride with something driving like that?). You have to pace yourself with consistency and balance. Give yourself rest. Treat yourself when you earn it. Turn off your phone and be present. Pace yourself. Sometimes you need to slow down in order to speed up. Slow is smooth, smooth is fast.
You have one mind and one body. If you aren't taking care of them, you will not get far. And you certainly won't be able to enjoy the journey with anyone else. So take a holistic approach, be consistent and be intentional. Escape Average. You've got this.