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I stopped the movie 11 minutes before the end

I’ve somehow earned the reputation of being quite disciplined, maybe even a tad rigid at times, and dare I say, occasionally a touch on the boring side.

But is it a good thing or a bad thing? 

Bonjour, in this video, I want to discuss the fine balance between discipline and flexibility. 

Right now, I find myself in England, in a charming place called Cheltenham, with my wife TK. We hopped on a flight to visit our son, Cameron, who’s currently on loan with Cheltenham Football Club. And guess what? We stumbled upon this delightful French bakery that lured me in with an almond chocolate croissant.

As I’m about to devour this treat, I’m breaking not one but two of my own important rules.

First, it’s morning, and I’m supposed to be fasting. Second, I have this steadfast rule about no sugar during the day, and I suspect there’s a bit of sugar in this croissant. 

Now, for those who know me, I often preach about three essential things: Clarity, Action, and Measurement. 

Clarity: It’s all about being crystal clear on the areas of your life that matter most. For me, one of these key areas is health. 

Action: Once you’re clear about what’s important, what are you going to do about it? In my case, for health, it involves a few simple rules: morning fasting, zero sugar during the day, daily exercise, and a proper bedtime (typically around 9.30pm). 

Measurement: This is crucial. What gets measured gets managed. Every evening before I hit the hay, I pull out a little book and put a tick or a cross against these rules. Tonight, I’m not so sure about that tick for “No Sugar.”

However, I’ll absolutely give myself a tick for “Joie de Vivre” and happiness, and breaking a rule now and then to enjoy life.

Yep, I’m inherently a disciplined person, but over the years, I’ve learned the importance of flexibility from my lovely wife, TK. 

TK is all about finding balance. She often reminds me that life is an 80-20 game. I have got the 80% discipline, and more, but she believes I also need a bit of my 20%, the part where you let your hair down, break a few rules, and simply have some fun. Life would be way too dull without it. 

We’ve had moments where it’s a Saturday night, and we’re cozied up in front of the TV, watching a movie. Suddenly, the clock strikes 9.15, and I get that itch to call it a night. I pause the film. I remember one time we only had precisely 11 minutes and 23 seconds left of the movie. 

Going to bed 

But you know what? On these Saturday nights, TK gently nudges me to bend the rules just a bit. You see, 80% of the time I am in bed by 9.30pm. So occasionally, TK suggests I can spare those extra 11 minutes and 23 seconds to enjoy a movie with my wife. I reluctantly listen to her advice, and we both enjoy that extra 11 minutes and 23 seconds of movie time!

So, it’s safe to say I’ve learned to embrace some flexibility. I’m in sync with TK on this one. 

So, my question for you is this: Have you found the right balance between too disciplined or too flexible? 

This is this week’s Work Smarter: Live Better tip. I hope you enjoy it. 

As for me, I’m about to break the rule and dive into this delightful chocolate croissant. 

A bientôt,


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