Eric Krueger

Make a Meal Out of It

2-minute read | last updated 3 weeks, 2 days ago

Add some layers to your activities.
(Photo by Cody Chan on Unsplash)

Life is a series of things you do, after which you die. That's it. Therefore, you should take advantage of what you do to the fullest extent possible.

A ratio exists for all of us that consists of things we want to be doing and things we don't want to be doing. Many a philosopher's life has been dedicated to determining the appropriate ratio, but broadly it seems like we can conclude:

One of my strategies for doing things (the first two bullets), is to make a meal out of it. The term normally has a negative connotation, like "Oh, she's making a meal out of this" (as in, not being brief).

But I mean just the opposite. Most activities we do are not fully planned. We have a rough sketch of what we're going to do, and we go do that. Applying a make-a-meal-out-of-it philosophy can accomplish three things:

  1. It supplements things you don't want to be doing with things you do, making the whole experience more enjoyable.
  2. It enhances the things you want to be doing.
  3. It makes the activity more novel, and consequently more memorable.

When you apply this to your activities, you more fully develop their potential.

Develop is the intentional word here, as in (i) to work out the possibilities of, (ii) to create or produce, especially by deliberate effort over time, or (iii) to make active or promote the growth of. It's deliberately practicing the art of the possible (and the more you practice, the better you become). In a way, it's a form of selfish optimization, and while not everything in your life needs to be optimized, this particular optimization function is unique in its significant benefit to you, and minimal impact (and perhaps even a benefit) to others.

So I'd like to propose a new acronym for this make-a-meal-out-of-it philosophy: "MAMOOI" (pronounced "mah-moo-ie"). Like "Hey, let's MAMOOI this activity". Feel free to use it - no attribution required 😉.


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