🎉    We’re live on Product Hunt right now.    🎉

Exception vs. Norm

By: Michael Blankenship |

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” 

~ Aristotle

A few weeks ago I went to France on vacation and let loose. 

Workouts? Nope. 

Meditating? Didn’t happen. 

Reading? Who had time for that? 

I was all about those croissants, pastries & lazing around. 

But when I got back home, I resumed my routine — reading, writing, working out, meditating, and cooking healthy meals.

And I thought about how, because I live this way 80% of my life, I’m able to go and break the rules for the other 20% of the time. 

This is true for everyone.

People who’re fit, successful, mentally healthy… they have followed the same principle — it’s not that they don’t eat cookies and binge watch Netflix, it’s that those things have been the exception… not the rulefor years or even decades.

Similarly, people who’re unfit or unfulfilled are not a result of two butter croissants they ate last night or a day of skipped meditation — it’s a result of abusing their mind and body consistently over years or even decades. 

Success in any area demands that you spend 80% of your time working toward your goals. And yes, you can have that 20% flexibility to be human, to rest, to indulge.

The danger lies in reversing that equation.

❌ If you’re 80% on “pause,” 

❌ If you’re seeking comfort 80% of the time

❌ If 80% you’re in the “someday” zone,

You’re not just stagnating — you’re actively regressing.

Take a moment to reflect on what has been the exception and what has been the norm in your life. If you find that the equation has flipped, recognize it for what it is: a warning sign.

It’s time to turn it back around.

Build healthy habits and routines that become your “norm” and no one — not even you — will notice any results from those shorter periods of indulgence that you’re able to enjoy…

…because the rest of your life is already dialed in. 

This Week’s Image

This Week’s Journaling Prompt

Take some time to think through the following journaling prompt. 

What are your 80% of the time habits? And what are your 20% of the time habits? How do you want to adjust that balance in your life? 

This Week’s Riddle

The answer is at the bottom of the email!

A is the brother of B. B is the brother of C. C is the father of D. So how is D related to A?

This Week’s Challenge

Introduce a new healthy habit or routine. I’ve always found it much easier to introduce healthier habits than it is to cut unhealthy ones (cook healthy meals vs. stop eating bad food). This can become the pillar for your new 80%-healthy lifestyle 😉

Riddle Answer: A is D’s uncle.

Get the daily email that is improving its reader’s lives. Hype-free, real-world wisdom delivered straight to your inbox. Daily. 100% free.