Justin Wright

Monday Velocity - Inputs vs Outputs

publishedabout 1 month ago
2 min read

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Inputs vs Outputs

Think about how you set expectations for yourself, especially with regard to success vs failure. Chances are, you're seeking a specific outcome from your efforts and preparation. Whether it's getting a promotion at work, winning a sporting event, hitting a PR lift in the gym, etc. we almost always focus on the results, or outputs, of a situation.

The problem with outputs is we can almost never control them. Despite working hard and putting in the time, your boss may simply believe someone else is more deserving of that promotion. Maybe office politics are involved, or maybe there are a million other factors that you're not privy to. In sports, every team wants to win. The reality is, we can only control our own efforts and have no way of knowing how prepared our opponents will be.

Even with fitness goals we can follow the right plan, eat well, sleep enough, and otherwise do all the right things. And yet, if I had a dollar for every time I've seen someone miss a lift they "should make" over the years I would be a wealthy man.

The common theme here is that the preparations, or the inputs, are things we can influence. We can give ourselves the highest chances of success by putting in the work, doing the right things, and being as prepared as possible. If you get passed up for a promotion because you showed up late and didn't work hard, that's on you. If you did all the right things and someone else is chosen, that's out of your control.

Happiness in life is often dictated by our expectations compared with reality. "Control what you can control" is a common phrase, but many don't know how it works in practice. If you focus on controlling the inputs in your life and allow the outputs to be what they will, your expectations will never be tainted by things you can't influence.

Hit List

The most interesting things I've encountered this week

What I'm reading: Rest by Alex Soojung-Kim Pang

This book was recommended to me by Dan Koe, a writer and business coach. He recently discussed the dark side of productivity hacks and how, in our efforts to get more done, we often accomplish less. This balance is important, and this book may help shift your perspective. (The Kindle version is also on sale!)

What I'm listening to: Jeff Cavaliere on The Huberman Lab Podcast

The Huberman Lab is one of my favorite podcasts in the Health and Human Performance realm. This particular episode focuses on designing intelligent training programs using science-backed methods, and also touches on the mental component of training. Worth a listen for anyone who also loves health, fitness, and performance.

What I'm watching: Fitness Q&A by Magnus Method

There are so many nonsensical fitness "professionals" in the world today because, like with many things, the barrier of entry to the field is low and the time to mastery is long and slow. Magnus recently did a helpful Q&A where he covers some common general fitness questions. I think his approach is sustainable and approachable, and we share many viewpoints on fitness prescriptions for most people. If you like this kind of thing, check out his channel. (I also think this type of content is helpful for getting friends and family to start their fitness journey if they're on the fence or intimidated!)

Quote of the week:

"As you start to walk on the way, the way appears."
- Rumi

Action is a necessary precursor to finding one's way. If you constantly think, ponder, and plan, there is no way to know right from wrong. By taking action, even if it's initially incorrect, the right path will eventually reveal itself.