Rewire Your Brain: Ditch Results-Oriented Thinking
Posted by Michael Vacanti
I was only 16 years old.
And I was playing poker during school lunch.
Immediately after losing $20, I was caught by a teacher and sent to the assistant principal’s office.
My chicken patty was left unfinished, effectively leaving prime adolescent gains on the table.
But none of that bothered me compared to the words Ms. Boyenga uttered during our trek to Mr. Anderson’s office:
“You see, that’s why you should never ever gamble – because you can lose!”
My steps slowed down as I gazed at her, dumbfounded.
I wanted to tell her that Adam Le was a massive fish.
That AA is an 82% favorite over J-10 off suit.
That making decisions on sample size n=1 is a recipe for a miserable life.
But I was a good little authority-fearing 11th grade boy, so I saved my outrage for this Saturday afternoon blog post, 13 years later.
Why You Struggle to Lose Weight, Make More Money, And Analyze Decisions Properly
Results oriented thinking means making decisions based on outcomes rather than logic.
Let me give you an example:
You are a woman beginning a fat loss plan. You set a moderate calorie deficit and over the course of two weeks, you gain one pound.
You decide, based on the result of that trial, that calorie counting “doesn’t work for you.”
But what really happened was you began your plan on the 17th day of your monthly cycle. So while dropping 3 pounds of body fat, you retained an extra 4 pounds of water weight.
Red Or Green?
One more example: Your uncle Larry closes his eyes and prepares to throw a dart at this board from close range.
Jason, your results-oriented friend, says “I bet you $1 he hits green.”
You take the bet, for no other reason than you are helping me formulate an example for this post.
We will assume Uncle Larry isn’t cheating or scamming.
He whips the dart at the board and against all odds nails red. This is bound to happen 1/8 times.
“Damnit!” Jason screams, “I knew I should have picked red!!!”
That is results-oriented thinking.
Results-Oriented Thinking Is EVERYWHERE
Posting more frequently on Youtube leads to more subscribers.
So, I have been posting a video every single day.
But guess what… in the short run, I don’t always get more subscriptions!
In the long run however, I do.
This concept is relevant in gambling, scale weight, the stock market… even an overinvestment of public funds for security resulting from one-off events or a swaying in the popularity of a political party resulting from a previous president’s tenure.
What To Do Instead: Focus On Process and Behavior
In the long run, results are telling.
If the scale doesn’t move and your body fat percentage doesn’t change after six months, you’re doing something wrong.
But in the short run, results often do not correctly indicate whether or not you are behaving optimally.
Focus on the process instead: hit your macros, execute proper form, eat plenty of produce, and get enough sleep. Ignore things like scale weight or how your stomach looks in the mirror on the sixth day of your new regimen.
In Conclusion: The Story Of A Fish
Adam Le went all-in with only an 18% chance to win the hand.
Does that mean he made the right decision?
If you answered ‘of course not’ you are correct.
Results-oriented thinking is lazy, immature, and will make your life worse.
Don’t do it.
Focus on the process.
PS: if you’re reading this, Ms. Boyenga, I want you to know that I got everything off my chest and I forgive you. You were a great substitute teacher with a good heart <3
PPS: Adam Le is also a good person and a wild jackel of a poker player – I respect his game.