Systems and levers

The games we play in our lives require us to take actions to make progress toward certain objectives. Some of these objectives makes us money. Others aim to make us happier or healthier or both.

It becomes easier to make progress in these games once we think of the world in terms of systems and levers.

For example, imagine we set ourselves an objective to lose weight. If we thought about our body as a calorie management system, we’d realize that there are 2 levers to losing weight:

(1) Eat fewer calories

(2) Expend more calories

If we then asked ourselves which lever is more effective, we’d quickly conclude that the best way to lose weight is to eat fewer calories. We can then map this lever to a set of actions – e.g., fast intermittently or cut sugar, etc.

We’ve now reduced a vague prompt to a potential list of concrete actions we can take.

This applies to every other objective in our life. To build our strategy, we need to map out the system, understand the levers, and figure out which lever we should focus on.

Then we just need to outdo ourselves by executing with discipline and consistency.