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Make Little Bets, Failing Fast

Posted Jun 04 2013 10:29pm

If you have followed me for any length of time you will know that I am always experimenting. I find that the best way to learn how to get healthier and to live a better life is to be always changing and trying new things. I heard a couple of weeks ago about a concept that was explained to me as making little bets.

The idea of little bets is that we can take small chances that are a bit of an experiment every time. Most of the time we don’t like to make huge changes in our lives because normally we are worried about change, and we also don’t want to look foolish if we fail.

So a little bet is just a way to make a small change, or a change that is not too significant, just as a test. This opens up the idea of making changes in our life very often and to see what works for us and what doesn’t

Lets take running for an example. If running was the perfect pastime for everyone then we would all be running to work everyday. As we all know this is not the norm. If you have never been a runner you would be expected to go all in, buy expensive shoes, take a class, run everyday, maybe twice everyday. Of course you would also be reading books and watching documentaries about running and would have the perfect app for tracking your training schedule.

Then months later after 100′s of hours, and lots of money invested you may realise that you detest the idea of running but now it is tough to stop it without feeling like you have failed in one way or another.

I don’t know about you but that sounds super unrealistic to me.

What you can do instead is decide that every morning you will get up 5 minutes early, get some shorts and a tshirt on and run around the block one time. Then you will come in and have your shower and get to work. Maybe this works out, maybe it doesn’t but the idea is that there is not much commitment and you don’t have to worry about the big lifestyle change. You are just trying it out.

So the second part of this idea of making little bets is that since there is not much on the line, not much skin in the game to steal a gambling term, you can try things out and if they do not workout for you then fine you can just move on. The great thing about this is that you can try a bunch of little things and stick with what you like without worrying about trying to persevere with the things that you don’t like or that just don’t work. Remember though that in all area of your life sometimes the tough things are what make the biggest changes so don’t just drop things because they are a little tough.

I didn’t really think of this myself but I have been trying these little bets for years. Just in the last year I have changed my sleeping times and patterns a few times, tried drinking apple cider vinegar in the morning, drinking lemon juice in the morning, taking Chlorella supplements right now, walking as a regular exercise, 5 different workout plans, changed my eating a dozen times.

I think my wife thinks of all the little changes that I make as being flighty but to me I know where I am today and how I want to be more healthy tomorrow. I know that as I learn more about diet, exercise, and psychology that I can get better and better at living a more fulfilled life and to this end these little bets have always been paying off for me. I have learned lots of things that work for me and just as many things that don’t. This does not take much of a commitment at anytime but just testing things out is a great way to make real and lasting change in your life.

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