The concept of “winning” stirs thoughts of positive action. Jump higher. Run faster. Try more, do more, be more. In order to win, you’ve got to act. To push the boundaries, to go to a place you couldn’t go before.
But there’s another way to win. Rather than “try more, do more, be more,” ask yourself: what am I doing wrong, and how can I stop?
In other words, part of winning is simply making it hard to lose.
They say “defense wins championships.” Your defense doesn’t go out and score points. But they do make it hard for your team to lose.
Similarly, we can—and should—apply that thinking to our own lives. Rather than add winning behaviors into our lives, why not excise the bad habits that drag us down?
Believe me: I’m writing this just as much to myself as I am to you. Dear Jesse…
It’s “hard to lose” if you eat nothing but bananas and spinach and beans. In other words, remove any semblance of unhealthy junk from your pantry. Eat only the healthy foods that remain. A whole-foods, plant-based diet makes it “hard to lose” on the spectrum of weight, heart health, diabetes, etc.
Good health is about being able to fully enjoy the time we do have. It is about being as functional as possible throughout our entire lives and avoiding crippling, painful and lengthy battles with disease. There are many better ways to die, and to live.T. Colin Campbell
Less couch, less Netflix, less sedentary life. You don’t have to run a marathon every day. But you can make it hard to lose if your baseline is, “No Netflix until after I walk the dog.”
Friend-of-the-blog Derek reads at least one page per day. Just one. His simple rule is, “I remove all days where I read zero pages. A no-read day is not allowed.”
Sometimes that one page is a chore. Other days it’s easy to read 50 pages.
The magic happens when the first page is so good that it overwhelms the motivational levee. One page turns into 25 pages that otherwise wouldn’t have been read.
Without that rule—“no-read days are not allowed”—Derek would be reading a lot less.
It’s hard to lose the game of wisdom if you read (at least) one page per day.
Books are a uniquely portable magic.Stephen King
The easiest, most passive rule of wealth is to pay yourself first. Simply put, paying yourself first means you automate a process to divert money into savings or investment accounts.
Every paycheck, I put money in my 401(k). Every month, I put money in my Roth IRA. I pay myself first.
I can’t spend those dollars. They’ve been automatically invested. In other words, hard to lose. When you pay yourself first, you make it hard—impossible—to spend that money.
As a result, wealth can’t avoid you. It has no choice. You’re removing the possibility of over-spending and ensuring the inevitability of long-term success.
Do not save what is left after spending, but spend what is left after saving.Warren Buffett
Now Go “Not Lose”…
Proactively seeking wins is important. But so is the thoughtful removal of bad habits.
If you trim the bad, you’ll have nothing left but the good.
Your net worth to the world is usually determined by what remains after your bad habits are subtracted from your good ones.Ben Franklin (co-founder of The Best Interest)
Now go make yourself hard to lose!