USING THE 80:20 RULE TO HARNESS SHORT-TERM WINS AND LONG-TERM GROWTH
I’ve noticed that once people decide to overcome chronic health challenges, they usually take one of two approaches.
The first is to look for a “magical bullet.” With this approach, we usually ask “what works for . . . CFS, fibro, Hashimoto’s, post-Viral malaise, etc?” The question is looking for a single solution for the problem, or maybe these days a small protocol. “Probiotics, vitamin D and zinc! That’s the answer to your question.”
Our culture trains us to look for magic bullets. The concept actually comes from the pharmaceutical industry. It’s the idea that we could find a drug that would cure a disease like cancer, for example, and wouldn’t have any negative effect what so ever on any other part of the system.
No magic bullet has ever been discovered. This is likely because the very concept is at odd with how complex systems actually work.
Baked into this idea is that something New & Shiny might just be the thing! Maybe there was no supplement to fix CFS but this new supplement might be it!
As you’ve learned, the new supplement or gadget isn’t the answer. But this doesn’t stop us hunting. We think if we just look harder or ask smarter people or maybe something new comes out then this will be it.
By now you know this approach doesn’t work.
The other common approach is the Scattergun Approach. It’s not going to be ONE thing that fixes this problem. But I’ll just try all these things since they all appear to be helpful. Let’s throw it all at the wall and see what sticks.
Because if I have parasites and leaky gut and low vitamin D and poor methylation and poor nutrient absorption and candida and mold . . . then the reason why I’m not better yet is because I need to solve ALL of these problems at once.
But if you do start to feel better, how do you know what helped? Do you need to take it all forever? Or for 6 months until you retest? And if you don’t feel better, what do you do next?
We can use 1% marginal gains to systematically improve our internal and external environment. This is an advanced way of thinking and is very powerful.
But we can expect these benefits to come from the compounding effects of our efforts. And compound interest takes time to accrue. You ain’t gonna get rich over night.
So do we have to wait years to feel better?
What if we looked for quick wins AND long term improvement? What if we had our cake and ate it too?
I recommend an approach that identifies the 20% of things that you could be doing right now to move the needle towards feeling better while also systematically improving the 80% marginal gains that will pay off in the future.