When you get a dopamine hit from the false first step of simply buying a product or watching a video that you hope will help you, but you stop at that point without ever taking action or applying anything new to your life.


You’ve no-doubt heard of the Law of the Vital Few. It’s the 80/20 rule, which states that roughly 80-percent of the results come about from just 20-percent of the energy.

But, if you were to take your 80-percent results and apply the 80/20 rule to them a few more times, what you end up discovering is that your initial 1-percent of energy spent brings about the first 50-percent of results. (Illustrated here.)

Gary Keller writes that “success is about doing the right thing, not about doing everything right.” You can’t just do anything and get disproportionate results. You have to do the right thing. That critical action that drives a disproportionate result.

What’s the Minimum Effective Dose?

There are 3 things you need to accomplish your goals: (1) a clear goal; (2) a winning action plan; and (3) consistency.

For things where you are just getting started, you may not yet know what your winning action plan is. When this is the case you need the right blend of iteration and feedback until you’ve got your winning action plan. Once you discover what works, double down on consistency.

When to iterate, when to stay consistent

The past 12 months I have gotten extraordinarily nerdy on backpacking gear. And one of the things I ended up splurging on was the best headlamp I’ve ever owned. Two things I love about this thing: (1) how very thin and lightweight it is; and (2) its dedicated buttons for the white and red lights. The dedicated buttons mean you don’t have to cycle through a whole sequence of options before you get to the light you want. It’s just press and go.

The best camping / backpacking headlamp

Anne-Laure Le Cunff: “*Double loop learning is a model that encourages people and organisations to continuously challenge their assumptions and goals instead of blindly repeating the same loop. While the idea seems simple, it can be hard to implement double loop learning because of a natural need for control, a fear of failure, or an overall resistance to change.”*

Growth Loops: From linear growth to circular growth

Maykel Loomans took a year off: “The biggest lesson for me among all this was—and this may sound ‘woo-woo’: seeing a structured day, a quiet cup of coffee, or a workout not as a task but as something to relish. There are these things in our lives that we know we ‘should’ do, but if we don’t find a way to appreciate them truly, it will forever be a struggle to integrate them.”

Reflecting on a Year Off

If you’re stuck overthinking something, remember that very few decisions are truly binary, black and white, guaranteed wins or losses. Make the best decision you can within a reasonable timeframe but don’t waste time sweating it out, overthinking, and waiting until you have absolute perfect clarity.

All decisions are bets