14 Ways To Be Unhealthy - Guaranteed!
The surefire way to be unhealthy. Guaranteed! Or your money back!
Everyone wants to be healthy.
But there are many things in life we want to do. But don’t.
The reason for this comes down to motivation for the reward.
In this case, it would be being healthy.
However, we are motivated far more by a negative outcome as opposed to a positive one.
This is known as ‘Loss Aversion’.
This is where the pain of losing something is psychologically twice as powerful as the pleasure of gaining something.
I will give you $100 to run for 1 hour.
If you don’t run for 1 hour, I will take $100 from you.
We are far more motivated by the second proposition.
Same action. Same outcome.
Different cognitive setup.
To leverage this powerful cognitive bias, the famed investor Charlie Munger uses a method for achieving goals called ‘Inversion Thinking’.
This involves describing what you do not want to happen and how you would then go about doing that.
In our case, the question then becomes:
How can I be unhealthy?
And then list all the ways of being unhealthy.
We then look at this list and do the exact opposite of all of them to hit our goal of being healthy.
Humans are motivated far more by pain and are much quicker to point out problems rather than solutions.
So here goes.
How To Be Unhealthy.
Wait for perfect conditions.
We’ve all been there. Things are just busy, hectic etc., right now. We spend our lives waiting for the conditions to be perfect before we start.
But the conditions will never be perfect.
The conditions for you to start are the conditions of today. Furthermore, when the conditions are at their worst, that is when you have the biggest opportunity for improvement.
Fail Once. Quit Forever.
We have all tried something related to becoming healthy that didn’t work. But maybe it didn’t work because we didn’t do it for long enough or we were doing it the wrong way.
Going to the gym eight times over a six-month period and not hitting your health goals doesn’t mean that going to the gym doesn’t work for you.
As the line goes, there is no such thing as failure, only feedback.
Fail. Start again. Fail. Start again.
Blame your circumstances and complain.
I can guarantee you that your circumstances are not optimal. No one’s circumstances are.
We’ve all done it. We’ve all complained about things that are holding us back.
We might even be right, and maybe our complaints are even justified.
But it does not matter.
We are the ones who will pay the penalty if we do not stop complaining and make the changes necessary.
Read lots of books and then do nothing.
Reading 50 books on health and fitness or watching 50 hours of health and fitness content on YouTube and then doing nothing will not make you healthy.
Burn all the books. Just start.
It doesn’t matter how poorly or how little you do.
Action always trumps ideation.
Take advice from unhealthy people on how to be healthy.
Think about who you are taking your health advice from. Ask if they are hitting all their health goals.
If not, do not take their advice.
Be polite. But taking health advice from someone who isn’t healthy is a recipe for disaster.
If you are that person giving health advice. Stop!
More action. Less talk.
Think that the world is fair.
The world is set up to make you unhealthy. For some people, it is set up so badly that I am shocked they ever hit any of their health goals.
I wish the world were fair. But it’s not.
Shouting at the universe that it is unfair will not help you.
When you accept that the modern world is structured in a way to lead you down the path of being unhealthy in very appealing ways, only then can you start making progress on fighting against that trend.
When it comes to being healthy, so many people live on ‘Some Day Aisle’.
Some day I’ll start eating better.
Some day I’ll start working out.
Some day I’ll start going to bed early.
You can ONLY ever start today. Tomorrow never comes. It’s always today.
I wish we could hit our health targets without any discomfort. I really wish we could.
It sounds so appealing to go on a diet where you won’t be hungry or start a fitness plan where you will never feel up against your comfort zone.
Discomfort is where the growth happens. Learn to see it for what it is.
The point at which the magic happens is when you are out of your comfort zone.
Get comfortable being uncomfortable.
Do what everyone else is doing.
We are social creatures, and we routinely follow the herd.
But when it comes to health metrics, the herd is not doing so well.
If it’s not working for them, why do you think it would work for you?
Being healthy often means carving your own path and being an outlier.
Do Your Best. Not what it takes.
Maybe your best just isn’t good enough. Yet.
Physiology does not care about ‘your best’. All this means is that we sometimes need to try harder or do something different.
It’s frustrating when we don’t get the rewards after making an effort. But sometimes, that effort was not enough.
And that’s ok.
You are just not there. Yet.
Expect the government to save you.
Our environment and the policy changes made by governments likely have the biggest impacts on our health. Just look at what the war on smoking has achieved over the last 50 years.
Governmental policy change stands to make the biggest difference to populations at large when it comes to health.
But we cannot wait on them when it comes to our health.
For now. No one is coming to save you.
Talk more. Do less.
I know people who talk endlessly about ‘Getting healthy’, ‘Joining the gym’, and ‘Changing their diet’.
I’ve been that person!
All great plans, but they are often met with very little action.
I know change is not easy, and the odds are stacked against you.
But less talk. More action would serve us all well.
Avoid working on what matters most.
We buy all the equipment. We sign up for the subscription. We watch all the videos. We buy new clothes. We are all set.
But the actual doing. That can wait.
Don’t get sucked in by all the gear, the tech, and the Youtube videos.
Sometimes the ‘Doing’ just needs ‘Done’.
Value other people’s opinions over your own.
Being healthy is something only you can define. Do not be distracted by what the world tells you it should be.
Sure, living longer with a high quality of life can be considered healthy.
But is it what YOU want?
Ask what ‘Healthy’ means to ‘you’. And just aim for that.
There you have it.
A guaranteed way to be unhealthy.
All the negative outcomes you could ever hope for.
So how do we become healthy?
We do the opposite.
Here we go.
Start, even when the conditions are not right.
Keep failing until you succeed.
Don’t blame your circumstances and complain. You might be right. But that doesn’t matter.
Read one book and then act. Do not read 50.
Take advice from healthy people.
Accept the world is unfair and incentivised to make you unhealthy.
Start today. As in right now!
Embrace the discomfort.
Don’t do what everyone else is doing.
Do what it takes. Not your best. Maybe your best isn’t good enough. Yet!
Don’t wait on policy change. It’s the biggest health lever but the slowest to get pulled.
Do more. Talk less.
Only work on what matters the most. Everything else is a distraction.
Your opinion on what health means to you matters more than ANYONE else’s.
** A Big shout out to Alex Hormozi, who made a very similar list about hitting a different goal, but the very same principles applied. So I borrowed/adapted the idea. You should check him out.
I think that I should read this each morning as a reminder. I’m getting lazy in my elder years about taking the best care of myself that I could be doing. “Getting old” is just one of those excuses, smile.
"there is no such thing as failure, only feedback" - great line, and article too. Thanks