Tighter Feedback Loops

Note to my future self…

Today I was listening to a podcast with Eugene Wei and there were several gems that I took away from it. The most important one by far is the following and I paraphrase:

Every problem in life can be solved through tighter feedback loops.

That’s it! Fucking brilliant. I don’t think that this short phrase is all that revolutionary but something clicked when I listened to it that made everything else make sense. If we see life as this series of feedback loops that we need to master in order to solve our problems, then we could optimize for creating tighter feedback loops that will allow us to make progress more quickly.

Thinking back to the goals that I’ve struggled to make progress on I’ve realized that I have had a loose feedback loop to help me improve. The classic example that Eugene gives and that resonated a lot with me was eating healthy. If you think about it if you eat a hamburger you don’t really perceive getting fat right away. It’s only after weeks of eating unhealthy food that you can start noticing the pounds. The same thing goes for exercise. You don’t notice the difference after one session at the gym so you start loosing motivation. These are classic examples of loose feedback loops. A potential solution could be to weigh yourself every day so that way your feedback loop shortened from several weeks to 24 hours!

If you apply this to every other aspect of your life you can see how powerful this can be. Furthermore, it shifts the focus from the outcome to the process. If you focus on optimizing the process, the score will take care of itself. This is part of a bigger shift in focus in my life right now where I am trying to improve the systems and processes that guide my life.

The next step for me is to define the feedback loops that I want to monitor and see how can I make them more “tight”. This is very freaking exciting. I wish I could convey how exciting this is right now. In any case, I will report back any updates on this experiment.

Now back to work…