Make Giving Up Hard By Making Trying Again Easy

Written by Jet Williams on May 13th, 2024

Life is made up of a series of long term games that we choose to play. Our jobs, our relationships, our exercise routines--are all choices that dictate how our lives unfold. It's easy to feel inspired and take action once, but it’s much harder to do it consistently. That’s why I choose to play games that are sustainable.

My goal is to stay consistent in every area of my life for as long as possible, as I believe this leads to the greatest chance of growth.

To illustrate this, let's consider two creators starting out trying to grow a brand online.

Person A is a perfectionist, only sharing their work when they are completely satisfied. It takes them three months to produce their first video, expecting it to perform phenomenally due to the time and effort invested. If the video succeeds, Person A is motivated to create more. However, if it fails, the frustration of seeing no results despite the effort can be discouraging.

In contrast, Person B embraces imperfection, focusing on iteration and repetition. Their output is frequent, although sometimes messy. In their first year, they produce 10 times more content than Person A.

Who do you think becomes a better storyteller? Person A, who creates three works a year, or Person B, who conducts 300 experiments a year?

Results may vary, but I would rather follow Person B's strategy. By not quitting, I see success as an inevitable by product of building resilience to failure through small experiments and making incremental improvements.

By lowering the bar, we can play more consistently over a longer period, avoiding high expectations that lead to discouragement and giving up when unmet.

The aim here is to structure life to make giving up hard by making trying again easy.

Inspired by Naval Ravikant's thoughts on playing long term games with long term people