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What Could Go Wrong?
Avoiding Preventable Failures
☀️ Welcome to another edition of Louis’ Learnings ☀️
This week, I share a story about avoiding preventable failures.
This Can’t Be Good
Rolling out of bed on March 4th, my legs cramped so badly that I almost fell over.
I could barely walk to the bathroom.
For a few minutes, I was terrified. What the hell was going on?
After washing my face and brushing my teeth, a flash of clarity calmed me down.
Paul told me this would happen.
Who is Paul?
In July 2020, I enthusiastically tried the carnivore diet after drinking every drop of Kool-Aid from my real-life hero, Carnivore Aurelius. (Steak + Stoicism)
One week in, I was light-headed, dizzy, and ridiculed by my friends, so I quit.
Ever since then, this silly failure has been nagging at me. A few weeks ago, I resolved to try the diet again, and it’s going extremely well.
The only difference between then and now? My level of research and planning. The first time I tried the diet, the only resource I consulted was ONE blog. This time, I read an ENTIRE BOOK, The Carnivore Code, Dr. Paul Saladino’s comprehensive guide to only eating meat.
In the book, Dr. Paul describes a common side effect of transitioning to the carnivore diet: the Keto-Flu. At some point in the first few weeks of cutting carbs to near zero, you can expect to be struck with sudden fatigue and soreness as if you had the flu.
For a wildly simplified description of the science, your body is switching from burning carbs for fuel to burning fat for fuel. For whatever reason, this change in energy systems causes terrible cramps—unless you eat boatloads of salt.
As I wobbled out of the bathroom, my cramped legs were no match for my calm spirit. I knew what was happening and what to do about it.
I filled a gallon jug with 8 GRAMS of salt and finished it over the course of the day. I continued this regiment for the next week. After 3-5 days, the cramps went away completely.
Why Am I Telling This Story?
Even if you want to keep eating gluten and vegetables, there’s something to learn here.
By proactively learning of the obstacles I’d encounter, I was ready to overcome them.
If I didn’t know the cramps were coming, I would have panicked and abandoned the diet yet again. Worse, my self-esteem would suffer the additional blow of not living up to my own expectations.
Before you get to the rest of your emails, let’s consider one more example.
Freelancing—You Don’t Have To Feast & Fast
Jacob McMillen teaches thousands how to become freelance copywriters. In his role as a teacher, he’s observed one key differentiator that separates success from failure.
According to Jacob, most freelancers fail/quit because they reach a level of exhaustion and fear induced by an unsustainable feast and fast cycle.
Enthusiastic about getting started, new freelancers pitch a ton of clients and get a big chunk of work (feast). Then, a few weeks in, they get so caught up in fulfillment that they forget to continue bringing in new business for when their current projects end.
Constantly stressed by the lack of predictability in their income, the freelancer quits and goes back to the job they hated.
The solution? Send a minimum of twenty pitches every week. For the first few years as a freelancer, this is the best way to ensure a sufficient, predictable stream of gigs.
How You Can Apply This
Unless you are Alex Honnold (above), most people have already done what you want to do. Over 4,000 people have climbed Everest, and chances are someone else has already started a successful business in your industry.
Someone out there has already achieved your goals. They would be happy to help guide you on your own journey.
Take advantage of this! Learn from them.
Find someone who has already achieved what you want. Ask them why people fail. Ask them what obstacles to anticipate and how to prepare for them.
Learn from your own mistakes. Why have you quit things in the past? Lack of accountability? Boredom? Unanticipated side-effects?
Buy a few books on the subject. Books compress decades of wisdom into a few hours of reading. Pretty incredible if you ask me.
Proactively research obstacles, bottlenecks, and other common points of failure.
When the real hurdles arrive, you’ll clear them with less difficulty.
Try it out. What could go wrong?
LK Podcast #58 with Dr. John Jaquish: Dr. Jaquish shares fitness and nutrition advice and explains how to organize training around the endocrine system. Dr. Jaquish is not afraid to express strong opinions or challenge convention. In this conversation, we explore his most controversial arguments and the merits behind them.
LK Podcast #57 with Scott Young: Scott, the author of Ultralearning, joins us to discuss the best ideas from his decade of writing and teaching about productivity, learning, motivation, philosophy, and success. Scott is also the Co-Creator of Life of Focus, a 3-month course he teaches with Cal Newport.
Measuring Discomfort: A “mind-hack” that makes cold showers and waking up easy.
LK Interviews Coming Soon!
Jake, anonymous content creator
Ryan Robinson from RyRob.com (blogger with 300k monthly readers)
Khe Hy of RadReads, Oprah for Millenials
Steph Smith from Trends (newsletter from the hustle)
2 Quick Clicks
I’ve been reading anything I can get my hands on from Codie. Her newsletter, Contrarian Thinking, has lived up to the name and put a lot of fresh ideas in my head. I recommend checking out her article about Tiny Houses on Airbnb.
“Eunoia: the searchable directory of words that don't translate. Eunoia itself is one of those untranslatable words, which essentially means a well-mind or beautiful thinking.—Steph Smith”
That’s All From Me
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Take a walk, play catch with your roommates, parents, kids, siblings, etc.