Control the input, not the output (from Nir Eyal's book, )

It’s been a while since I posted! Some life update: I left the US as the visa situation ultimately didn’t resolve (well, a slim chance still as there always has been), and now in Korea working on a few projects of my own. I’ll keep you posted! But for the most part, I feel very driven and fulfilled.

I’m reading Nir Eyal’s new book Indistractable that teaches us how to live a life that we want and choose by getting away from distractions in an age full of distractions. It was a timely book for me (and for a lot of people I presume), and as a result I’ve been learning a ton every chapter.

One phrase that stood out is that you should always be controlling the input, not the output.

This was as part of a response to an inquiry on his suggested interventions that read (parapharsed) “What if I do all these things that you told me to do, and things still don’t work out? What if I don’t get the results I want despite all these efforts?”

Well a certainly important question to address, and Nir’s answer which I agree with deeply is that you can control the input, but you cannot control the output.

And nobody, including himself or even the person who’s putting work, cannot be responsible for the outcome as results are always a combination of multiple external factors that we have no control over, mostly described as “luck.”

However, as long as you show up everyday and put in the day’s work consistently, and you strive to continously improve the quality and the productivity of your work, you’ve done your part. That’s the surest way to success. At the end of the day, it becomes easier to accept setbacks and turn them into learnings when you’ve done your part.

The surest way to fail is to not show up.

Written on October 12, 2019