Edit Your Life

It’s amazing what you can get done if you eliminate all else except what you’re wanting to do.

Kobe Bryant had a concept he called editing your life.

Decide what you want and edit your life so it happens.

Take out the things that don’t get you there, and put in only the things that do.

Most people are not willing to edit their life, so their life stays relatively the same or at least nowhere near the life they desire because they aren’t willing to edit and cut out the unnecessary to guarantee their desired life.

Just about anytime in my life that I’ve done this, I’ve gotten unfathomable results.

Completely ‘unrealistic’ results, because I was willing to sacrifice what was ‘realistic’, and edit my life for a different result.

Once you realize what’s possible with a ‘life edit’, it makes it easier and easier to do it again the next time.

It’s like clicking ‘buy it now’ in your mind on what you want, knowing you’re absolutely acquiring it, and just waiting for it to be delivered.

You know because you’re willing to edit your life to receive exactly what you ordered, and you know when you edit your life for that, that’s exactly what happens.

Most people if they want a change make a little 5% change and don’t see results so they quit. 

“It didn’t work.”

Of course it didn’t work. You put in 5% more effort.

Technically it might have ‘worked.’ You may have improved by 5%, the results were just too tiny to even recognize because you made small changes instead of editing your life for what you wanted.

A small improvement is unlikely to produce anything that is life changing for you.

An edit of your life, would.

Many people are taking their current life, one that is not their desired life, and making small improvements. And somehow they’re surprised that the life they desire is not magically showing up. They’re operating off of a playbook that has proven NOT to produce desirable results. So working off the same playbook and implementing slight improvements, unsurprisingly, will not drastically change your life.

You know I love some math so let’s think about it like this:

Let’s pretend I’m up against a competitor in real estate, or a business, or a book, or whatever it is at the time.

Let’s pretend I have the same desire as them.

So we’re both going after the same type of goal.

We want X results.

Let’s pretend they take the average actions someone aiming for those results would take.

They’ll get whatever results you’d normally expect to get.

I will edit my life so I have at least 10x the thinking time available compared to my competition to solve the puzzle I’m trying to solve.

I don’t mean go work 10x more.

I push where my edge is(strategy/decision making), and eliminate things where I don’t have an edge.

So I’m not only getting a multiple return from having an edge in that area, but then I’m at least 10x’ing that variable.

So for an oversimplified example, if we say I have a 2x edge on strategy/decision making vs. my average competitor, I’m going to go edit my life and spend at least 10x as much time there as they are.

And to be clear I’m not even necessarily working more hours. I’m allocating hours to where my edge and/or where the leverage is, and eliminating hours where I have no edge and/or no leverage.

If we factor in that strategy is also where you get the leverage, you can easily add another 2x right there. Because if you’ve got a broken strategy and are ‘hustling your face off’, you’re very limited in what you can achieve and if up against a competitor who’s mapped out a great strategy, they will smoke you.

Now, it’d be overly simplified and not exactly how the math works to just take the 20x, and 2x it again because of the leverage, and get to 40x. Despite 2x leverage on strategy being conservative in my opinion, as it’s the domino for all of your actions.

Limited strategy, limited results from those actions.

You gain a ton of leverage by mapping out a strategy that solves for the puzzle you’re trying to solve for.

Most people don’t actually solve for the result they’re wanting to create.

They take an undesirable result, and attempt to make improvements to it, as insane as that is. 

So they end up with improved, undesirable results. Not their dream life.

Anyways, back to the math…

While we do open up the possibility to achieve 40x the results, it’d be more conservative to consider that time spent on strategy isn’t necessarily linear with results, and in a conservative estimate if we consider there will be a point where diminishing returns on strategic time come into play, let’s just use 2x instead of 10x, and we’d end up at 8x.

So, again with way oversimplified and conservative math I would enter into this bet expecting 8x the results as the average competitor. (I’d run an EV calculation if I wanted to calculate my actual expected results, I’m just using oversimplified math to explain the point)

You can expect the same for what you’re trying to achieve if you input more hours where you have an edge and/or leverage.

You’re just taking where your edge is and where the leverage is, and putting your time there.

You’re able to put your time there, because you eliminate all other distractions and places you don’t have an edge.

You map out a strategy that ensures your success, so that not only are you maximizing your time where you get the greatest returns, but you’re solving the puzzle ahead of time so you already know what to expect if you just do what is required.

Where is your edge? Where is your leverage? Where is your time?

If your competitor is spending their hours where they don’t have a big edge(most people), where they don’t have big leverage(most people), the equation is unlikely to produce a result that is extremely desirable.

Kobe wasn’t in the gym once a day, splitting his time with box out drills and watching film on rebounding.

He was often in the gym 2-3x a day, and obsessively focused on how to score on people.

Over 100 days dedicated towards improving, let’s say his average competitor is in the gym once a day, they’re getting 100 reps in.

Kobe would get roughly 250 reps in over the same time period.

And his reps were not like his competitors’ reps.

He was known for going at an insane pace during his workouts. Plus he’d go in with a plan mapped out knowing what he was trying to achieve over the 100 days.

So him improving at a large multiple of others who wanted to improve would not be unrealistic. 

Not to mention the fact that he obsessed about the game away from the court too, thinking about it nonstop to solve the puzzle. Further multiplying the rate of his improvement and edge over competition.

Maximization of hours in areas with edge or leverage.

If he did those things for a day or two, no one would notice a difference.

But over years, the expectation is obvious – he will demolish his competition.

It’s not strange that he became one of the best basketball players to ever walk the planet.

He edited his life for that result.

The same is possible for you, with whatever it is you want in your life.

People won’t expect you to spend X amount of hours on strategy, or X amount of hours where you have the edge. They won’t account for that possibility. They will expect you to operate like most people operate, so your results will seem completely unreasonable to them.

“Sometimes magic is just someone spending more time on something than anyone else might reasonably expect.” ― Teller.

You can COMPLETELY change your life in a VERY SMALL TIME PERIOD 

It’s easy to have a false idea in our heads that it’s going to take forever to achieve the things that we want to achieve.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

If you fully commit and focus on what it is you’re wanting to achieve, you can have that in a shorter period than you could imagine.

It’s the lack of belief that keeps people from fully committing, so you end up spending time on all sorts of distractions vs. the few actions that would create a massive life change for you. 

The one you already know you want, but don’t take necessary action towards due to the false assumption that it might not be possible for you. So you lie to yourself and say ‘next year’ or ‘sometime in the future’ for when you’re finally going to create the life you want.

The lack of belief comes from a lack of experience.

The lack of experience comes from the lack of taking action in the past.

The lack of action in the past comes from assuming it was too hard.

Assuming it was too hard comes from not taking the time to formulate a plan that when executed on, would produce your desired results.

If all you did was eliminate 90% of the unimportant things you’re doing, and moved that 90% to the actions that could completely change your life, you could change your life in 1-2 years instead of 10-20.

The editing of your life which produces a significantly multiplicative result, results in the compression of your timeline needed to reach your desired results.

If you are formulating a strategy where you can expect to produce 5x, 10x, 20x the normal results, it will clearly not take you the same amount of time to achieve the results as someone else.

It’s simple math.

You will have caused a compression of the necessary timeframe to achieve the desired result.

Compression of this timeline not only maximizes your results within this timeline, but multiplies the years in which you get to live your desired life.

Consider this as 2023 approaches, and don’t cheat yourself out of the life you actually want, and the years you could spend living it.

4 Responses to “Edit Your Life”

  1. Dieter

    Thanks for this one Billy. My two cents here: I’ve had quite a few conversations lately around “strategy”, and I’ve found that people have a very hard time working with the concept of strategy, even more so formulating one. That alone seems to be a rare skill.

    Do you mind giving your take on what Kobe’s strategy could have looked like in detail, if we break it down into the dimensions of a pro basketball player and what he could have done to improve in each? Like so:
    – Gym: time in the gym (+ exercise menue)
    – Ball handling: time spent + exercise menue
    – Unique abilities: Strengthen your fave moves in (simulated) game situations
    – Playbook: work own playbook, game moves (+ know where to position yourself on the field in any type of situation, especially without the ball)
    – Competition: know what abilities and game script to deploy against any given opponent
    – Nutrition:
    – Team: be an awesome team mate

    Obviously you can go overboard with this. Just curious how you would approach creating a strategy using the above as an example.

  2. Marius

    interesting point of view. I feel like the article got cut short and there could have been an end section with more examples and/or more of a “framework” how to implement it into your life.

  3. Rene

    Thank you Billy for this excellent article.

    I just read this and it definitely makes a lot sense to me. Put your energy where it should and the results will come.

    After reading this I have some doubts about what you mean with “areas with an edge”.

    I’m in the e-commerce business. Let’s say I have an edge in sourcing, do you mean that I should put all my focus in sourcing? Or still focus on strategy/decision making because in the end that is what matters?

    Also, I have another company in customized B2B packaging. It has consumed a lot of time over the past two years with okay results.

    But growing an scaling is this business is hard and the results from my e-commerce company are better with less input. Is this the 80/20 rule in practice?

    Should I stop focussing on my B2B business and go all-in on the e-commerce? This question has been in my mind a lot lately.

  4. Chris

    Thanks Billy, nice post. But I have to share the same perplexity… what if the edge is not on strategy but on something just marginal, or is not even apparent? What should somebody do to get better at strategizing, in order to make it become the edge?


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