End Game Concept #5: Do, Evaluate, Calibrate

“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.” -Albert Einstein

I was recently standing on a bench in Washington Square Park in NYC, and went for a funny stretch on one leg. Not the strangest thing going on in the park, but it felt like a fun thing to do at the time. Within a minute, a woman working in park security came by and asked “what are you doing, stretching?” I responded “Yes, stretching” she continued “Is that how you stretch?” and I responded once more “Yes indeed, this is how I stretch”, and then she left.

Quite a boring story I must admit, but one that was quite fun from my perspective, and allows me to give you a simple example of what this last End Game Concept is all about. Of all of them, this is the most practical, and most powerful. You need not read any books or take on any mentorship, to grow rapidly with this strategy.

You do something new, you evaluate what happened, and you calibrate your perspective based off this new knowledge.

If you think standing on benches is a weird thing to do, because everyone will judge you, and point and laugh at you, or talk about you behind your back, the best way to find out what actually happens, is to follow this DEC principle. Do it, evaluate when you see what actually happens, and not what your brain constructed idea was, and then adjust your perspective based off the new information.

Clearly if you are doing this for something new, you may need more then one attempt to fully integrate a new perspective. Yet, you’re not doing it for a particular result, this is purely as a fool, you’ve let go of what may happen, and are genuinely curious to learn the truth for yourself.

As I gave an example in a previous post, with saying “Hi” to strangers on the street, perhaps it feels like a very pointless or easy thing to do, and then you go to do it, and you feel some anxiety and you’re worried about what may happen. Perfect! Start using this feeling as an opportunity to apply this principle.

Okay so I’m scared of saying “Hi” to random people, but I’m going to try it. I’ve done it, now let me evaluate what happened, okay, that guy was sort of cold and ignored me, the lesson so far is not “people are cold and won’t respond” literally at this point it’s “that one guy was cold and didn’t respond” or play the reframe game “he must not have heard me”. Then you say it to a second and third, both smile and say “Hi” back. Perhaps one of them even stops to see if you wanted something.

New evidence, some people are “cold” and others are “friendly”, even when you did the same thing to all of them. What you did, had not changed, but others reactions changed, therefore, the variable here was not you, but them. In this case, you’ve calibrated your perspective to see how people behave.

Though if you are always getting a particular result, perhaps the thing that needs to be calibrated is your action. In this example, try to smile and wave. See how that may change things. Perhaps more effort to smile at strangers increases how many of them give you a friendly response.

Over my years of learning, this was my single greatest lesson. Do something, evaluate what happened, and then calibrate yourself or your perspective, to have an understanding closer to the truth. You can use this in job interviews, dates, social experiments, the way you talk to your kids, the way you interact with your community, anything at all.

Every aspect of your life allows you to try new things, be aware of what happened, and then work the results into your new understanding. That’s all you need to do, truly.

Experiment: What I Learned From a 48 Hour Fast

I occasionally read an idea that immediately makes me go ‘I want to try that’, sometimes the results are underwhelming or expected, other times they are eye opening and profound. I figured I may as well write about them as they come up, in case anyone else can get something out of it.

Hungry, irritated and impatient, the first time I ever tried fasting beyond 12 hours during the daytime, I found it to be a powerfully uncomfortable experience. I was determined to do well in the health competition I was in at the time though, and the thought of sweet victory pushed me through the hunger pangs. As time went on though, and 12 hours became 15, then 20, and the next morning came, the effects became very different. Eventually it became easy to do a 24 hour fast. If I drank enough black coffee and water, the worst I got was hungry.

Often I’ve read about people doing intermittent fasting 1-2 days per week, and I had read a post from someone who said they do both their fasting days back to back at the start of the week to get it over with. Complete madness I thought, 48 hours? While I got used to 24 hours, 48 seemed completely unrealistic. So I did my research, found various studies of people who fasted, and felt it was safe enough to try it out myself.

And what I found is… that it was easy. After the first 24 hours, which I never allowed myself to fast for longer then, various other effects arose. I found a whole slew of resources previously left for digestion, now made it to my mental faculties. There was even science to back it up.
The first time I considered fasting for 24 hours some months ago, I didn’t really believe I could do it. But after reaching 48 hours just this morning, and enjoying a meal that was more like an experience then food, I proved myself wrong again.

It’s ideas like this that make me question other aspects of my life. What other false beliefs might I be holding onto? Over the last two years, I’ve had countless experiences where my beliefs have been completely shattered and had to be built anew. Talking to strangers on the street, dancing on subway platforms, even getting up on stage during an improv class. The simple idea of “What would happen if?” makes life a lot more fun. In the past, if an idea like “What would happen if I didn’t eat for 48 hours” popped into my head, I’d think “yeah, that might be cool to try sometime”. Our brain seems to certainly love familiarity, which helps our survival for sure, but it’s not always as much fun is it?

Next time you get an opportunity to try something, even if it sounds a little ridiculous, I’d encourage you to try it. It might end up being a lot easier, or the result may end up being a lot different from what you expected to happen.