Your Input Predicts Your Output (The Real Key to Changing Your Life)

Thomas Oppong
Feb 7, 2017 · 5 min read

Humans are creatures of routine. Even the most spontaneous among us stick to a lot of routines and habits. For us, it is challenging to try different approaches. We are resistant to change. We are creatures of habit. Change is uncomfortable.

The warm comfort of old habits outweighs the fear of change. But the real life change you expect, can only be achieved if you embrace something different that can make you better.

This logic is undeniable: only change causes change.

You are either consuming or creating something at any point in time. A meaningful and fulfilling life depends on the latter. Most of us are good consumers — we are good at taking inputs.

Many people spend greater percentage of their time consuming the outputs of other people. They eat out, read or listen to the news, go to parties, watch movies, listen to music, meet new people, surf the internet, play sports and react to emails. Only a selected few inputs make you a better person.

The overwhelming reality about life and living it is this: we live in a world where most things are worthless and a very few things are exceptionally valuable and improve or make you better. As John Maxwell once said, “You cannot overestimate the unimportance of practically everything.

Whatever you seek to change in your life, be it a bad habit to break, a good habit to form, a new approach to something, a new commitment or starting a passion project, your success depends on the quality of your inputs.

The quality of your inputs determines and predicts your output — habits, character, attitudes, beliefs, and results. Commit to working different. Commit to changing something… to change itself. Commit to the process of ever-improving results.

Input precedes output — and your results

Everything you allow into your life through all your senses — input — is processed as output that creates your results. If you expect a different output, start analysing your inputs.

If you are not satisfied with your current output and your results, including your beliefs and your mindset, pay close attention to everything you spend time doing. Most information is time-consuming, negative, and irrelevant to your goals and dreams.

Don’t do the same thing over and over again, and expect different results.

Deliberate lifestyle design is based on massive consistent action – output. Increased output necessitates decreased worthless input. You always have a choice.

In the current age of distraction, input sources make an even bigger difference (positive or negative) in your performance at work and your overall well-being.

Live the 80/20 lifestyle

Eighty percent of your outcomes in most things you do come from twenty percent of your inputs. As Pareto demonstrated with his research, this “rule” holds true, in a very rough sense, to an 80/20 ratio.

At a micro level just by looking at your daily habits you can find plenty of examples where the 80/20 Rule applies. 20% of the people who are close to you influence 80% of your attitute and perception and either propel you forward or limit your abilty to deliver and make the progress you deserve. In business, 80% of profits come from 20% of customers and 20% of products.

The important thing to understand is that in your life there are certain activities you do (your 20 percent) that account for the majority (your 80 percent) of your happiness and outputs. Some of your time spent working inefficiently provide very little benefit.

When you start to analyse and breakdown your life into elements it’s very easy to see 80/20 ratios all over the place.

The message is simple — focus on activities that produce the best outcomes for you.

The key to making the 80/20 Principle work for you is focus. In every area of your life you can work out the few things that are really important to you and the few methods that give you what you want.

There are lots of simple, painless ways to start this “stripping back” process so that you can begin applying the 80/20 Principle and reaping the practical benefits in your everyday life.

The principle of cause and affect

There is always a continuity between your actions in the past, your actions now and what you are likely to do in the future. If you desire improvements, better results, and different output, you simply have to change your input.

Your current thought process, words and actions is a cause which in turn creates the effect whether desirable or undesirable.

The catch is that there isn’t some magic spell that will move you from where you’re at to where you need to be. It’s up to you.

Nothing great comes without investment!

If you want to get a lot out of something, you must put a lot into something. That applies to all of life — your career, your studies, your hobbies and even your marriage. The output is directly correlated to the investment that you put in.

The real challenge for most people is simply finding the time to analyse and and cut back on the least important things in their lives. Don’t be afraid to de-commit from a few minor responsibilities. Cut back on some of your activities that have little or no value to your overall well-being.

Regardless of what you choose, the most important thing by far is to increase the quality of your inputs to get better ouputs.

Actionable steps

Take a moment to review all your input sources — including all types of media you consumer on regular basis— over the past couple of months.

Do your input choices really reflect your goals, dreams, desires, and values?

What input do you need to decrease or omit in your life right now?

What input do you need to increase or improve in your life?

You are probably due for input adjustment.

If you keep doing what you’re doing now but want different results, you’re never going to have anything different than what you’ve already got. If you’re dreaming big, it’s time to start changing your mindset, what you consume and how you live each day.

One more thing:

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Thomas Oppong

Written by

Founder @AllTopStartups | Contributor at Business Insider I share tools for wealth, health and happiness at

A network of business & tech podcasts designed to accelerate learning. Selected as “Best of 2018” by Apple.

Thomas Oppong

Written by

Founder @AllTopStartups | Contributor at Business Insider I share tools for wealth, health and happiness at

A network of business & tech podcasts designed to accelerate learning. Selected as “Best of 2018” by Apple.

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