Dear Past Self:
If someone offered you $1,000,000 to accurately predict one book that’d be on shelves 100 years from now, what book would you pick?A book that’s been on the shelf for only one day. A book that’s already been on the shelf for 100 years.
If someone offered you $1,000,000 to accurately predict one human that’d be alive 100 years from now, what person would you pick?A baby that’s been alive for only one day. An elder that’s already been alive for 100 years.
In your right hand, there are perishable things. Things that go bad. Things that die. Things with a true lifespan. Food. Humans. Animals.
In your left hand, there are non-perishable things. Things that never go bad. Things that pass through generations. Books. Beliefs. Technology.
The Lindy Effect says that, with every passing day:The perishable things in your right hand get closer to extinction. The non-perishables in your left hand get closer to immortality.
Predicting a book that’s going to be around 100 years from now? Choose a book that’s been around for 100 years already.
Predicting a human that’s going to be around 100 years from now? Choose a human that hasn’t yet seen 100 days.
What you’re eating . . . how long has it been around?
Your training methods . . . how long have they been around?
Supplements . . . ?
Books . . . ?
You’re always going to be drawn to the new. The sexy. The flashy. You might be able to end there, but that’s not where you want to start.
Food. The specific thing might be perishable, but the idea of eating that thing to sustain life is another story. So the stuff you eat, how long has it been around? Food doesn’t have ingredients; food is ingredients. Think about that. You won’t go wrong eating meats, eggs, and vegetables. It might not end there, but it certainly begins there.
Training. The ThighMaster isn’t exactly a big hitter anymore. That there hunk of iron? Eugen Sandow was hoisting that in 1900. Gymnastics rings? Pull-up bars? Parallel bars? It may not end there, but it certainly begins there.
Supplements. You think I’m going to give you all the answers? I’ll let you do some homework.
You’re going to be pulled all sorts of ways, kid. That electronic abdominal blaster gizmo will seem cool. You’ll buy one, don’t worry. Just like you’ll buy outrageous supplements. Just like you’ll try all sorts of training.
But you’ll learn.
And after you learn, you’ll wonder if the infected “fitness” world will ever get the point when there’s a new health bar supplement shake toning contraption born every week. (Day?)
But computers! they’ll say. The Internet changed the world! The Lindy Effect is stupid! New is good!
They’re right . . . the Lindy Effect isn’t perfect. Things passed down aren’t always Good or True. New things aren’t always doomed to fail.
This is why Lindy is a start, not an end. And even if it were an end, the odds are in Lindy’s favor.
Listen. Be open. You were once infected too, you know? But stay grounded in your choices by asking, “How much longer is this going to be around?”