Take Care Of The Input, The Output Will Be Good Always
November 1, 2020
In my mid-thirties, I developed a chronic problem of GERD (Gastroesophageal reflux disease), more commonly known as Acidity. This problem resulted in a nagging sensation of heartburn, indigestion, and pain in the upper chest and abdominal regions.
This was a common enough problem at the workplace, where a few other senior accomplished colleagues were also suffering similar issues. I would exchange war stories with them about how painful and uncomfortable Acid Reflux was. I often joked that this was a sign of achievement. With greater responsibility comes greater pain.
I was under the false belief that Acidity was the price of growth. All I could do was keep the problem under control by popping Antacids and other Medications the Doctor prescribed to suppress and control the symptoms.
But what really was the root cause?
- 14-hour workdays with multiple cups of tea during the day
- Bad eating habits with Dinner often going past 10 pm in the night
- Snacking past midnight when pulling in all-nighters for some presentation that needed to be prepared for the Boss.
- 5 to 6 hours of disturbed sleep.
It was no wonder that I had developed a chronic problem of Acidity with such a poor lifestyle.
The whole problem reached a tipping point, where it started impacting my productivity at work severely.
Pain often is the mother of all change. One fine day, unable to bear the constant discomfort, I decided to make some changes to my lifestyle. I started focusing on the Inputs. I cut back on beverages completely and eating oily food. Lunch was home food only. I would eat on time, whatever be the situation—Lunch before 1 pm and Dinner by 8 pm.
The moment I fixed the Inputs, the Output automatically took care of itself.
I have never had a recurrence of this problem.
My experience with Acidity was a peephole into a broader learning.
Fix The Input, The Output Will Fix Itself.
Across multiple facets of our life, we often focus on dealing with the symptom instead of focusing on the root cause. We try to fix the Output when the problem is with the Input.
- You are struggling to meet your sales numbers. Sales is an Output. Think about your inputs. How you spend your time. What actions you take in dealing with the clients. The skills you demonstrate like Presentation, Communication, Negotiation, Relationship Management etc-these are all inputs that go into delivering the Sales output you are envisioning. The sales numbers are a function of these inputs.
- You are struggling with your Academic Grades. Look out for the Inputs you are putting in. What is the quantity and quality of time, focus, intensity you are putting into your academics?
- Your Child is picking up bad habits and is veering off track. That is an output. What is the quality of your Inputs as a parent? Think of the quality of time and attention you give and your behavior that is a reference point for your Child.
Look at any outcome you are seeking in your Personal or Professional life. It is a function of your inputs. If the inputs are high quality, high standard, the results will always reflect the high standard.
Similarly, Bad results are almost always a consequence of Bad Inputs. We may have trouble acknowledging this fact. But it is undeniable. The problem of bad outcomes is always rooted in poor Inputs.
Fix the Input, the Output will fix itself automatically.