50 ways to take a better poop

On Jan 12, 2015 In Tags: , , ,

An actual ad that I passed by whilst on the escalator on the Hong Kong subway for a ‘digestive aid’ targeted at women

Everybody poops. You don’t even have to learn how, unless it’s important to go in the potty (and it is.) So really, this is going to be a single item list:

1) Poop in the potty, if you live in a place where potties are commonly available. But otherwise, it’s not a prerequisite.

I couldn’t come up with 50 ways to poop better (if you’re already pooping pretty well) if I tried. Okay, maybe I could if it meant the difference between life and death, or feeding my kids or letting them go hungry (I don’t have kids.) The point being that short of some genuine medical ailments, everybody manages to poop on their own, and making a better log is not really anything you need to read a 50 item list about. You’ll poop just fine without it.

Lists (especially lists with a small number of items) make it seem like you’re missing just a few key actionnable tasks/facts that would get to where you want to be. The items are in easy-to-digest pieces. They’re punchy and catchy. The problem is that there’s rarely any comment on the other side of the equation of adding said actionable item to YOUR list—the yield. However, they’re usually really entertainment veiled as science—something to occupy your attention to distract you from the idea that something worth doing could involve actual work, and yet they make you feel like you’re going to accomplish something.

I haven’t even started to talk about the mental energy required to keep a list of 50 “actionnable” things in your head. Or even an extra 5. List-writers generally have a number they need to hit. Usually it’s an odd number so it seems like they’re not trying to hit a number. That means, you’re getting yield dilution.

You’re either progressing, or you need to take a look at the overall picture and tweak things from the larger perspective. Piecemeal, haphazard list-adding is a great way to fail, particularly when items on YOUR list start to contradict each other.

So when you see yet another list-y article on how to do something better, just remember to take a dump.

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