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Every Point is not Equal

This is a post about leverage.

First, let me tell you about a winter routine I have with one of my best friends. His name is Steve.

Steve and I love to play squash.

We play weekly, usually on a weekend, starting around October (when golf season ends - Steve is a golfer) and ending around April (when golf season begins - Steve is actually a great golfer).

Over the years, we have invented our own way of scoring our games, so when we play, our games are played to 21 points.

Side note: Playing squash isn’t a prerequisite for understanding the point of this post.

Let’s imagine a hypothetical weekend with Steve, where we play a total of five games.

Note: There’s about to be a tiny bit of math below, so if you’re not a math person (p.s. anyone can be a math person, but that’s for another day) then fasten your seatbelts because there’s a tiny bit of light turbulence ahead.

Here are the hypothetical results from our hypothetical weekend match:

Game 1: Steve wins 21 - 18

Game 2: Steve wins 21 - 19

Game 3: I win 21 - 17

Game 4: Steve wins 21 - 18

Game 5: Steve wins 21 - 19

Now for the math:

Total points played: 196

Total points won by Steve: 101 (51.5%)

Total points won by me: 95 (48.5%)

Summary: Steve won 6 points more than I did, which amounts to 3.1% of the total points played.

Total games played: 5

Total games won by Steve: 4 (80%)

Total games won by me: 1 (20%)

Summary: Steve won 80% of the games we played.

Final summary: By winning 3.1% more points, Steve won 80% of the games.

Seatbelt sign off. Math over.

Clearly, not every point is equal.

Where I find this analogy most applicable is thinking about hours in a day.

You’ve got 24 of them.

3.1% of that is roughly 45 minutes.

How you spend that time, could change everything about your day.

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