You want to become a better person.

You dig deep and come up with a list of new habits that you need to form in order to get closer to the **Ideal You**:

- Get up at 5 am every day.
- Take a brisk walk for 30 minutes.
- Perform a 15 minute stretch routine.
- Meditate for 10 minutes.
- Write in your Journal.

You’re motivated and willing to put in the work but every once in a while you’re going to not show up; that’s just part of being human.

Let’s say for *each* of these individual tasks you have a 90% success rate. That sounds pretty good, right? Let’s think about our overall goal, though, because we implanted an idea in our head that our **Ideal You** did *all* of these things *every day. *

What is the probability of accomplishing all of these tasks on a given day? Hint: it’s not 90%.

In combinatorics, when we are testing the probability of multiple events happening in a specific combination, we multiply the probabilities of each individual event. So, what is the probability we will actually accomplish all of these things on a given day?

(Get up early – 0.9) x (Walk – 0.9) x. (Stretch – 0.9) x (Meditate – 0.9) x ( Write – 0. 9 ) = 59%

That means, although you are very good at accomplishing each individual task on a given day, the chances of you doing *all *of them are drastically lower than the individual percentage of 90%.

It’s nearly a coin flip.

What if you weren’t as disciplined and your task success rate was 80%? That shouldn’t make a huge different, right?

Get up early – 0.8) x (Walk – 0.8) x. (Stretch – 0.8) x (Meditate – 0.8) x ( Write – 0. 8 ) = 33%!

Even a slight difference(-10%) in our discipline at each individual task has nearly halved our success rate of an **Ideal You**.

Is it easier to see now how hard it can be to become the **Ideal You**?

In an upcoming post, I’ll attempt to tie anti-fragility, combinatorics, and redefining the **Ideal You** together such that we can perhaps have a less rigid view of our ideal selves and thus be happier (that’s always the goal, right?)