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73: Rafe Furst — Why Good Decisions and Good Outcomes Are Not the Same

By November 12, 2016Podcasts
Reading Time: 3 minutes


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Rafe Furst, a graduate from Stanford in computer science, has seen his share of swings in the tech and business world, having been involved with startups since the mid-1990s. He’s also an avid poker player, both in private games and public tournaments, once winning a World Series of Poker Championship. He’s raised millions for charitable causes over the years and is a pioneer in quantitative venture capital, a nascent field based on the convergence of equity crowdfunding, complexity economics, and securities law reform.

Rafe FurstI asked Rafe to be on the podcast because of an intriguing question he asked me during our first phone conversation. I was telling him about The 7 Habits of the Whole Life Challenge, and he asked, “What if there were an eight habit that you inadvertently built in — the habit of good decision making?”

Inherent to the WLC, as well as pretty much anything in your life, is the necessity to make decisions. Some are easy, every day, almost automatic — habitual. Others have far-reaching implications for your life. The place people get messed up is when they judge the quality of their decisions by the outcome they achieve. In truth, good decisions can lead to undesirable outcomes.

Rafe FurstYou can make every right decision in a poker game and still lose a hand, and maybe even all your money. It’s the trap a novice player falls into – looking at the result (“I lost all my money”) and questioning the decisions (“I must have made bad ones”). Instead, Rafe looks at his success over the long term, knowing that if he continues to make good decisions, he will eventually achieve the results he wants, regardless of the immediate outcome.

Can you see the parallel to health and fitness? It hit me like a brick to the forehead. People start making good decisions, but if they don’t see the result relatively quickly (losing weight, fitting into clothes, achieving a certain score or time for a workout), they judge their decisions as bad or wrong — and they quit. Or, they achieve the result they expected and quickly forget that they need to continue to make the good decisions that got them there (the yo-yo diet syndrome).

My conversation with Rafe is fascinating — a look into a the worlds of startups and poker, life adventures, daily habits, fitness, and family. Join us!

Andy Petranek Whole Life Challenge

Links Mentioned

Follow Rafe on  Twitter.
Rafe Furst — Rafe’s website.
Prevent Cancer Foundation — The foundation Rafe raised money for during a year-long RV adventure.
The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable — by Nassim Taleb
Greg Glassman — Article on the CrossFit founder.
Curtis Estes — Previous WLC podcast guest connected Andy with Rafe.

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Andy Petranek
Andy is what you’d call a modern day Renaissance Man: a former professional trumpeter who attended the Eastman School of Music; a snowboarder, mountain biker, surfer, kayaker, outrigger paddler, mountaineer, and former Marine (Gulf War veteran); a professionally sponsored adventure racer; and the oldest participant to qualify for and participate in the CrossFit Games at the age of 43.

Andy is a certified CHEK Practitioner and holistic lifestyle coach. He holds a spectrum of certifications from CrossFit and is also a Vivobarefoot certified running coach. He has trained as a Zen buddhist and graduated with a Master’s degree in spiritual psychology from the University of Santa Monica.

Andy founded CrossFit LA one of the first and most successful CrossFit training centers in the world and the first to be featured in national media. He is the co-founder of the Whole Life Challenge, Inc, currently its president, and is also a consultant and life/business coach. Andy lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Julia, and son, Dashel.

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