Garbage In Garbage Out

garbage in garbage out

Garbage In = Garbage Out

Way back in the dark pages of computer history lies an acronym which used to be commonly applied to the input you gave a computer. GIGO or garbage in – garbage out.

Meaning that if you gave the computer bad data to compute with, like inaccurate survey results or miswritten compute code or something along those lines, that the computer would do its best to work with what you gave it. But because the data was inaccurate to start with, the results would be inaccurate as well.

So if you put garbage data into the computer, you got back garbage results.

Garbage In = Garbage Out

Now I am not so much interested in talking about garbage here, but this idea is actually a very handy metaphorical kind of thought to use for lots of other situations in our lives.


I'm Going To Need A Bigger Swimsuit

For instance, if we might be talking about food. We could say that if we put garbage food (like a steady diet of fast food) into our bodies, then its not too surprising that we are going to get back garbage results when we try to fit into our new swimsuit for the summer.

Or maybe we are heating our homes with a wood burning stove. If we put in garbage wood (still wet from being cut this season) we are going to get back garbage heat (really low temperature and lots of soot in the chimney)


But What About Luck?

It’s just a process that makes sense to us. We get out of something what we put into it. And most folks understand that this is one of the basic premises of the Universe. They might try to say things like “No, I don’t believe that is true, what about things like luck and serendipity?” But truthfully, in our hearts, we get the idea that you reap what you sow.

So how about if we just take this idea and use to our benefit. We know the process works; we have already gotten results in our lives from this, so maybe we can use it to get something besides garbage. That sounds good.


Gopher Starts With G

How about if we just choose another word that starts with G and use that.  Hmm, we could try gophers, but I don’t think we need more gophers in our yards. Or maybe garlic. Mmm, I don’t think so.

smileI’ve got it.

Let’s use




That starts with G and is always a good choice.

Might have to arrange the wording a little different, but the process is the same. Let’s try.

If we put more gratitude into our lives, we get back more opportunities to be grateful. Sounds pretty easy.

If we put more opportunities into our lives to be grateful, we get back more gratitude. That works too. Excellent.

How about if we just spent the entire day being grateful for everything in our lives, I wonder if we would get back even more opportunities to be grateful. Actually, we all know we would, that was a fairly rhetorical question.

And the extra cool thing is, that if we did the GIGO process for gratitude and it worked, (and you know it's going to) there’s nothing to stop us from using this with other ideas like:

  • Peace
  • Love
  • Contentment
  • Delight
  • Wonder
  • Happiness


And that would be a most fabulous way to live each day.

  • 2

14 Comments on “Garbage In Garbage Out”

    1. Michael

      Hi Edyta, thank you for your kind comment. I know this from my own life as well. Good stuff in = good stuff out, is way more fun. 🙂

  1. Christa

    I’ve heard about this idea often, but not before have read this good an explanation. Thank you.

  2. Cora

    I like the way you took this idea from computer programming and made it relevant to everyday life. Thank you.

  3. Clarita

    I had thought about this idea before that if we put bad things into the world we get bad things back, I just didn’t realize it worked on everything.

  4. Jonelle

    This is an awesome article, thank you. I had honestly never thought about this too much and now you’ve got me thinking about everything that I take in in a single day. Grrr. 😀

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