Contact Us

Use the form on the right to contact us.

You can edit the text in this area, and change where the contact form on the right submits to, by entering edit mode using the modes on the bottom right. 

           

123 Street Avenue, City Town, 99999

(123) 555-6789

email@address.com

 

You can set your address, phone number, email and site description in the settings tab.
Link to read me page with more information.

Blog

Scott Miker is the author of several books that describe how to use systems and habits to improve.  This free blog provides articles that to help understand the principles related to building systems.  

Use Active Self-Improvement to Find Success and Happiness in Life

Scott Miker

Many people think of self-improvement and assume it just means some sort of self-help for those with problems.  They think of psychologists psychoanalyzing patients or touchy feely books about loving yourself. 

Years ago I stumbled upon some books that looked at self-improvement differently.  One of the first books that I read related to this was Jack Canfield’s The Success Principles.  This was the first time I broke away from thinking that anything related to self-improvement must just be for those with problems and realized that everyone could look to improve. 

Read More

Start your improvement journey by just showing up

Scott Miker

I meet a lot of people that claim they want to improve in some way.  It might be to get a degree, a promotion at work, or drop 10 lbs.  But while the desire for improvement is there, most of the time there is such disconnect in how to reach that goal that failure becomes inevitable.

It doesn’t have to be this way.  We can make strides in the right direction and move towards our goals.  But we have to change our thinking.

Read More

Stop being concerned with what is fair

Scott Miker

Many of us are taught at a young age to judge.  We judge situations, we judge others, and we judge events. 

But if we get caught up too much in judging we tend to move away from accountability in our lives.  Instead we can always point to something that we judge is wrong or unfair, instead of owning up to our lives and taking full responsibility for where we are and what we have. 

Read More

Use systems thinking to get past the limitations of thinking linearly

Scott Miker

I found a great website that discusses Peter Senge’s work and explains it very well.  Senge is one of the most popular systems thinking writers around and his ideas are very profound.

The website simplifies the concept of systems thinking by stating, “The world IS NOT created of separate unrelated forces.  However, individuals have difficulty seeing the whole pattern.  Systems thinking is a conceptual framework, a body of knowledge and tools that has been developed over the past fifty years, to make the full patterns clearer, and to help us see how to change effectively and with the least amount of effort – to find the leverage points in a system.” 

Read More

Become more self-aware in order to improve

Scott Miker

Most people want success.  They want money, accolades, rewards, recognition etc. for a job well done.  They can easily point to things that they have done to deserve those things.  But they also seem to gloss over the areas where they didn’t really work towards the right areas, or they didn’t work hard enough, or they weren’t willing to sacrifice what was truly necessary in order to reach their goal.

Some people say it is a problem with motivation.  They assume we just need to better motivate our teams or ourselves and we will succeed.  But I tend to see motivation as a very small part of it. 

Read More

When do you know that a system is too rigid?

Scott Miker

Systems can be used to create order and structure to our lives.  They can be developed to build the right habits in order to reach our goals or increase our chance of success.

But systems can also hurt our ability to succeed.  In life, we have to remain flexible.  We can’t build and plan for every possible situation.  We have to build up our foundation and then allow for us to take different approaches to different situations. 

Read More

Using Patterns to Help Craft Winning Systems

Scott Miker

Most problems that we face today are actually patterns that go unnoticed.  In business we may have the same culture issues that we keep wrestling with, each time feeling as though it is a unique problem with a unique staff member.

In our personal lives we may continue to mismanage our schedule only to complain to everyone we know how we are too busy all the time.  We may never take the time to truly fix the real problem, only willing to address the symptoms of the problem. 

Read More

Human nature is to crave the quick fix

Scott Miker

We all want to see results of hard work quickly.  If we are putting ourselves in an uncomfortable position, we don’t want to remain there for very long.

That is the drive that many use as fuel to drive harder and harder at their goals.  They work extremely hard so that the goal can be reached quicker.  The mindset is to suffer now so that later we can stop suffering and enjoy the fruits of our labor. 

Read More

Use this time-tested systems thinking tool to fix mistakes

Scott Miker

There is a tool that is often used in medical facilities, airplane cockpits, businesses, schools, the military and many other areas.  It helps prevent mistakes and has an incredible ability to make sure that individuals do not forget important, yet routine, aspects of what they are doing.

The tool is so simple that a young child can utilize it.  It is so effective that brain surgeons use it.  It doesn’t require high intelligence or years of life experience.  It doesn’t limit an expert but helps them break free from the mundane and often tedious actions that have to happen over and over again.

Read More

Keep getting better to become more content

Scott Miker

There is a big difference between contentment and complacency.  Being content means that we don’t need anything more in order to be happy.  Being complacent means that we have given up because we don’t feel we can have any more than what have already.

The first difference is the fact that being content contains an element of being happy while complacency holds unhappiness at its core. 

Read More

Iterate to improve

Scott Miker

One of the things that come from taking the systems and habits approach to improvement is that we start to see the complexity around our goals.  We see that there are many factors and they all play a role.

Some of these factors are things that will strengthen the current systems and habits and make it difficult to change.  Some are things that will be impacted by a new system change. 

Read More

Use a Jennifer Aniston trick to get yourself to exercise

Scott Miker

I read a lot of articles on nutrition, health, finance, education etc.  I always have a biased view because of my belief in the systems and habits approach to improve.  The bad thing is that this could shift the way I take in new information.

But the good thing is that I can pick out techniques and principles that come directly from the systems and habits approach to improvement.  It could be that someone stumbled onto something that just seems to work without seeing the full system at play, or it could be that they learned it from someone that is using these techniques to improve.

Read More

Systems and habits are hard to change

Scott Miker

The systems and habits in our lives are not easily changed.  Whether it is a habit that we want to stop doing or a new habit we are trying to create, we push against something very powerful.

This is why, so often, change fails.  We see this in the world around us as much as we see it in ourselves.  A new leader emerges but after years of their change policies, we aren’t really left in a better position.  More often than not the change is subtle and becomes change for the sake of change, rather than for improvement.

Read More

Feedback in systems can be positive or negative

Scott Miker

One of the concepts that came out of systems thinking is feedback.  Feedback in the systems view is very similar to the feedback you hear when on stage and the microphone and speakers work together to create that loud, annoying, piercing sound we have all heard at one point or another.

In a very basic sense, the microphone picking up the sound output from the speaker causes the feedback from the PA system.  This tends to happen to frequencies that get accentuated through the system and are boosted slightly above the rest of the sound spectrum.

Read More

Should you look to build on your strengths or fix your weaknesses?

Scott Miker

We all have strengths and weaknesses.  Nobody is perfect so there are always things that can be considered strength and things that can be considered weak.

I had a former college professor tell us “a strength overdone becomes a weakness.”  At first I was surprised by such a statement but have since realized the wisdom in those words. 

Read More

The difference between more and better

Scott Miker

There is a major difference between more and better but most people misunderstand this difference.  They lump the two together, since they are often found together, and then assume a push towards more is a push towards better.  But it isn’t.

Much of this stems from the difference between contentment and complacency.  Being content means that we don’t need more in order to be happy and fulfilled.  But it usually results in continuing to improve, not to achieve more but to keep getting better.

Read More

Flexibility is the key to overcoming failure and improving systems

Scott Miker

When most people hear about systems they immediately get the misconception that this must involve rigid rules with no flexibility.  They hear about processes, procedures, habits, and structure and automatically assume these are inflexible. 

But the best systems can be described as flexible.  And if we are using the systems and habits approach to improvement in our personal lives, we have to embrace the idea of a flexible system. 

Read More

The more we understand the interconnectedness of systems the more we can achieve

Scott Miker

The Tao Te Ching is a 2500-year-old text that has provided wisdom for decades.  It has been referred to as the wisest book ever written.  It uses paradoxes (opposites) to break down common thinking to show flaws. 

Studying systems thinking, I have always been surprised by the similarities between the Tao and systems thinking principles.  I’ve written about this and recently found a book that molds these two together in a very insightful way.

Read More

We always have a choice

Scott Miker

In life, we always have a choice yet many of us go through life feeling as though we don’t.  We feel that we don’t have enough opportunity or the right situations never seem to come up for us.

This negative mindset tends to create a feeling of hopelessness.  We feel that there’s no hope for improvement so we shut down and look for external sources to point the finger at.

Read More

Change the way you look at things

Scott Miker

There is a great quote by Dr. Wayne Dyer that I absolutely love.  The quote is, “if you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”

While this quote definitely fits with Dyer’s writing style and ability to explain higher-level understanding of our internal selves, it also has a practicality that may be missed if we don’t look carefully.

Read More