Information on systems thinking and how to use the systems and habits approach to improvement.
There is a major difference when you use the systems and habits approach to improve. Comparing it to the common practice of setting goals can highlight this difference.
The major difference is that the system attacks how you are going to improve. The goal is simply forecasting what level you hope to reach.
The past couple of months have been really interesting for me. I have spent years building solid systems and habits in key areas that I was forced to change.
The biggest change was that I had to ease up on exercising. I discovered I had a hernia and was told not to lift anything over 15 lbs and to take it easy until I had the surgery.
Years ago I shifted my frame of reference on goals from having a desire for perfection to being keenly focused on making progress. Instead of wanting everything to fall into place, I was more concerned about the fact that I was growing and improving.
This gave me a new perspective on life. It allowed me to change in order to ultimately improve beyond the level I found myself at the time.
I am the director of operations for a growing medical equipment repair company. We fix home medical equipment, the type of stuff that a doctor would prescribe a patient and the patient would then use in their home – like a CPAP, oxygen concentrator, ventilator, etc.
One of the things I enjoy most about this is the fact that when I was brought into the company the new owners saw the need for better processes and systems throughout the company. Since this is the area of business where I feel most passionate, I was able to combine a need they had with an area I had been focused for years.
This spring we have seen a lot of rain combined with melting water in the Cleveland Ohio area. As I drive to work I pass areas that are flooded and areas where the water begins to flow.
A few areas seem to flood quickly, before the water can travel to lower land. Once it reaches a certain level, it will start to leak out from that area and move to lower land creating a sort of mini stream.
We all like to be right and dislike being wrong. It is human nature to want to be able to make decisions and then look back and feel as though we made the correct decision.
Because of this, we tend to have a bias towards our own opinions and the decisions that we make. We inherently think we are right more often than we actually are. In addition, there is a lot of grey between right and wrong but we miss that when we get too caught up in trying to be right.
When we are working to improve, there are a great many factors that suddenly come into play. They all seem important and it can be difficult to cut through the noise to receive the signal.
When I started my career I founded an audio engineering company, which basically meant I would rely on recording equipment and other audio production equipment in live and studio environments to complete a variety of projects for clients.
When you first start to use the systems and habits approach to improvement it takes time to really gain the benefits. Initially you put a lot of thought and effort into the small changes and adjustments that you make.
These changes probably won’t have much impact on your life. The reason is simple. You aren’t doing enough to have an impact.
We all want to be successful and happy. We have an innate drive towards those things but along the way, most people that I meet go astray.
In my opinion the reason is simple. It is something that I have experienced and came face-to-face with.
Habits are a part of life that most people minimize. They assume when someone says habit that they are talking about some bad habit they picked up like smoking or biting one’s nails.
But habit is much more than that. Habit is how life operates. Animals rely on habits to behave and think the way they do. Humans rely more on habit than rational thought, allowing our decisions to form patterns and then utilize those patterns to dictate future actions.
Few companies have been studied for their ability to efficiently manufacture a product as Toyota. Companies everywhere use the innovative techniques from Toyota today but when Toyota started utilizing the techniques, most companies had no idea what they were doing.
You can gain a better understanding of how to improve by studying how others improve. Therefore, it can be beneficial to look to Toyota for inspiration into how we can improve our own lives.
I find it funny how busy everyone is. Rather, I tend to find that everyone assumes that they are incredibly busy.
By some standards they are. There are things to do that take time. We have to shuffle the kiddos to piano and karate. We have to pay bills. We have to take the car for an oil change. All this while still working more than 40 hours a week and spending quality time with our family.
Most people take the systems and structures in their life for granted. They view people as being in complete control of their behaviors so they assume that their behaviors are the result of specific thoughts.
To some extent this is true. We all have the ability to choose how we act and how we think throughout our lives. But if we stop there, we never realize how the systems in place have a profound impact on us.
Most people have a difficult time seeing things from any perspective but their own. You can sense this when you have a conversation with them and they seem completely blind to any other possible opinion.
In politics we see this quite a bit in the United States. Some of this is understandable due to the fact that we have a split in political parties where most people fall into one of two parties that hold very opposing views on important issues.
We all know what it is like to be in a situation that is uncomfortable. Sometimes when we are in that situation, our mind and body are telling us that something is off and needs to change.
It could be a good sign that we are in dangerous territory and need to change. If we are hanging out with a new friend and they take us to a new bar that makes us feel uncomfortable due to the people or environment, maybe we should pay attention to that discomfort and make a change. That could be our intuition letting us know that danger is present.
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This website has been developed to help you understand the power of systems and habits in your life and then take action to build the person that you want to become. There are over 70 free articles, 1 free eBook, and free videos and links to other system and habit experts.