Information on systems thinking and how to use the systems and habits approach to improvement.
There is a line in the ancient took, the Tao Te Ching that says that we should avoid excess, extravagance and extremes.
It states that as the key to remaining happy and calm through life. If we strive for these areas we stop following nature’s way bringing unhappiness. If we push for these areas we can’t sustain them and we always worry about keeping up with those levels.
Feedback loops are a systems concept where you have an outcome from a system being put back into the input of the system. This tends to reinforce the system or keep it balanced.
There are two different types of feedback loops with several variations of each. Each can be used in designing the systems and habits of your life. But you have to understand each and understand how they can be used to gain the most from them.
Tom Brady is arguably the greatest football player of all time. His accomplishments are unmatched. He has won numerous individual awards, such as MVP, as well as team awards. His team consistently plays for championships.
Tom Brady was recently interviewed for an upcoming playoff game and he was asked about whether or not he was nervous. His response was very telling of Brady and his ability to prep for a big game.
In business environments we tend to measure and track much more than in our personal lives. Businesses utilize different types of information to get a good sense of how the business is performing.
But in our personal lives we don’t. It could be that we are too lazy or that we don’t think we need to measure because everything is directly accessible to us. But when it comes to improvement, performance measurement is very important.
One aspect of self-improvement that often gets overlooked is to understand what you currently do. What is the current process?
We tend to get so excited about the future and what we hope to achieve that we don’t accurately assess where we are. So we assume we can set big goals since others have achieved similar results.
A lot of people set goals around where they feel motivated. They have an inner desire to accomplish something and feel a surge of adrenaline.
They feel empowered. It seems easier now that they are filled with this energy. They assume the energy will help propel them to the finish line.
The systems and habits approach to improvement gives us a general way to go about improving any aspect we choose. We can get better in any number of areas as long as we follow the general systems guidelines to build the right structures, patterns, routines, and habits in our life.
One of the major differences between this approach and others is that other approaches rely almost exclusively on effort and motivation. The systems and habits approach uses much less effort and motivation and is more concerned with consistency.
When it comes to setting goals and trying to accomplish new objectives in life, it is natural to want to get there quickly. We want to reach the finish line right away.
This leads to a natural tendency to rush. We rush through the hard work in order to get to the prize. Unfortunately, though, this rushing hurts our ability to win the prize. It makes it more likely that we will fall short of our goal.
The world is full of perfect systems. We usually don’t see the perfection because we are too busy judging aspects of the system that we dislike.
Most systems have side effects that seem negative at times but when looking at the full system we can see the perfection in the system.
Failure is part of life. We all experience failures at various points in our lives. It is inevitable.
What matters isn’t that we fail, but how we respond. Many people experience a failure and then quit. They hate the feeling of failing so they justify their inaction because they simply don’t want to experience that feeling again.
Using the systems and habits approach to improve gives us a great path to move forward towards our goals. It sets out specific areas to leverage in order to build new routines and habits in our lives. It focuses more on the process than the outcome and more on making progress than striving for instant perfection.
One thing in life that everyone faces on a daily basis is the incredible rate of change in the world. New technologies emerge or people make decisions that impact us and suddenly we find that the world around us seems to have shifted.
Years ago I worked for a non-profit organization that assisted small businesses. We provided all sorts of resources for them and guidance on areas of their business.
This was a great experience for me. Being a former small business owner, I had an inside view to some of the challenges that small business owners face. I also had started to better understand how business owners could use systems to improve their business.
One thing that can quickly trip someone up who is trying to reach a goal is to focus on perfection to soon. They expect perfection and anything less just isn’t good enough.
It might seem like a great strategy to work as hard as we can. But it actually causes an attitude of procrastination. It becomes safer for us to not take action than risk failure.
We all have choices. Our days are filled with millions and millions of little choices that we make. But most choices are made automatically with little conscious thought.
Some choices are obvious. When we sit down at a restaurant, we consciously choose the food we want to eat. When we decide to go for an advanced degree we choose to go back to college. When we get a call from a friend asking to go out for drinks we consciously choose to go or not go.
Everyone wants success and happiness. While most people don’t have the ambition to work towards goals and they simply go through the motions of life, you can rise above that with the right habits.
Habits are incredibly important in determining our future because our behavior is about 95% habit. This means that what determines most of our actions throughout the day we have done in the past over and over and formed a pattern in our mind.
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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.