Information on systems thinking and how to use the systems and habits approach to improvement.
When most people evaluate some aspect of their life or business, they usually clarify their opinion about that area. They work through it in their head and start to judge what is right and what is wrong.
They start to turn the situation into a series of black and white aspects. They start to split it apart in their mind to see what is good and what is bad.
When you set out on an improvement journey and you take the approach of applying continuous improvement, you have to realize that it will take time to see significant improvement. It won’t happen overnight.
Continuous improvement is the strategy where we make very small improvements that builds up over time to become something significant. They don’t start out with massive overhauls that suddenly bring accomplishments. They start small and are usually not noticeable for a while.
My whole career I have witnessed employees who are striving for more responsibility at work. They want promotions and career success and are working hard to achieve those.
This has given me a front-row seat to the strategies people use to get ahead. Some come in early and work late, hoping the extra hours they put in get the attention of leadership. Some take complete ownership of their area of responsibility. If they are a project manager they won’t let anyone else near their area – they own it and if you want access then you have to go through them.
I hate the phrase do what I say not what I do. The idea behind this common phrase is that we know the right thing to do but we don’t do it.
But this isn’t that helpful. There is a reason why the person isn’t following his or her own insight. If they know what they should do but can’t get around to doing it, then they don’t really know what to do.
When you look at your life and where you want to go, ask yourself what path you are on. Are you confidently moving forward, progressing towards your idea of success?
Or are you spending your time moving further and further from your goals all the while unsure of why you keep moving further away?
I’m currently reading the book Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss. It is a great book that dives into the thinking, perspectives, motivation, tools, etc. of very successful individuals.
My favorite one so far is the one on Scott Adams. Adams is the author of the Dilbert cartoon.
We all follow routines and process in life. We all follow similar patterns. This could be how we go to sleep at night, how we wake up, the drive we take to work, the way we drive our car, the way we respond to criticism, the way we strive to succeed, the way we respond to obstacles etc. etc.
But most people never pay attention to these. They just take them all for granted and don’t realize how powerful these are.
There is a saying that we need to take the good with the bad. Sometimes that is reversed and we say to take the bad with the good. The idea is that we have to understand that there is good and bad in everything and we can’t always separate out the good from the bad.
This aligns perfectly with systems thinking. In systems thinking we break away from seeing simple linear relationships to see the full, complex system. We see the various elements and how they all interconnect and interrelate.
From time to time I stumble upon an article on online that talks about passion. The narrative seems to be the same as other articles on the topic.
It starts by assuming the reading is unhappy in their current pursuits. The author argues that what is missing is passion and that the only way to find their passion is to quit their day job immediately to find this passion.
Everyone has a similar but different definition of success. Some people feel it is to achieve something great. Some people feel it is to create something. Some people feel it is about how much money or awards you obtain.
But however you personally choose to define success, learn to see the larger system around that success. Is that person causing those around them to suffer just so they can go after their dream? Are they making those around them better or worse?
If you have read many of my articles you know that I promote a technique I call set the minimum. The idea is that you set a ridiculously easy goal but commit to doing it daily.
This gets you started on the path of building a new habit. It is so small and easy that you actually stick to it. After doing it over and over it starts to become an ingrained habit and then you can add more to it once it is automatic and you aren’t using willpower any longer.
When we start to explore systems thinking we start to see the world differently. We don’t see events on the news in the same way. We don’t see relationships in the same light. We don’t see life with the same perspective.
The biggest change is to start to see the underlying systems for everything. We start to focus more on patterns than anomalies. We observe a recurring pattern where others see a brand new thing.
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.