Information on systems thinking and how to use the systems and habits approach to improvement.
When it comes to self-improvement, I have learned that it can be painful but that discomfort shouldn’t be looked at as a bad thing. Within that pain is a seed of hope.
The reason is simple. If you are pushing yourself to change in a positive way, you will have to go against the current systems and habits in your life.
What grabs your attention more, a news article describing the latest gruesome murder in your community or a new trend that has increasing incarceration rates?
The answer is simple. It is the criminal event. Events grab our attention. They become the crisis at hand. So we block out everything and focus on the event.
When I was younger I formed a bunch of bad habits. I smoked. I drank a lot. I ate extremely unhealthy food on a regular basis. I never exercised.
I remember during those days being frustrated that I couldn’t seem to change. When I decided I wanted to quit smoking people would give me all sorts of advice.
We all have our own idea of what success means. We envision money or accolades, excess or riches. We picture contentment and pride.
But one thing that seems to have spanned the history of man is the idea that successful people sacrifice. Usually they sacrifice gratification now for some additional value in the future.
I have a bad tendency to compare myself to others. I look at another individual’s success and then compare against my own trials and tribulations.
Luckily I learned years ago to put less emphasis on this external comparison and more emphasis on comparing myself against myself. This allows me to avoid unfair comparisons and instead focus on improving myself over time.
We all go through life trying to make the most of our situation at any given time. Sometimes that means planning for the future. Sometimes that means enjoying the present. Sometimes that means learning from the past.
But doing this over time, I have realized that sometimes I hit the mark and sometimes I completely miss the mark. Sometimes I miss it so badly that my life seems to get turned upside down. It turns into a mess.
If you are using the systems and habits approach to improvement you likely have put in place several key behaviors that you do regularly. As you do this, you probably wondered if it is working. So you start to compare the progress that you have made to the end place that you hope to end up.
It is natural to do this. We all do it. We peek at the reward at the end of the journey and get sidetracked. We might be doing well and we convince our self that we can take it easy since we are making good progress.
We all perceive the world in our own way. We take our life experiences and form mental models to think about the world. We make the world fit into a mold that we create over time.
This helps life become predictable. It helps us deal with life knowing that everything has its place. We learn something new and morph the information to fit our already-known elements of life. We may adjust slightly but we don’t make bold, major changes in our mind, we only make more subtle shifts.
Everyone I know sacrifices at least some of his or her self for others. It could be the person working hard to take care of their children. It could be the person who donates some of their money to help those in need.
It could running 5k charity races. It could be simply working to help their employer continue to earn a profit. It could be taking care of their yard so their neighbors’ property value doesn’t degrade due to their own negligence.
Systems are my life. At work I oversee the operations of a multi-million dollar company that repairs medical equipment. There is a ton of complexity and I was hired to systematize the processes in order to scale the business.
In my personal life systems are always constantly present. I am constantly curious about the structures and patterns in life and work hard to create systems and habits that drive me towards success and happiness.
When I look at successful people in my life I always see certain patterns. The patterns seem to point to areas that are similar from successful person to successful person.
But many people are just struggling to meet the basics of their life. They want to improve their health or their career. They want to improve their financial standing in life or they want to have more quality time with family.
We all have routines. We all have habits. The human brain is designed to constantly look for shortcuts and ways to do more without exerting extra energy. Habit and routine allow us to do more with less work from our brain.
Most people only explore habit and routine when there is a problem. They want to stop the bad habit of eating junk food while watching TV or they want to wake up earlier so they can start exercising.
Success and happiness are available for everyone. But most people don’t experience the levels of success and happiness that they desire.
Part of the reason is that it isn’t always easy to succeed. It is easy to just keep making the same decisions over and over even if those decisions are leading to failure.
In life most people go through their days feeling somewhat responsible but also somewhat limited in what they control. They assume they control their own actions and thoughts more than actually do in some situations. They assume external events create their life more than they actually do in other situations.
This leaves most people feeling as though life’s problems are caused by something external but solely they create that life’s enjoyment. This is flawed and this flaw can lead us on the wrong path.
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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.