Information on systems thinking and how to use the systems and habits approach to improvement.
One of the things that I have learned on the journey of constant improvement is that there is a lot of great insight in the world. The more I read the more I realize how there are some incredibly smart people in the world, willing to share their most prized knowledge.
For people like myself, we get hooked. We read and read and absorb as much as possible while gaining experience to help us form our own perspective based on many viewpoints.
One of the major pursuits of my life over the past 10 years has been to learn to let things happen more naturally. I see the value in learning to allow instead of control and the peace that it brings with it.
I first heard about the value of learning to allow and let go through Wayne Dyer. His books seemed to touch on this way of going through life in a flowing, peaceful, happy way that also brings with it success and achievement.
The world is complex. Every situation we find our self in has multiple variables that are adding to the eventual outcome. This means that it is easy to get overwhelmed by the complexity and fail to take appropriate action to move in the direction we desire.
Linear thinking tends to look at only two factors, such as cause and effect or beginning and end. When we think linearly we often can sense much of the system but try to keep our focus on the linear aspects as much as possible.
I’m reading a great book right now called Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Decisions When You Don’t Have All the Facts by Annie Duke. Duke is a poker professional who goes into the way our mind thinks when faced with chance outcomes.
One section of the book dives into the idea of not knowing something. Duke explains that admitting when we don’t know something is frowned upon in most aspects of life, such as in our schooling. But admitting when we don’t know something is crucial to being able to make better decisions.
Benjamin Franklin once said, “Diligence is the mother of good luck.” There is a saying that the harder one works, the more good luck they get. I’ve even heard someone once say that good luck is simply preparation meeting opportunity.
While these all may motivate us and convince us to keep working hard and doing our due diligence, the reality is that luck isn’t something that we can completely control.
If I were to offer you $100 today or if you wait one year I will pay you $250, which would you choose?
Most people would naturally choose the $100. We want the reward now, even if it is discounted compared to what we could get in the future.
If a friend came to you with an idea for a completely new type of website and said he was dropping out of a very prestigious college to chase his dream, what would you say?
Would you support him? Would you invest in him? Would you tell him he was crazy and that he should stick with college and do this as a hobby?
In systems thinking we are always looking for certain structures or templates. These tend to manifest in many ways and in many different systems.
One of these structures is the balancing feedback loop. The balancing feedback is set up to maintain equilibrium.
Most people think that their passion is what is really important in life. They feel that following their passion they should be guaranteed success.
But this isn’t true. We aren’t entitled to success just because we are passionate. We assume this passion leads to constant motivation to keep moving forward to reach our goals.
There is a phrase that gets used a lot by all of us. It seems innocent enough but carries with it a heavy block of cement that drags us under water over time.
The phrase can be tweaked to fit many different situations. We can use it to talk about going after our goals, fixing a problem in our life, or doing something we know we should do.
Time is precious. We only have so much time available each day. We only live once and if we waste away our life, we don’t get a do-over.
This means that we have to value our time and not let it slip away without our permission. We can’t let it escape or get stolen away.
For many people, they go through life feeling as though life is lacking and is a constant struggle. We go through the moments in our life feeling inadequate and fighting for what we feel we deserve.
Having this aggressive mindset can reinforce the feeling of constant struggle. But there is a better way. It involves feeling happy and content but still continuing to work hard to keep improving.
All animals, including humans, rely on habit to get through their day. The brain is wired in a way that allows us to flow through repetitive activities without conscious thought directing our actions.
When we brush our teeth or drive our car, we rely more on habitual movements than on conscious thought. When the traffic light turns green we naturally remove our foot from the brake and apply it slowly to the gas pedal. When we are driving and the light turns yellow, then red, we naturally and automatically slow down the vehicle to stop prior to the intersection.
There are many things in life that we have no control over. In those instances it is easy to feel as though we don’t have control over anything.
But that isn’t the case. We have a great deal of control over the direction our life takes. We make conscious and subconscious decisions that impact the path we take.
The phrase business as usual is used a lot in the media. Many times it is used to describe the indifference of a company or individual who refuses to do the right thing. They put profit ahead of virtue and achievement ahead of taking a moral high road.
But I like to think of it a little differently. To me business as usual means we get back to the core actions. From a business perspective it means getting back to what it is that helped the company reach its level of success. From a personal standpoint, it means we get back to our habits and routines.
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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.