Scott Miker provides over 150 free articles on system and habit improvement techniques.
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.
Scott Adams is the creator of the Dilbert comic strip. He has experienced success and is known to be an avid systems thinker.
He promotes the idea of systems thinking and the benefits of thinking systematically instead of linearly. He has some great YouTube videos if you are interested in hearing his take on systems.
Being creative is something that most people attribute to artists, musicians, and entrepreneurs. They don’t think they are creative because they aren’t creating works of art or new businesses.
But this isn’t true. Everyone is creative. We all create many variables in our lives. We create opportunities; we create our habits; we create our daily routines.
Whenever we want to change a habit in our life, we have to be patient and realize it takes time. It will take longer than we realize early on because if the habit is a positive one, it is likely going to be harder to get it to stick.
This is because the nature of habits. Habits tend to form when we have behaviors that get reinforced. If we decide to do something that provides instant, positive feedback, then we will be more likely to do it again. If it provides instant, negative feedback, then we will be less likely to do it again.
Many times we view something as complex, simply because we don’t understand it. We don’t see how everything connects and interacts. We don’t see the full system, just a bunch of random details.
I love watching college football. I find it exciting and interesting to see how each team fares throughout the season and into the bowl season.
Have you ever lost your keys and felt crazy because you just couldn’t find them? You checked all of the logical places but found nothing.
I think we have all lost our keys at one point in our lives. It could be due to a disorganized house, or sharing keys with someone else, but most likely the problem is much simpler than that.
When you are setting out to reach a goal, two elements are paradoxical but both are very important to your success.
You have to learn how to be flexible. This represents to some, a pivot from their original strategy. The second element is consistency. We have to take enough consistent action to start to see the fruits of our labor.
When it comes to systems and habits improvement, we have to fall in love with the process. We have to find a way to enjoy doing the work so we can continue to do it and grow from it.
We don’t look at hard work as just something we have to do. It isn’t something to hate. It isn’t something to shortcut.
Sometimes something happens to us that rocks us to our core. It could be a health scare, or layoff at work. It could be the loss of a loved one or some tragedy that springs up out of nowhere.
I have always struggled with how to process these. I tend to look inward quite a bit. I try to use it as a reflection on what is going on inside me. What am I doing that this highlights and shows that I am on the wrong path?
There have been several times in my life when I realized that a core belief that I had was wrong. I found something that suddenly changed what I thought was an absolute truth.
Each time this happened it drastically changed my life. It forced me to adjust how I live my life and how I view the world.
Fear is commonplace in life. We all experience fear from time to time. Sometimes this fear is perfectly normal and healthy and other times fear gets magnified or exaggerated and we make poor decisions due to feeling fear.
But too often fear controls our life. It does this by constantly prompting our decisions. It gives a little nudge every time we think about certain areas.
I’ve read a lot of books about using systems and habits to improve and accomplish goals. As I read, sometimes it seems to be presented in a way where it seems like we just found out about some magic tactic.
It almost seems like success in anything is suddenly guaranteed. All we have to do is follow the system. But it’s more complicated than that.
Whenever we take on something new we tend to go through an awkward stage. I remember learning to play the guitar when I was younger. I could barely remember where my fingers were supposed to go to form the chords.
I would stumble around and take pauses between notes. It was completely un-musical. It sounded horrible. If I didn’t explain the song I was trying to play nobody would think it was a real song.
Use these tips to overcome the three top reasons that we quit when we set a goal or New Year's Resolution.
In order to reach your goals and be successful you need to attack that moment that determines whether or not you do the right things that will ultimately determine success. If all that stands in your way of success is that moment then put all of your focus in overcoming that moment. Don’t get distracted with potential results. If you are able to do this, you will be amazed at what you can become!
The success or failure of a leader is directly related to his or her leadership systems and habits. Some people refer to it as their leadership style or their leadership capabilities but the reality is that leadership is not simply a style that you adopt or a set of credentials.
We don’t set goals to keep doing something that we already do. We set goals to challenge ourselves and move in a new direction. Yet we probably don’t realize that there is a pattern to goal-setting and for many of us, it isn’t leading to success.
Watching Monday night’s College Football National Championship game is a great lesson in perspective. Most people see the accomplishment of the Ohio State Buckeyes and understand just what the win means for the school. Winning the National Championship in the manner that they did was impressive, but what is more impressive is how prepared they were for each of the final three games.
7 unusual tips for getting back on track when you struggle to achieve your goal.
New Year's Resolutions have an incredibly high failure rate. Change your perspective in order to start building meaningful change this year.
One aspect of self improvement is especially difficult for people, including myself. Usually we know exactly what we want and set a goal to achieve it. We also know what it will take to reach that goal. Somehow we still miss our goal...
There is a concept in psychology called Transactional Analysis. It describes human behavior and attributes much of our lives to the those around us in our childhood. It is fascinating work that provides insight into the human mind and how we process the information around us...
Innovation, flexibility, spontaneity or creativity are not the opposite of systems and habits, they are the step after systems and habits have formed...
Last night, while watching the NFL Monday night pre game show, I heard Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young say that the Jets’ quarterback needs to “work until it becomes reflexive recall.” He emphasized that performance on the field was directly related to the ability to strengthen proper habits during practice. This way, when it comes time...
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.