Everything is a System
Everything is a system
Life is simply a series of systems. People assume that life is random, spontaneous, and unpredictable but in reality patterns exist everywhere. Even when effort is made to avoid systems, they still control everything we do, everything we achieve and everything around us.
Even the person that tries to avoid being systematic follows systems. They always want to keep things fresh and be open-minded, but what they don’t realize that whether or not they want to follow systems, they do. They will still react in similar ways when things happen. There is no way to avoid this, it is engrained in all of us. But we can take control of the systems in our lives and suddenly overcome many of the things that keep us stuck in life.
There are many examples of systems in life. The cycle of rain is a great example. The rain falls when there is too much moisture in the clouds. Then it evaporates back into the atmosphere when it is too dry. That cycle continues and keeps everything fresh. There isn’t simply a start and finish, rather it is a system that continues and never ends.
The human body is a large system made up of smaller systems. We have the digestive system, respiratory system, immune system etc. They are systems that work together in one larger system but each carry out their own purpose. The result is something where the sum is greater than the parts.
Another great example is the military. While an untrained observer might feel that soldiers go through random steps on the battlefield because they don’t know what is going to happen, the reality is that they are trained to react in very specific ways to every situation. Even if an unplanned situation arises, they know exactly what system to follow to tell them what to do. Their training is simply building and solidifying the habits, routines, and systems.
Many philosophers haves emphasized throughout history that what we continuously do is what really defines us and determines success or failure throughout life. Habits are really nothing more than systems. They are systems that we created, sometimes subconsciously, to react in specific ways to specific stimuli. This should be very encouraging because, just as the soldier can train to improve performance in battle, we can create or modify systems to accomplish our personal goals and objectives!
Many business professionals understand the importance of systems. From sales systems to IT systems, businesses are made up of a series of departments (smaller systems) that make up the overall business system. Franchises understand this and actually focus on improving and then selling their system, not a specific product or service but a way to operate to make money.
Regardless of what system you are looking at, understanding principles of systems can help you to achieve. A typical problem for individuals and businesses is in the accomplishment of goals and objectives. We typically creates a series of goals to achieve but often forget to focus on HOW we will achieve those goals. The HOW is always going to be a system! In order to increase sales by 10% there must be a systematic process that is going to improve some aspect of the sales process; otherwise you are simply trying to convince your sales people to try harder to achieve the goal.
You may be asking yourself at this point, so what? Who cares if everything is a system, what can that do for me? The reality is that this can help you unlock key areas and accomplish great things. If you are in debt you can look at your system for bringing in and spending money and make systematic adjustments to get results you desire. Dave Ramsey, Robert Kiyosaki and many others have emphasized systematic adjustments to pay off debt, build wealth or provide a income from investments. It may not be easy, but it is systematic!
I used to hate when I would hear someone say that anyone can be rich, yet most people are not rich. What I realized is that anyone can, but most are unwilling to do what it takes to get to that level because the system that they would have to use would be extreme! Instead of looking at the systems to reach a goal, which is controllable, they instead focus on talent, or luck or some other factor that is outside of their control.
However you design systems to achieve things in your life is up to you. If you just want to be healthy your system will be different from the individual that desires to win bodybuilding championships. If you just want to pay off debt your systems will be different from someone trying to amass great wealth. Match up the system with your goals and what you are willing to do.
This site will provide an overview of systems in the Explore section, fundamentals of system building in the Principles section, common goals and how to incorporate systems to achieve those goals in the Examples section, and how to design your own personal systems in the Develop section. Use it to get to where you want to be and become who you want to become!