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Possible to Probable

Improving Systems and Habits

Scott Miker is the author of several books that describe how to use systems and habits to improve.  This free blog provides articles that to help understand the principles related to building systems.  

Possible to Probable

Scott Miker

I have worked on many teams and with all different types of people on projects.  One thing that I have found is that there is some confusion around what is possible and what is probable.  

When deciding on elements of the project I often hear people stress that incredible success is possible if we follow a certain direction.  They have examples of times it worked and argue that we will have the same success as others if we follow this particular direction.  

But more often than not, the success they are pointing to is extremely unlikely.  For a variety of reasons it isn’t probable that it will bring the level of success they are predicting.  It is important that we are not placing our goal in the hands of chance and gambling on success.  

From time to time, with our personal goals, we do the same thing.  We invest in something that may provide a great return but holds tons of risk.  Or we jump from exercise fad to exercise fad without instilling the proper habits necessary to stick with an exercise routine.  

But how do we go from possible to probable with our goals and objectives?  To become probable it must be realistic and focused on what we can do to improve over time.  This requires a focus on the systems and habits associated with the goal.  

To gain the right systems and habits to reach a goal, start by identifying the small steps that you will need to take that can, over time, become positive habits that build a solid foundation.  These are the fundamentals associated with the goal we hope to achieve.  

Once you have identified the systems and habits, start slowly.  Remain focused on slowly building the right habits and don’t expect instant results.  The results will come but only if you stick with it long enough to build the right habits.  

One of the great benefits of system thinking is that once you start to realize the action part of the goal you start to realize what is truly possible.  You realize just how much marketing you will need for your new product idea.  You realize the budget you will have to stick to you improve your personal finances.  You see that the starting and stopping of your exercise isn’t actually helping you to reach your goals.  

The strange thing is that the non-systems approach is much more popular.  Marketing from companies is constantly bombarding us with messages that scream instant success and instant happiness from buying their product.  But the reality is that the only way to truly grow is from a systems-thinking perspective.  Focus on the systems and habits and slowly grow your capabilities over time.  

Shifting your focus from identifying what is possible to growing what is probable will help you achieve your goals.  You will build the foundation that will allow you to expand and grow in order to reach the level of success that you desire.