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Stop wanting the world to change

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.  

Stop wanting the world to change

Scott Miker

We all want better things in our lives.  Whether we just want more of something, or we want an improvement in something, we want to see things get better.

It might be that we look at the government and hope it can improve to better fit our beliefs.  It might be that we want our boss to stop nagging us and let us do whatever we think is best at the time.

Leo Tolstoy has a great quote about change.  He said, “Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.”

This is a very insightful quote and very powerful.  The reality is that most people want things around them to improve to better fit them.  But this will only lead to disappointment.  The world isn’t going to change for us. 

So before you set out to change the world, realize that life is a series of interconnected systems.  If we examine the full system we often see a different picture than if we simply look at one element of the system.  This is what is called linear thinking and is much different than systems thinking.

But this linear thinking has us constantly looking for others to change instead of having us change.  But if we look at these systems we see that many times they are very enduring and will outlast our whims and wishes. 

Therefore we need to understand how to change our self.  We have to be able to slowly improve over time and get better and better.  This can lead to incredible happiness and satisfaction.  It also leads to acceptance of the things we don’t have control over because the control we do have is actually much greater than we tend to think.

The challenge is in determining how we can change.  We are driven by daily emotions, routines, habits, constant thought, and reactions to everything around us.  It might seem difficult to actually find a way to change for the better.

The best thing to do is to start small.  By starting small you can make mistakes and learn from them.  Starting small makes it easier to keep going with the change.  Starting small allows you to learn how to improve and then add more and more once you get a better sense of how to improve. 

Next time you find yourself unhappy with someone or some thing, change your perspective.  Find better ways to change yourself and accept that until you can change yourself for the better, you will not have any control to change the world.