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Do you work the systems in your life?

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.  

Do you work the systems in your life?

Scott Miker

Our life is made up of systems.  But most of the time we are so caught up in the daily ups and downs that we never pay attention to these systems. 

Seeing the systems in your life isn’t absolutely necessary.  We don’t have to pay any attention to them at all.  But that doesn’t mean that they aren’t there and aren’t controlling aspects of your life all the time.

In Work the System: The Simple Mechanics of Making More and Working Less by Sam Carpenter, he says, “I work the system, but not just one.  I work all the systems in my control – professional, financial, social, biological, and mechanical.  You have your own systems.  Do you see them?  Do you control them?  It doesn’t matter whether you are a CEO, employee, stay-at-home mom or dad, retiree, or student.  Your life is composed of systems that are yours to control – or not control.”

Why even care about systems?  Why even worry about them or try to control them?

The reason is simple.  The systems are in place and guiding you throughout your life.  If they are taking you in a direction that you want to go, then great, keep working the systems.  But many times those systems are pushing you away from the happiness and success you desire in life.

Carpenter goes on to say, “Life is serious business, and whether you know it or not – or whether you like it or not – your personal systems are the threads of the fabric of your life.  Together, your personal systems add up to you.” 

Therefore, if you want something in life, you have to realize the role that these systems play.  They can either help or hurt your chances of success and happiness.   

But seeing the systems isn’t enough.  We also have to be able to manipulate the systems so that they work for us not against us.  We can harness their power but we have to realize that they are there and driving us in a direction, whether we know it or not.

So take some time to think about the various systems in your life.  These could be habits, routines, structures, relationships etc.  Start to think about your life as a series of these systems all linked together. 

Doing this will help you see how many factors in life connect to each other.  Your desire to be liked may be the reason you don’t push yourself at work.  But this might be holding your career back. 

Your habit of buying Starbucks coffee every morning might be interfering with your ability to save more money for retirement or drop a few pounds.  Yet you may just think that is one simple, harmless indulgence. 

Most people never dig deeper into any of these systems.  They see them superficially and never attempt to make a real change or improvement.  But if you are willing to start to explore them and improve them, then a world of success and happiness can be yours.