Most people have a difficult time taking responsibility for their actions. For systems thinkers this makes sense. Because everything in life is made up of systems, we can see the complexity that emerges.
Systems thinking shows us that every system has many factors that all interconnect. This makes it very complicated. Therefore, most people skip over the full system and hone in on the factors that directly impact them.
So if you get into a car accident it is easy to point to all the factors that are out of your control. It is easy to see fault in others rather than yourself. We want to protect our ego and can quickly come up with excuses to point to something outside of our control as the reason for the accident.
But within that complex system, we also share responsibility. Besides the areas outside of our control are areas within our control. But most people ignore those aspects of the system because that could cause them to feel at fault, ultimately bruising our ego.
A systems thinker would see many of these variables and see that legal fault may lie with one driver but there could potentially be things the other driver did or didn’t do that contributed to the fact that there was an accident.
Systems thinkers see this complexity and understand how difficult it can be to make sense of the full system so we look for patterns. Is there a history of traffic tickets and accidents? Do these tend to occur in similar situations?
From the patterns we can gain more insight. Then we have a better understanding of the system.
Learning to use systems thinking to then create new patterns to help improve is called the systems and habits approach to improvement. We focus on what we can control and how to make slight adjustments over and over and over to slowly increase the chances of finding success.
In Grit – The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth, the author says, “Grit depends on a different kind of hope. It rests on the expectation that our own efforts can improve our future. I have a feeling tomorrow will be better is different from I resolve to make tomorrow better. The hope that gritty people have has nothing to do with luck and everything to do with getting up again.”
Unfortunately most people don’t even look optimistically at the future. Instead they feel that tomorrow will probably be worse than today.
Where you on the belief of the future? Do you feel the future is bleak or that good times are coming?
Whichever way you feel today, work hard to shift your thinking. If you can start to resolve to make tomorrow better you will start to do the work necessary today to bring the rewards tomorrow. You will plant the seeds for a better future. Then you can start to reap what you sow.