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Form the gratitude habit

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.  

Form the gratitude habit

Scott Miker

For many people, they go through life feeling as though life is lacking and is a constant struggle. We go through the moments in our life feeling inadequate and fighting for what we feel we deserve.

Having this aggressive mindset can reinforce the feeling of constant struggle. But there is a better way. It involves feeling happy and content but still continuing to work hard to keep improving.

One of the aspects of that system is the ability to be grateful for our life. By learning to appreciate aspects of life, it is much easier to maintain a peaceful mindset. This doesn’t mean we stop working hard or stop trying to improve.

This is a big misconception. I talk to people all the time who attribute needing to improve with something lacking in their life. They push themselves to gain more because they feel empty.

But as they gain more and more they usually find the hole remains. They try to fill it but they do so with material gains and pushing themselves more and more.

The better strategy is to learn to be grateful. We can learn to appreciate the things in life.

As I began this shift I noticed something interesting. I continued to work on constant, systematic improvement. As I did I started to realize that I would accomplish more by trying less.

Instead of pushing through everything I let things flow more naturally and simply tried to maintain focus on where I wanted to go.

It was as if I was previously trying to push myself upstream and struggled to gain any ground. Then I decided to go with the flow of the river and put my focus on steering the boat. This allowed me to use the current in a way that helped me rather than worked against me.

I attribute this change to better understanding systems thinking and how to use the systems and habits approach to improvement in order to keep getting better.

As I did this and learned more about this process, I started to realize that when I felt struggle inside of me, I was pushing against the system. If I didn’t like the system, pushing against it was pointless because most of the time we can’t overtake it, it is too powerful.

But realizing the various aspects of the system, we can learn to adjust so we aren’t simply trying to overcome the system, we are working with the system in order to take us where we want to go.

If this is new to you, then start by learning to be more grateful. Start by identifying things that went right for you and things you appreciate. Instead of jumping to all of the things you dislike and wish were different, start from the place of appreciation.

This will likely give you areas that you can grow and leverage. Instead of pushing against things you don’t like you grab on to things that you do like. This helps move you along and keep you improving without the feeling of struggle constantly present.