Four Steps to a Systems Perspective at Work and at Home
Today's guest post is from Sam Carpenter of Work the System. Sam's new book looks to be a great read and TDS will be reviewing it in the coming months.
many of us finger-point and complain about what is not to our liking.
It’s too bad we do that because it’s not just a waste of
time, it’s a diversion from what needs to happen if we are
to reach our goals. Personal excuses, generalizations about the
dire state of the world, and under-the-radar or overt attempts to
change the people around us are ineffectual to the point of
paralysis. These preoccupations are distractions from the personal
moves we could make on-the-ground that would actually produce what we
really want in our lives: freedom, wealth, and control of our
destinies. And pursuing personal peace, prosperity, and control are
noble goals because the sure way to realize them is to create
something of value.
key word here is “control.” It’s what we need.
about the generally accepted notion that someone who seeks firm
control is an unpleasant personality - someone who needs to loosen
up? With some rare exceptions, I contend that this ubiquitous
assumption is wrong. Despite the almost visceral societal belief to
the contrary, there is a direct connect between happiness and the
amount of control we attain. But, let’s be clear: Happiness
is not found in the control we have over others; it’s found in
the control we have over the moment-to-moment trajectory of our own
lives, and more exactly — here we get to the root of things —
the control of the personal systems that are ours to adjust and
solution to getting what we want is not about fixing the world
condition or ingesting the perfect drug. And it’s not about
acquiring more things, being famous, or finding a new spouse. The
solution is rooted in adopting a different perspective — a
different way of seeing, thinking, and processing the life we already
have. So here’s a simple, attainable, step-by-step way for you
to “get what you want.”
Face the world
cold-turkey and courageously question the sacred status quo as
it relates to your own self. Sort out what’s going on within
your individual areas of direct influence, and then work on those
things. Don’t spend time and energy on the processes you can’t
perspective of the world’s mechanics. Society
insists that we live in a “holistic” world where we are
channeled to be keenly aware that everything we do affects
everything else. We are paralyzed into a state of inaction by what
we see as a hopeless jumble of sights, sounds, and events around us.
Resist the holistic, blanket solutions to everyday challenges and
problems in your life: psychotropic drugs, the lure of a new car,
house, job, or life partner. It’s OK to separate things; to
improve them one at a time.
99.9 percent of everything around you operates just fine.
Consider your body, for instance, and the myriad of chemical,
electrical and mechanical components that operate flawlessly. It’s
a numbers game, and the things of the world that are not performing
well are a very small percentage of the entirety. Making things
better for yourself is not going to require as much work as you
job, health, and relationships into linear sub-systems that are
simple and understandable. Then, fully understanding what you’re
seeing in front of you, fix these sub-systems one-by-one, making
each as efficient as possible. When your task is complete, when you
have fixed all your sub-systems with this non-holistic approach, you
will see that you have constructed terrifically efficient holistic
primary systems: your job, body, relationships. Your life.
When your life changes as a result of this new perspective and
methodology, it will be enormously satisfying. The improvements will
have come about because of what you did. You will have
taken control of your own life.
Interview with author Sam Carpenter