Last week, Josh and I released a brand new podcast entitled “Systemization: The Four Mistakes You do NOT Want to Make.”  Go here to listen. You’ll be able to download it too, and it’s on iTunes…

(Adapted from the book, Work the System: The Simple Mechanics of Making More and Working Less.) Could it be that the common presumption that the world is not functioning well — that the world is a mess — is wrong? Yes, that presumption is wrong, because in any given life, on any given day, countless events and connections — systems — work perfectly. This world is incredibly efficient when one considers the infinite number of systems that execute with amazing proficiency: plants, animals, oceans, airplanes, bicycles, toasters, societies, and six billion human bodies are all individual systems that perform with quiet flawlessness. We don’t notice the countless efficient systems that make up our lives so we take them for granted, never appreciating the impeccability of it all. Miracles surround us! And the tiny number of systems we consider flawed seem that way only because they are not what we want them to be, as they stand in stark contrast to the massive perfection around them. Yes, there is pain in the world – I’m not a Pollyanna – but, we hyper-focus on personal, mechanical, and geo-political systems that are not to our liking and conclude that imperfection is the default way of the world. Swallowed up in this, we see perfection as an anomaly; imperfection as the norm. This ubiquitous perception of life is more than flawed. It’s exactly backwards. Here’s the crux: If you mistakenly perceive the world as chaotic, your life will be chaotic. But truly grasp that the world is profoundly organized and you will find your life beginning to click along efficiently. There’s nothing mystical here, and this isn’t about having a positive attitude. The world really is an organized place and once you get that you will begin to tweak the inner workings of the machine that is your life, allowing it to produce the results you desire. For some mysterious reason, systems want to execute perfectly. They want to reach their intended purposes and for your personal situation you can count on an overwhelming bias toward efficiency, rather than chaos. If your world isn’t to your liking, it won’t take long to get things straightened out. Understand this in your belly: Whether an outcome is to your liking or not, the underlying system that produced that outcome is performing exactly as it was constructed. If it is in your power — and so much that affects you is in your power — you can get inside the systems of your existence and make improvements so the outcomes are what you want them to be. You are not at the mercy of mysterious conspiring forces or the swirling backwash of chaos! So this life you live is composed of a countless number of nearly perfect linear systems, many of which are under your personal control. These systems are the invisible threads that hold the fabric of your life together. If there is an outcome that doesn’t suit you, you can change that outcome by making a component adjustment within a system, by adding a system, or in eliminating a system. In the typical life’s rejuvenation, it’s usually “all of the above.” And what of those things you can’t fix because they are out of your control? Relax. If you can’t fix something, don’t worry about it. Metaphorically speaking, if you don’t like the TV program, change the channel or turn off the set. Expend your energy on incremental system-improvement efforts that will deliver the life-results you want. Photo by Egor Gribanov via flickr used under a creative Commons License.


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