Aim to Improve Your System, Not Yourself

Self-improvement is a big goal. It can feel lofty and unattainable, even unweildly, like trying to hoist yourself up by grabbing your shirt collar. However, just as unweildly objects can be moved easily with a systemic approach, so can self-improvement be tackled by an approach that allows for organic transformation. When we do those things that clear the way for change, empowering the process, rather than going at it whole-hog, big things can eventually happen. For example, if being physically fit is a goal than rather than breaking into a run one day, or going to a gym and tackling unfamiliar equipment, you decide to do one minute of jump-roping, you have empowered yourself to make a useful fitness decision. Organically, without the need of force, your body will let you know when it’s time for two minutes then three. The breaking down of a task into smaller tasks is merely one system for implementing change. The important thing is that you find an effective system that empowers you and that you like and will keep at. The most effective system in the world is not effective for you if it is not simple enough to fit seamlessly into your life.

Reflect on these key points:

  • 1To create change in oneself, or improvement, it’s a good idea to develop a system that empowers the change process, so it happens organically.
  • 2One way to create a catalyst for change is to do small tasks that will eventually snowball into bigger ones.
  • 3It’s important to remember that the best system ever is not the right one for you if it is complicated to maintain and does not fit into your life.

“The fulcrum and lever combination makes it so that even a small amount of force on one end can have a powerful effect on the other end. This is a great metaphor for how we approach self improvement.”

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