The 365 Commitment

Feedback Loop

Contemplating today what drives my behavior. Why do I do the things that I do? Why do I prioritize one thing over another? What really is the root cause of certain things that I do?

If you were to look at yourself like a system, comprised of parts, then you might start gaining some clues to these questions. You can compartmentalize certain aspects of what is going on and then start to see how certain things are having a greater impact on you than you realize. This is challenging, however, when you sit down to break yourself into components. What model do you follow?

I started thinking of Guy as the computer model. There are inputs, outputs, processing, storage, and a peripheral or two. This turned out to be more entertaining then actually productive. I did pick up one thing. Looking at what you are actually taking in versus what you are putting out is very revealing. Have you ever thought of yourself in terms of what you are actually producing!? What, if anything, of meaningful quality did you actually produce today? Or at least accomplish today? This list is surprisingly short. We spend the entire day, engaged in something yet when we sit down and try to remember what we actually did in terms of output, the list is very small. I can now say, everyday, that at least I produced a blog article! However, this is an interesting thought. As I look throughout my day, I struggle with finding many things where I actually produced something meaningful, or positive. After spending some time at it, I was able to find some areas and was a little more relieved. I definitely came to the conclusion that I need to produce more!

Then looking at my inputs. What am I taking in? What am I listening to? Watching? Who is talking to me? Who am I interacting with. What imagery do I see? There is a lot we take in all day. I realized that I take in quite a bit of negativity and I do so from many, many sources. Complaints at work, conflict at work, news reports, arguments, disagreements, Domesday predictions and sometimes I top it off by watching some make believe hyped up drama on Netflix. No wonder I produce crap sometimes, when I am constantly being filled with crap!

I then thought of Guy as the clock model. Every part and piece working together like gears in a complex swiss designed watch. Some are bigger than others, however, all of them capable of jamming the whole thing up. I started thinking through the different parts of me that are providing influence. Perhaps my 7 Chakras would fit into this line of thinking, perhaps that was why it was come up with in the first place. Does the hunger gear sometimes get a little crazy? Any one particular gear can get out of whack and cause a bunch of challenges. This line of thinking had problems too, however, it did get me to realize that if you let one of these subsystems dominate too much, the rest of yourself will have some serious problems. Sometimes you might not even realize that you are letting one of these subsystems take control! Have you ever seen a toddler go on a complete tirade melt down and then 5 minutes later be a perfect angel!? Well, that is a subsystem getting out of control!

I then started to view myself as a complicated software project. Yup, as I walk around and live and breath I am an ever changing constantly evolving package of software. I am like in version 50 by now, but the point is that I have new features coming in and old features being deprecated constantly. From this perspective, I am in a constant testing process and any good software team knows that you need to be testing early and often. In fact the sooner you test new features (called moving left) you are more likely to cut out costs in your development effort. So that model fits me well. So that is when I came up with a shocking revelation. I need a feedback loop! I need constant feedback and with that I need to respond and change quickly. This could be the solution to a lot of my problems. I need a better way of monitoring my progress in life according to metrics so that I can build in daily, weekly feedback. Now that is a significant change to my view of self improvement. Definitely something to consider how to implement!

Guy Reams

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