This minute, slow down. Find a place where you won’t be distracted. Let’s work toward the magic moment when the systems mindset takes hold.
Visualize each of the following processes and note the commonality: sequential execution over time.
In this moment you must consciously concentrate in order to visualize a world of systems, but trust that soon you will naturally carry this perception through the day, always living in this place of one-layer-deeper, constantly observing the mechanical processes that generate the happenings of the day.
Suspended in this deeper layer, this right here, right now place, you will discover the spiritual wonderment you have been seeking.
Consider your mechanical reality. Start by imagining the closed set of sequential actions necessary to drive a car from point A to point B. (Open the door, get in, put the seat belt on, insert the key in the ignition, turn the key to start the engine, etc.)
Describe to yourself the specific linear steps—both mechanical and human—involved in finding a potential customer, making a presentation, and closing a sale. Think about the process of interviewing and hiring a new employee and then what you must do to keep this person for the long term while maximizing his or her contribution. Think about nurturing a relationship with a spouse, coping with the terminal illness of a parent, giving birth. Then there are the mundane processes of preparing a financial report, writing a paper for a college course, raking the yard, dumping the trash, or doing the wash.
Ponder the miraculous human-body mechanism that propels you through this material world with its umpteen individual biological and mechanical subsystems, nearly all of which function without any overt guidance, but many of which you can abuse or enhance.
Use your imagination, and in your immediate proximity—right now—look around yourself to see uncountable sequences in motion, most going unnoticed until this moment. You see that some of these processes don’t matter too much, but others have an enormous effect on your happiness and the happiness of those around you.
Yes, systems intertwine and affect one another, yet first they are separate entities.
Although almost all of your life processes are automatic, there are many you perform consciously. Either way, by focusing on the systems that are within your circle of influence, you’ll see that tweaking them to higher efficiency is almost always possible.
You’ll know when you get it because within your moment-to-moment reality you will clearly see the individual systems around you—on the street, at the airport, at home, and in the mirror. No longer will you feel suspended in a swirling conglomeration of sights, sounds, and events. The new vision will be natural and unforced and you will wonder why you didn’t see with this clarity before.
The moment you get it, you’ll know it.
It could be right now, as you read these lines.
Photo Credits: Daniel Wehner