THE CORE OF LIFE AND GETTING RESULTS
Systems: A group of related parts that move or work together to create a result.
Particularly note at this time that "beliefs" are systems, that "programs" are systems, that "ways of doing things" are systems - all "designed" to get you a particular end result - one that may be good or bad, depending on the correctness (workability) of them. This would include "impulses" that we tend to obey, but would best reexamine to see if following them will lead us to what we want.
WHY SYSTEMS ARE OF CENTRAL IMPORTANCE
Look at the definition. Note that nothing can happen without coming from a system. Nothing!
We have brain systems, body systems, social systems, belief systems, emotional systems, systems to modify behavior, even happiness systems.
Nothing happens without involving a system.
Therefore, it is essential that you understand what a system is!!!!!!!!!!!
[And then that you tune up all the systems until they are operating well and you are no longer experiencing random bad consequences. Don't finish the tuning up until your life is so easy and so successful that you feel like you're in heaven, or at least have handled all the old pieces of hell).]
EVERYTHING IN THE REAL WORLD RESULTS FROM A SEQUENCE
Two things cannot occur at the same time in the exact place. It is impossible.
Everything comes in a sequence that leads to the next step in the sequence and then eventually a "final result". All of that sequence together is called a system.
NOTICE THAT RESULTS COME FROM ORDER NOT RANDOMNESS
While if we wonder around in randomness long enough we will be likely to gain something, the best way to gain anything in life is to use a "straight line", where the steps take us directly to a result. A "straight line" is, indeed, the shortest distance (in time) between where we are and where we want to be.
Impulse, "emotions", "emotional reasoning" (bullbleep!), non-thinking, non-planning, non-intentional - living by those in that way will not get us to anywhere near our full potential. To the extreme, with no order and system, we live but a small fraction of the potential of life.
Many people have an erroneous belief that we can Just Learn From Experience.... Maybe so, but we'll not learn nearly enough to be able to fully harvest life!!!!!!!
And we live our best lives by being sure we develop, improve and use the best systems - systematically!!!
IF WE DON'T USE "SYSTEMS THINKING" WE WILL HAVE INCORRECT BELIEFS
Systems thinking simply means we look at the overall system, often diagramming it or listing each step in the system to see what produces a good result or not. This is called a "cause-effect" diagram also.
A --> B --> C --> D --> End result
A belief is a "if I do x, then I'll get y (which is my desired result)".
If I do x and don't get y, that is "evidence" that I should look at and correct my belief and to stop doing x!!!! (Duh! Of course!)
Sometimes I have "incomplete" beliefs. An example is where we confuse the means of getting what we want with it being the end goal of what we want. For instance, if we think it is money that is the goal then we have failed to recognize that it is only a means and not the "end" goal (of security, freedom, happiness, or some combination)
In the above diagram if we stop at step C, we might not get the end result we want, though we might get plenty of C. For instance, if I must watch tv to get relief from my anxious thoughts for the moment, I might not see that I need to at least also do step D which is to correct the cause of my anxiety, which would then lead me to stable happiness as an end result, instead of constantly having to seek relief and end up going nowhere in life!!!!
So, in systems thinking, you list out ALL of the system's component steps.
You do that to see what must have caused something in the sequence and where things went wrong such that you didn't get the result you wanted (or you "intuitively" felt bad).
You must, to get a good result each time, ask "what came before this?" and then also inquire "is there anything that comes after this?" Then you determine what is wrong and/or if you are targeting the wrong thing!
Anybody can do this process, but along the way you will have to access knowledge you might not have but do need. You must seek the learning necessary ("what do I need to know to get this step corrected?" or knowledge from someone who has already learned and figured it all out. The latter is the most effective way to advance quickly in life: just copy what has already been invented that works!
Essentially, you use the system for thinking (the way of proceeding) that works the best, which is Effective Thinking (aka "critical thinking"), of which systems thinking (using the cause-effect diagram) is a tool.
So, essentially, we
1. Observe that something is not working (i.e. not getting the intended result (or we can also "anticipate" by projecting forward to see what could be a problem if we don't set up a good system - such as doing our best to establish a great belief system asap, before all the mistakes and harm is created from bad beliefs!)
2. Diagram the system using the cause-effect chain, listing the entire sequence involved, step by step.
3. Note what steps are, or could be, erroneous or even missing.
4. Correct them.
5. Test the new system to verify that it works (or at least reason it out!).