J.D. Moyer

sci-fi writer, beat maker, self-experimenter

Tag: Effectuation method

Five Things That Made My Life 10% Better (Each)

Our new puppy, a possible #6? We’ll see!

I used to make myself miserable in ways that turned out to be easily fixable. Sometimes it took ten, twenty years to see the obvious and do something about it. But that’s not even exceptionally slow. Many people go through their whole lives suffering huge amounts self-inflicted misery.

Here are the major quality-of-life improvements that have worked for me, so far:

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The System is the Result


Goals are useful. A goal points you in the direction you want to go, gives you a metric by which to measure progress, and ideally provides the motivation to get there.

But goals don’t produce results. A behavioral system (including automated behaviors) produce the actual results. Your system of diet and exercise will produce physical and health results. Your system of saving and investing will produce wealth results. Your system of communicating and being kind and generous to people will produce relationship results.

They may not always be great results. That depends on the quality of your system, your compatibility with the system you’ve chosen, and how effectively you implement it.

I’ve managed to overcome health problems by tweaking my diet and supplements, and those system continue to work well for me. I feel pretty good about my saving and investing system too. My chess system, on the other hand, needs a lot of work. I only know a few openings, I fall into simple traps, and I too often impulsively make the first decent move I see without considering other options. But I’m working on it.

Writing, chess, and racquetball are three skills I’m actively developing. Some of the work is just doing the thing a lot. Learning new techniques and practicing those techniques — actively pushing the boundaries of your skill and paying the learning tax — is a big part of getting better. So where does the system part come in? What does that even mean?

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