An excerpt from the book “Simple Rules. How to Succeed in a Difficult World” will help you determine what areas you need to change and what to do for this.
Find the main aspect of life that requires a change
Most people will not hesitate to answer which strategic improvements they desire the most, and the range of relevant life aspects will be unusually wide; from losing weight to a romantic acquaintance, from the harmony between work and personal life to accumulating wealth, from a rich social life and the joys of communication to opportunity.
All these facets of existence have one common property; the one that is chosen correctly gives rise to a sudden insight: “This is it, the cherished one that will give me the joy of life, dispel the clouds over my head and make me absolutely happy for a long time.” The strategic aspects of life resonate deeply in your soul, making it clear what exactly you want to improve on them. Below are some questions to help you start looking for the strategic aspect of your life.
- Which side of your life do you most want to improve? What are the first three things that come to your mind?
- What activities give you the most joy and a sense of well-being? What needs to be done to devote more time to these activities?
- What aspects of your life cause you the most fear, anxiety, or anxiety? What would help ease these feelings?
- Look back at the past five years: do you regret not changing something during this time? What would you most regret as you remember your life on your deathbed?
- How would a trusted friend, life partner, or beloved answer these questions for you? (It is beneficial to ask them about this?
It would be nice to choose not one but several aspects of life for improvement since not all simple rules are equally applicable. Three to five desired improvements are enough to start with. The first draft of the list usually features very generalized values, such as family, wealth, and health. This is a good start, but finding the bottleneck is easier if you narrow these concepts down to more concrete, measurable goals that can push your arrows apart.
At this stage, try to formulate the desired accomplishments as specific as possible. For example, the goal of “eating right” can be specified: “lose weight by five kilos,” “become more energetic,,” or “keep blood sugar levels under control through diet”. As you can see, these are all very different goals, requiring the application of different simple rules.
Find stumbling blocks on your way to your goals
Having decided which side of life you would like to improve, move on to the next stage – finding a bottleneck. Like its business cousins, a personal bottleneck is a specific activity or decision that simple rules can make the most impact by pushing your arrows apart.
The bottleneck is the surest point for applying simple rules, and the rules applied to it should enhance your personal values.
The best personal bottlenecks deserve to be called strategic because working with them will help you create lasting personal value. Simple rules can be productively applied to dozens of different personal activities, but you will have to spend time and effort to formulate, test, and hone these rules. It is most beneficial to focus efforts on the case or solution from which there will be maximum return.
Answers to the following questions will help you to determine the most promising candidates
- What deeds or decisions are preventing you from achieving your goal?
- In which aspect will the rules have the greatest effect?
A productive bottleneck should create personal value. Repetitive actions (rather than one-off decisions) are the best candidates, and then the time and effort invested in writing the rules will pay off in the course of their repeated application.
Good bottlenecks are, for example, how a married couple handles financial disputes or how household responsibilities are divided, as opposed to choosing a candidate to marry at a time.
The actions and decisions that you repeat daily or weekly provide empirical data to evaluate how effectively the rules are working and adjust them in the right direction.
Simple rules work especially well in situations where the number of options exceeds the number of resources required to implement them. For example, when you think where to invest capital, what repairs to make at home, or what to spend the freed up hours on. Simple rules are best for guiding decisions that require flexibility, such as when choosing a diet or parenting for your baby. If you have mechanical memory problems (say, you always forget what things to pack for your business trip), then it is more appropriate to make a checklist than fence rules.
Finally, simple rules are great for channeling willpower and are, therefore, especially suitable for dieting, exercising, saving money, and other things that involve sacrificing momentary temptations for big long-term gains.
A bottleneck does not have to meet all of these criteria, but the more criteria it does, the more benefits from simple rules will be. When looking for a bottleneck, remember that you are looking for some stumbling block on your way to achieving one of your personal goals. Here are some key questions to help you prioritize correctly.
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- How often do you make such a decision, or are involved in a similar business?
- Are there more choices available than the amount of time, money, energy, or attention you have?
- Does this matter require willpower?
- Does this case or solution need some flexibility?
- Can the results be achieved measured to test and improve the rules?
After assessing the importance and potential of those actions or decisions that may be particularly relevant to achieving your goals, select the specific bottleneck you need to expand. When choosing a bottleneck, it is useful to exercise the utmost care and accuracy because the data you operate on can play a decisive role.
Adapted and translated by The Cop Cart Staff
Sources: Life hacker