I’m continuing my journaling about Ray Dalios principles book from yesterday. I have succeeded in a sense because I’ve improved from one post last week to two this week. If I can string together a few more days I feel like this habit will stick. It’s sometimes hard to tell if I am improving my habits overall from this or just doing the same things over and over again but thinking about them in a different way. However I intuitively feel like all I am trying to do with this is just make one or two daily choices better and eventually over time I’ll see a great improved as a result of incremental change. Therefore I must trust in this process and continue to focus on self improvement. If anything it keeps me engaged and helps me uncover my blind spots. While I may regress, as long as I regress in an area less than the previous week or year and continue to just get a little better I’ll see an overall improvement in the quality of my outcomes and relationships. Although it is easy to understand this conceptually sometimes I lose sight of a longer term vision. So, I must continue to reinforce beliefs, attitudes, and actions that I know to be true from my personal experience and those that have led others to success. If this post helps you that’s great but if not that’s ok too.
Identify and don’t tolerate problems
for me the problem identification process is easy because I’m fairly obsessive and conscientious. My challenge is focus on solving the highest priority problem over a long period of time. Because I am able to identify a lot of areas for improvement I sometimes don’t solve any of them fully. So if this is one of my big problem areas how to I solve it and not tolerate my behavior when it arises? Tracking metrics and having a daily routine helps. When I have an established and documented method to inch closer to my goals I tend to be better at succeeding at them. When I have an activity where I don’t have to think that hard it helps in becoming more consistent as well. So that means breaking down a large long term task into its constituent parts and scheduling them for smaller increments of time. By making these tasks less daunting and breaking them down in similar ways as Ray does in his five step process I will see overall improvement in my life.
Diagnose problems to get to their root causes
identify what is before figuring out what to do with it. This basically means focusing on one step at a time to me. Sometimes I get overwhelmed when I focus on too many problems too fast without taking the time to think linearly about one or two to solve them permanently. I think this comes back to my prioritization problem. If I can identify which of the many problems that are zipping through my head are the most important I can narrow down on one and block out the noise. It’s easy to ignore problems and lie to yourself about the reality of your situation. Therefore it’s important to triangulate your understanding of reality with multiple believable people who you know have a good grasp of a shared observable reality, who think calmly and introspectively, are open minded, and have a lot of life experience either in a specific or wide range of disciplines. Ray also talked about proximate causes versus root causes. I have a tendency to over think these sometimes. Because my job involves a lot of linear logic I’m pretty good at tracing back dependent actions from their outcomes. That said, if all I do is focus on a problem I never make a change and get the positive outcome I want and will just have a collection of root cause analysis cases to brood on. Therefore as this section states diagnose the root cause but also focus on each step sequentially with a specific time limit so that I get better at the whole process of self improvement rather than just one aspect of it.