Chapter 11

Going With the Flow Will Ruin Your Life

Carpenter_Systems_Comps_R6.inddIs there an easy way for me to lighten up and relax?

We Westerners profess laid-back personas. Maybe it’s a California thing. We’re free and easy, and we tell ourselves and anyone who will listen that we’re able to take things as they come. “Go with the flow” is the mantra, but it’s not an effective life stance. Get right down to it and going with the flow is a silly notion because, if the flow is unmanaged, we don’t have a say in how it will proceed.

Here’s some sixties pop-culture heresy. It seems to me the Beatles songs, “Let It Be” and “All You Need Is Love” have done a lot of damage. There is no upward mobility or awards for those who choose to be punching bags.

Ask yourself if you really look forward to a day of external surprises.

And so I’ve found that those who adamantly profess to be relaxed and carefree are not that at all. The ones who are calm are those in control of their days and who are relatively sure of what’s going to happen next. These are individuals who always seem to be in the process of building something or making things better. These are systems specialists who constantly reach inside to improve things outside.

If there’s any “flow,” it’s the drive within our DNA to create the future we desire. And how do we create a better future? I can’t harp on this enough: We create it by seeing and then managing our machines.

Is there any reason we must be uptight in our search for control? How would that help? The application of the Systems Mindset is the antithesis of worry, because the posture is about calmly approaching the day from an outside vantage point and then quietly making constant yet thoughtful system improvements. It’s not about overtly manhandling things.

I want you to be able to acquire more power and control for yourself, not just so you can reach your goals, but also so you can find serenity. Don’t quibble about it: You can only chill out long term by controlling your machinery and thereby determining the outcomes of your life.

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