Chapter 18

Your Personal Attributes Don’t Matter That Much

Carpenter_Systems_Comps_R6.inddWhat? But I have a high IQ. And I’m enthusiastic, and my friends say I have a fun personality. These attributes won’t help me achieve freedom? 

Yes, you’re right: Your attributes can help, but they won’t directly deliver you what you want. You’ve learned that you can adjust the systems of your life to produce the results you desire, but keep in mind those systems
simply don’t care about you or your positive qualities.

The systems of your life are machines, not guardian angels. They won’t watch over you (unless you specifically set some of them up to do that). So what about your attributes? They will be helpful in some situations but crucial in few. What doesn’t matter that much? Your engaging personality, good looks, job, your friends in high places, who your dad or mom is, how much money you have, or the car you drive. Neither does your IQ, educational background, positive attitude, or even how hard you work matter that much.

What else doesn’t matter? That you’re on food stamps, incapacitated, didn’t go to college, have a parent in prison, or don’t have close friends. These are conditions, not disqualifiers for reaching your dreams.

What matters is the machinery. 

Think of this in your own life: How many people do you know who have these attributes or conditions, who struggle or fail? Think of:

  • successful professionals with no time;
  • people with smiling faces who struggle in every area;
  • stunningly attractive individuals who are enormously stressed;
  • hardworking people who have toiled their entire lives but have accumulated nothing for retirement;
  • parents who give 100% to their children but who, in turn, are disrespected by those same children;
  • high school graduates who build massively profitable businesses;
  • the unattractive, who have achieved everything they’ve always wanted, including an alluring lover;
  • the reclusive, who have freedom and wealth;
  • people with physical dysfunctions who are happy, engaged, and an inspiration to everyone around them; and
  • employees who started at the lowest and most obscure rungs of an organization but have risen to top leadership.

Applying the Systems Mindset perspective, can you understand why the above scenarios happen? Consciously or unconsciously, the first five individuals don’t see the machinery of their lives, whereas the last five do. If you asked them, could the last five explain their successes? Probably not: For most successful people, a grasp of how life-machinery operates is visceral. They don’t think about it; therefore, it’s invisible. And it’s been my observation that most of them can’t put a finger on their intuitive Systems Mindset approach.

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