What You Put in vs. What you Get Out

Yesterday’s post on types of control introduced my interpretation of equilibrium. Equilibrium is your current state in relation to your overall goal. You disrupt equilibrium with input and hopefully end up with a higher level of equilibrium as an output.

What are some positive control actions that can help you positively disrupt your equilibrium.

  • Reading on topics related to your goals
  • Games and leisure activities that build necessary skills
  • Going to meetups
  • Joining a professional organization
  • Taking an online class

Now that you’re thinking of some things that can get you to a higher state of equilibrium and closer to your goals it’s important to keep in mind that not all activities are created equal. To get to a higher equilibrium we need to consider the importance of the quality of the input. Here are some questions you can ask yourself.

  • Is what I’m doing getting me closer to my goals?
  • Am I doing work for me, or someone else?
  • Am I wasting time?
  • These questions will help you to start identifying sources of negative control in your life. Now that

Keeping an eye on the quality of the inputs will get you far, but not as far as this one important factor. Your attention and mindset direct the flow of control for any given activity. Let’s say you’re reading a book on a new technique that’ll make you more valuable to your company. If you are engaged in reading the book and actively thinking about the ideas, then you are in a state of positive control. Control is flowing from you to the act of reading. Conversely if you’re bored with the book and your mind is wandering then you’ve lost your flow of control and it’s now scattered. Without focus the list above becomes:

  • Reading on topics with minimal retention
  • Mindless games and leisurely activities that don’t challenge you
  • Meeting people and discussing banalities
  • Joining a professional organization and learning nothing or not going to meetings
  • Taking an online class and not paying attention to the lessons

What you do to work towards your goals, funneled through your mindset determines the value of the activity. A focused and positive mindset results in an output that is greater than the information you put in. This could be the growth of your abilities or a greater understanding of certain principals you need.

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