Tuesday night at our Mental Fitness challenge group the topic was Systems Thinking, chapter 11 in Resolved: 13 Resolutions for LIFE. The video that we watched made reference to a trim-tab, originally discussed in The Fifth Discipline by Peter Senge. The trim tab is a small device that ultimately turns the rudder on huge ships (for a more in-depth explanation I recommend reading Resolved).
In our group, the analogy of the trim tab was put together with The Slight Edge to really help me see how the smallest decisions that we make daily are what is really driving our lives. “The Slight Edge” is the compound effect of all of our small daily decisions that are both easy to do, and also easy not to do, which determine our results in life.
The idea that we came up with, is that if it is the trim tab that ultimately determines the direction of the ship; it is The Slight Edge that directs the trim tab of our lives. Every decision we make is turning our trim tab. The goal, then, is to consciously focus the power of The Slight Edge to continuously turn the trim tab in the direction that we want our lives to be going in. This is the whole point of ‘systems thinking’. We need to understand how things are connected; how one small, seemingly insignificant, decision today has serious ramifications 5 and 10 years down the road.
Systems Thinking is the understanding that there is more to everything than just what we see on the surface. Expand your mind to see past the obvious, see how everything in life is connected. What you do matters. What you say matters. What you think matters!