October 12, 2021 - Fix the inputs

We think we need to change our results, but the results are not the problem. What we really need to change are the systems that cause those results. When you solve problems at the results level, you only solve them temporarily. In order to improve for good, you need to solve problems at the systems level. Fix the inputs, and the outputs will fix themselves.

James Clear, "Atomic Habits", Penguin Random House, October 2019


This is quickly becoming one of my favorite books. After Elder Dunn talked about improving the 1% during conference, I started digging into where he got his information. Turns out, he likely got most from this book. This book talks about the english cycling team and their improvement by making small changes, or the "aggregation of marginal gains", as we heard in Elder Dunn's address.


James Clear separates goals (end results) from systems (processes to get to those goals). He focuses more on improving our systems, not focusing on the goals.


The little things done consistently and constantly over long periods of time will better change our behavior and our characters instead of cramming at the last minute to pass some proverbial behavior test. When Christ goes to judge us in the Final Judgement, He won't need us to account for everything, He will be able to see in our countenance, in our "glow". He will be able to tell just by looking at us if we've bettered ourselves over long periods of time as opposed to just cramming last minute.


James Clear cites the example of every athlete wants to win gold at the Olympics, that is the "goal" of every participant. But the few that actually do win gold typically have better systems toward that goal. He also cites how bamboo spend years building their roots before finally sprouting above ground.



In this phase of God's plan, we all have the same goal of eternal life with God and our family, for the most part, after this mortal sojourn is over. Some will make it and, unfortunately, some will not. What differentiates between the two, is how we are working towards that end result. How is our "system" causing us to better ourselves? How are we fixing our inputs so that our output is what we need it to be?

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