Ecological principles to help achieve your goals: Principle 2 and 3 Adaptability and Feedback loops

In the last post we talked about the importance of diveristy. In this post I would am going to cover the conept of adaptability and feedback loops.

In all all resilient ecosystems there is a magnificent dance of life forms constantly interacting with one another. Each species and individual within in each species is constantly reacting to the new information it is receiving from its environment and the other life forms in it. This adaptation is what makes life possible. The more adaptive, the more resilient.

To apply this to your goals, you need to create a system that enables you to collect useful information on how you are doing on achieving your goal. Much of it is intuitive. Things like “what gets measured gets managed.” and setting “specific and measurable time bound goals.” What is less obvious is what to measure along the path to achieving your goal. It may seem logical to measure how much money you are making if you are trying to grow your business, but in reality the most important measurement may be how your target market perceives your product or service. This is just a broad stroke example. My point is to begin the process of asking the question, what kind of information is going to best give me the information I need to adapt to the changing circumstances that are inevitable in the attainment of my goal.

So first we need to have the right information and next we need to adapt to it what it tells us. Too much change will make our goal ecosystem collapse. But to little change will cause us to grow rigid and miss cues that will give us important information along the path. So it is like everything, a dance.

Lets stick with the same example goal.

Have an amazing, vital, joyful long term romantic relationship.

The principle of adaptability and feedback loops.

In the first place we need to make sure that we are getting timely and good information on the health of our relationship. Biologically we are designed to “feel good” when things are going good and “feel bad” when they are not. So in the case of your relationship, you need to be aware of the feelings of your partner and your own feeling about your relationship. When something feels off, it usually is. The first step is to realize that something is off, the second is to adapt to it. First we need to figure out what is at the root of any disharmony and simply eliminate it and replace it with something else. Nature does not dwell on what does not work. Nature simply kills off what does not work and adopts what does. Take in that information and make a change. The intersting thing is that only one person has to decide to change for it to occur. When a firm commitment to change something is taken by one person in the relationship. The whole relationship changes. Commitment is the fuel that powers true change. Without it there is only false adaptation. Courage in many cases is required, courage is the spark that ignites the comitment and follow through is the engine that makes it take root.

So lets say you want more fire in your sex life. First you need to get the feedback from yourself and your partner and all the information available to you in that realm then you need to take that information and adapt to it in such a way that you experiment with “mutations” until you catch one that works. All during this process you are constantly getting more feedback and adapting until your goal is achieved. In this sense there is no failure only new information that gets you closer to your goal.

To sum up, constanly seek feedback from your actions, adapt to that feedback, be it negative or positive. Experiment, :”mutate” your approach and each time you try something new adapt to that new information, incorporate what works and let go what does not.

Until next time,

Mike

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