Learning how to live life better

A positively better way

Creating the results of life comes from a positive mindset.

To paraphrase a recently read book:

People get to where they are in life by following a process, whether they’re conscious of it or not. Successful people are conscious of it, and look for opportunities to improve it.

That’s about the best way to summarize the shift in my life in the past couple of years. It’s a shift from just living life…to creating my life. I’ve learned that dealing with the results of life is a losing proposition. It’s dealing with life at the end of the conveyor belt. In fact, the only way to have a successful life is to spend all your energy creating your life much farther up the conveyor.

Managing life upstream is the key to success

The approach of managing the results of life comes from our naturally negative mindset. It’s based on an avoidance of bad things, which is a very important trait for staying out of the way of street sweepers and grizzly bears. Very handy. But it also asks that we either wait for bad things to happen, or think about all the possible bad results all the time. That leads to the standard busy and ineffective lives that most people lead – scrambling around trying to deal with the boxes as they come down the conveyor belt. Even a mindful life, with lots of thought about the coming boxes, can only lead to a very organized but very anxious life. Trust me.

The approach of creating the results of life comes from a positive mindset. Instead of avoiding, anticipating or managing the bad results, this mindset actively seeks the good results. It drives you up the conveyor belt where you can spend your energy figuring out how to create your desired results. You don’t waste time at the end of the conveyor belt crying over broken parts or damaged boxes. In fact, the bad results don’t matter. That’s right, they’re largely unimportant. With a positive mindset, mistakes or problems become nothing more than feedback. They’re worth no more time than is necessary to acknowledge the undesired result.

What’s really powerful is this: we don’t even need the feedback. We already know what will produce good results. In fact, they’re in such rare and elusive archives as…the children’s section of your local library! Eat healthy food. Drink water. Exercise. Get a good night’s sleep. Brush and floss. Don’t ingest poison. Set goals. Don’t procrastinate. Be good at what you do. Be compassionate. Pay attention. Be on time. Plan ahead. Learn. Have fun. Laugh. Be happy to be alive.

Pretty simple. And if you follow those lessons it’s easy to guess what your results will look like. You’ll be nearly superhuman, and happy.

So there’s really no need to bother with fixing bad results. Just focus on the right process. Tell me your process and I can guess your results. And the reverse is true – by looking at your current results I can guess your process.  At best, results are useful for some fine-grain course correction and reinforcement of what you really already know.

Spending time downstream managing poor results instead of upstream creating good results is a recipe for a life that’s inefficient, ineffective, often chaotic, disappointing, frustrating, stressful, anxious, fearful, and always busy busy busy. Sound familiar?