“If you leave your growth to randomness, you will always live in the land of mediocrity.”– M.L.A.
One of the biggest things we can learn from the experts in our fields is to structure our days and activities just like they do if we want any hope of being where they are.
People aren’t just born magnificent, skilled, heroic, or selfless… they act and work everyday to get to the places they’ve already envisioned.
This blog is about HOW such people act, and WHY they act that way.
Take a look at the strict structures of Universities, and other professional occupations. Imagine for a second if you will, the same institutes issuing little or no structure to formulate their courses and procedures, and instead saying ‘hey students and employees, feel free to pick your own deadlines from now on.’
Nothing would ever get done…
In-fact the only reason these places give you the freedom of picking your own courses and schedule is to teach you both responsibility and decision making, not because actually they care about what you want. In most cases what young persons want is directly bad for their health. And left to their own leadership; they would eat candy for dinner and never work or go to school again.
Which brings me to my next point: The Army
The armed forces, or hell, even the police force, is a discipline one must pass rigorous training to be part in. And even when you’ve passed the tests, your training is never truly over. Lest your mind be led to lazier thoughts. Psychological structures and systems remain more than ever to dictate the actions of your work, and thus performance.
One of my personal favourites is the old firing line, or phalanx structure examples of reasoning which so eloquently and systematically forces discipline on each member of its ranks.
How It Works
Basically if you were new to war, you would be put in the middle of the line. If you were placed at the front, your greenness might show and give the opponent an edge, so there stood the most experienced. In the back we have the older but still experienced soldiers, mostly for emergencies and mainly to prevent the green soldiers in the middle (that’s you) from running away in cowardice.
This is just one of the many military examples that underline the necessity of structures and systems in everything from war to everyday teamwork. War is scary, and even after all that training, the biggest reason people move forward and keep fighting, isn’t necessarily for their country per se, but for the brothers they’ve made along the way.
As soon as half or less of the brothers (or sisters) have decided it’s not worth fighting, it doesn’t matter what their general, their sovereign, or anyone else in charge says, they are done.
Why It Works
The magic at work here is a structure called social influence. Best described with the old adage ‘if your best friend jumps of a bridge, would you?’ Maybe not, but to blow this philosophically preschool statement out of the water we need only ask ‘if half of your best friends jumped off a bridge, would you?’ And the best part is we don’t need to wait around for an answer because we already no while most people will say no, studies say differently.
Just like asking people if they truly see more value in a 99 cent item versus a dollar costing one, they will almost always answer no. Yet studies again say differently, otherwise we would have stopped seeing this mass marketing method years ago.
- The most efficient salespeople have scripts (written with A-class copy).
- The best surgeons have strict standard procedures.
- The best bankers have rubrics and bars needing to be met by each person.
You get the point.
The only time I would say ‘t’hell with systems and structures’ is when performing artistic activities which have been known to call more on the creative side of your brain, than the analytical. Everyone knows the best art, be it music, or movies, are made from a more divine kind of inspiration; which can only come when and once the mind is cleared free from the strict boundaries of reality.
Thanks for reading my rant!
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