Chapter 7: Systematic Approach

Things begin to get interesting as we start reaching the outside pillars.

Now we start gearing up for more practical concepts and perspectives.

As always, repeating our development is the best way to remember what we are building.

The foundation is based on the fact that we can constantly learn and improve (we will never fail). Next, we decorated the floor of our mind palace with the idea that anyone can be an entrepreneur.

 

Psychologists have a theory called “holism”. Holism (from Greek ὅλος holos “all, whole, entire”) is the idea that systems (physical, biological, chemical, social, economic, mental, linguistic, etc.) and their properties should be viewed as wholes, not just as a collection of parts.

This is a great way to look at the world around us. There are systems in place and these systems should be seen as a whole (and not just focus on its role or initial part but rather the whole role it plays in the greater scheme of things).

The theory is man and nature have put systems in place to make life happen. Understanding the system enables and empowers users to see areas of error and where room for improvement lies.

This is personally a life-changing perspective. Although I have been observing systems my whole life, the concept of looking at the whole picture really made sense to observations that I had been making and how I can use this observation to benefit myself.

Psychologists use this approach to try to help patients. They look at the parts of their patients’ life (past, present and future) to see where imbalances have taken place. They try to work through the imbalances to stabilize or reinforce, to that patients can progress without glitches.

I consider this “systematic approach” or “collection of systems within a whole” a concept that is a very strong building block. So take your time to let this aspect sink in.


To help you appreciate this concept, you should choose any item around/near/next to you and you can begin to identify the systems in place to allow for it to get there.

A piece of fruit, for example. Say an apple. For it to arrive at your house, it needed to go through several little systems to make that happen.

A farmer needed seeds, land, fertilizer and access to water to make it happen. His is a system known as farming.

Once grown and plucked, new small systems come into play. Logistics, cold storage and retail outlets. Each has their own systems.

Combining the smaller systems gives on the ability to realise how the apple got to your house.

Any object or service created by man has followed a system. Man creates systems to make things work.

Seeing life in systems empowers users with better understandings and considerations.

An example I like to apply relates to waitron. Waiters and waitresses.

These are usually students. Another assumption that can be made is that this is their first job. Usually served on a part-time basis.

Look, I am obviously applying a systematic understanding in this example. Selective to younger folk (when there are indeed professions who have taken years to master the art).

I bring this service sector to your attention for those that have high “service delivery expectations”. Rather than seeking errors in their service delivery, if we understand why they are providing this service, we will better relate to why the service standards are not as high as we would like.

I have no time for people that are not sympathetic. People who have unrealistic expectations try to claim that they are being “constructive” in their criticism when actually that is belittling someone who is making a temporary plan for a bigger picture.

Taking a systematic look at life helps to see and relate better to others. It is a great tool to open ourselves up to different perspectives.

My recommendation is that you identify 3 systems around you before you continue with the next build.

It is a fundamental understanding that needs to be mastered if you want to follow a path to success. It has served me greatly and I wish to empower you with this perspective in your mind palace.

This is a tool I want to share with you.

Observation is factoring in the system that it operates it.

System thinking breaks everything into parts or steps. 

Life is full of systems. 

An example of one of nature’s system is the water cycle. How it evaporates from the sea, forms clouds, they rain on the land, flow into rivers and back into the sea.

Looking at the system as a whole, we can see the different parts of the cycle. 

Understanding the system, we can add our own variables to improve or benefit from the cycle.

If we build a dam wall, we can capture from rain and store it. That would be adding a new part to the cycle which will help us benefit from the transaction.

That’s just one example.

Another example, off the top of my head, is this note pad that I am working on.

It has gone through several systems to get here to me.

It went through the following systems:

  • Production
  • Testing
  • Packaging
  • Shipping
  • Retail

Each part of the above has it’s own systems. Systems within systems.

Observing the world with a systems understanding helps give a holistic view. You can see the whole transaction and all its parts.

This helps identify parts that work well and parts that slow things down. Opportunities can be identified easier when using systems thinking.

Taking a step back and look at each part of the system helps us identify where things can improve.

Chapter 6: What is Success?

Here we are, dreaming big, imagining things we would like to accomplish. We live in a world where anything is possible and our mind gives us the perspective that we can make it happen.

I find it very important to identify and define what “being successful” means.

A common misunderstanding that people have is thinking that having a lot of money in their bank account is a sign of success.

Having money in ones bank account doesn’t make them successful.

So many times in life, people strive to reach this “dream”. The dream of getting millions reflecting in their bank account.

I have seen it happen so many times. When people eventually do reach their dream of having money in their account, enough to allow them to retire, they often find themselves alone. They needed to fight and work hard to make their dream a reality. In the end though, they get the money and find that they are unhappy.

Other people get the money subject to selling their soul to work. These people tend to work crazy hours. They tend to live a life filled with too much stress and nowhere enough reward.

Being unhappy, being stressed, being alone and having money in my opinion is not success.

I had a rich step father once. He had so much financial success but was the most miserable, horrible and stressed man I have ever known. He is not a successful person.

I personally define success as “enjoying the journey comfortably as I work towards reaching my dreams of happiness”.

The way I see it, life is short. It is a fact that we need to take into consideration. When working, it is also important to stick your head up and enjoy the view. Life is all about being a journey, not a destination.

Defining what “success” is very important. That way, when you find yourself unhappy or stressed or alone, you can question yourself. You can challenge your approach and ask “is this a path to successful living?”

I adopt this approach in my relationships and friendships. So people are takers. Some are givers. Some pull you down, others lift you up. I personally am in pursuit of giving my limited time and presence to people that add value. My favourite relationship is one where I leave (after hanging out) and I am naturally happy.

Quality people and quality experiences are so important.

Another big aspect that defining success can be applied is work. Does your current employment meet your definition of a successful life? If so, great. If not, find out what would make you happy? It could be your team members or it could just be the type of work.

Are you doing something that makes you happy?

Living a successful life is important. Aligning your dreams to also align with your definition of success is also important.

I am going to give more empowering tools on how to reach success.

Not only seeing that it is possible to reach success but to also enable the perspective and thinking of how to get there.

 

Chapter 5: Dream Big

OK. Now that we have really begun building, we are also going to pick up momentum.

To recap, we have a foundation that says we cannot fail. We can only learn from our experiences (and get feedback). We have thought about everyone being an entrepreneur.

Now, being presented with the idea: “There are unlimited opportunities all around us”.

This build now stands for: Dream Big

We have begun installing a belief that anything is possible. Opportunities surround us and we can accomplish anything we put our mind too.

This next pillar is important, however many tend to forget its presence at the end of their build. We sometimes need reminding of this.

With the momentum of living a life where anything is possible, it is not in your best interest to have a small dream.

You are not going to get the most of our life by aiming low. You are going to get the most out of life by aiming high. You will see more and go further if you have a big dream.

The next concept will help us focus on and align our dreams and aspirations. For now, though, this dream serves to reinforce that you can accomplish greatness. You can experience some radical things.

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf quote
“The size of your dreams must always exceed your current capacity to achieve them. If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough.”

This is what got me started.

I thought my dreams were big. As I went down the path of thoughts I found myself challenging my concepts to go bigger and bigger.

I consider this the valley of life.

The opposite of this thought process is:

– There are not enough opportunities out there.
– There are not enough jobs out there.

If you do not dream about opportunities and improvements, you can easily get caught in the valley of death.

Valley of death = “A negative place that doesn’t see that there is more out there to experience”.

In terms of dreams and opportunities, I have the following declaration:

There are unlimited opportunities in the world.

Anyone who states that there are no opportunities available doesn’t know this fundamental truth.

When you have a dream to strive for, an African proverb comes to mind.

How does one person eat a whole elephant?
One bite at a time.

If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough.

I personally have some out this world dreams. I want to balance wealth distribution. I want to build my own town. I want to privatize the public sector. I want a factory. I want to mass-produce a product and create jobs.  I want to build my own mansion.

If you have dreams and the thought of accomplishing them doesn’t scare you, then  I challenge you to ask the question: “then what?”

What happens when your dream is reached? What is the next level? What is the end picture?

Spread your wings. Don’t hold back. Be empowered knowing that greatness is possible.


On more recent experience, I started my own company in 2010. Full time, fully dependent on my own business.

I started out with a big dream.

In 2016, I met with a long term friend who sat with me and gave me a McDonald’s moment.

McDonald’s started out with their biggest dream. Franchise the world.

An investor met with the then business development manager and said, “you got the wrong business model”.

This was the moment I had too.

The investor told the McDonalds bus dev that they have a real estate business that rents out land to its franchised tenants.

The big picture that the bus dev started with got blown up. The bus dev started with their biggest dream and it got even bigger.

I too started out with my biggest dream and got told of a different direction to follow. Same business, just a different approach.

Be encouraged. Dream big and head out on your path.


The perfect start.

I have friends sold on the idea of being their own boss. However, when asked when they will take the plunge, timing often says that the timing is not right.

 

As if there is a good time to start.

 

I say the sooner, the better.

 

Stepping into the world of self-employment is like signing up for a new course. A new school of lessons that need to be learnt.

 

The later you start the course, the later you begin learning key skills.

 

There is no right time. There is only now.

 

There are hurdles that need to be crossed. It takes practice. It takes effort and hard work.

 

Don’t hold back from learning. Don’t hold back from starting.

Chapter 4: Unlimited Opportunities

Today’s lesson: the world we live in has endless opportunities.

I personally do not know why people do not get excited about this. It is a fundamental rule in life that people seem quick to neglect.

Right now, you can create something. Anything. Make something from nothing. You can provide a new service. Come up with a new product.

You are surrounded by opportunities. These opportunities are limitless. They will never stop.

This is a core philosophy that we are building upon.

To recap (and reinforce) we have a foundation that says that there is no failure. Only feedback. Hopefully, we agree that everyone can be an entrepreneur. Now we build on Endless opportunities.

THINK ABOUT IT

A guy came up with the idea to offer a taxi matching app (UBER). Before that, the service (specifically that one) did not exist. That guy (random stranger for now) is testament to the fact that he just created something from nothing.

Facebook (another technology example). There are so many objects around us that have been created. So many services that get created.

Coke-a-Cola is an example of a product that was just created. It has constantly evolved through the years but it started out as a product that someone just invented.

I personally stand before you, as a man who came up with a brand name. Bought a website, created a logo and started selling a service. I created a business out of nothing. I have since created jobs and invested more and more services to offer people.

I have seen others do it and I have tried it myself and the theory works. You can create anything you can imagine.

Remember we live in an exciting world with endless opportunities. I hope you are getting quite exciting folks. There are so many possibilities. So many opportunities to create things. It constantly surrounds us.

Right now, taking one’s perspective into consideration, you can begin to hopefully see the world from a different angle.

One where you are free to learn and try new things. You cannot fail if you try something, instead, you only receive feedback. Also, you can get excited that opportunities surround us.

We have one chance at life. One opportunity to give it a go.


If we don’t take risks, if we don’t chase opportunity, we could miss out on experiencing success.

To hammer in this “one life, live it” philosophy, we have to accept the following truths:

  • We were all born.
  • We grow old (relative).
  • We will all die.

The important aspect though is looking at elderly or frail. Near the end of their life journey.

When asked about regrets, they don’t say they wished they worked longer hours or even say that they worked harder.

Rather they say they wish they took more risks. Chased more opportunities. They think about the opportunities they missed, rather than the ones the took.

We can learn from this. We can be more open to taking a chance.

This chapter addresses endless opportunities that exist.

Endless food combinations to taste, places to see, wine to drink, music to listen too and books to read.

So much to do, so little time.

There are also endless business opportunities. 

People can make something out of nothing and make money from it.

Codes can be put together to make programs. Raw materials can be pieced together differently and new products can be created. Service providers can invent services and sell them.