Does your work seem a bit pointless, there’s not enough money to do all the things you want to do and there’s never enough time in the week to get it all done? Are you sitting, wondering, why isn’t this easy anymore?!
The master plan was laid out by our parents; get a job, get a partner, buy a house, take a loan, work, pay bills, have kids and then live a happy life, right? But now, for whatever reason, you’ve sat down, stared at your screens, amid the complete disorder and confusion, and thought, **** what now? Why is the plan not working? Set off down the river of life with a map of where to go, but you’ve just ended up totally lost.
I get it, I’ve been there, and first up, it’s NOT your fault. We were just the unlucky ones that were told we could have the world (if we worked hard enough?), but ended up just like Oliver Twist asking “Please Sir, can I have some more?”.
The most important action point is to STOP. Now. Before you go too far. Stop figure it all out before it gets too late. For me, it led me down a one-way path to the doctors office, getting signed off for stress and depression, and I don’t want that happening to you!
So I ask, do you want to be free? Do you wanna do what you wanna do? Do you want to say those immortal words at the start of the song “Loaded” by Primal Scream and hear those trumpets blaring as you succeed at life?
I’m here to help you. Having figured out a journey for myself to get off this path (and onto a happier, healthier one) the hard way, I’d like to share my findings to make it easier for you, to accelerate your journey. I’m going to show you how to ENGINEER YOUR LIFE FOR SUCCESS.
What does that mean though? Well, sometimes life can be a bit grey and sometimes we need to try and make things a little more black and white. Engineering, in the way it uses facts, figures, statistics etc. is very much a black and white world. We can logically look at life’s problems and try to use logical methods, data analysis, engineering management techniques, that have already been proven over hundreds of years, in manufacturing facilities from all over the world, to try to make life less pointless, easier and happier.
So what is the root cause of the problem?
The second law of Thermodynamics states that all order will descend into chaos over a given period of time.
Thermodynamics, is a fancy word for the relationship between heat and other forms of energy, and there are three “laws”, each describing something that we have observed as engineers or scientists, which can explain why certain things happen.
To describe the 2nd law, imagine you have two rooms, one full of hot air and another filled with cold. When you open the door, the hot air tries to lose its energy by moving to the cold room. As the hot air starts to mix with the cold air, there is no longer order in the system.
The two separate, ordered, elements begin to mix. Just like pouring milk in your tea or coffee in the morning and watching the white fluid, combine with the black.
It takes some time to fully combine into the brown end result and once you have poured that first drop of milk, there is no going back. You have taken two organised items and combined them. In this combination, you have created chaos. Sometimes, as in the case of a nice cup of coffee , this works out quite well indeed. Often, however, particularly in the case of life, it doesn’t.
The measure of how much chaos the system has is called “Entropy”, a word, which is now not only used in science, to describe the amount of chaos, or disorder in a system. It is also used in jewellery, economics, business workplaces, etc. The higher the entropy, the more chaos there is. The lower the number, the more stable the situation.
When the two rooms have equalised or the milk is fully stirred into the coffee. This is when chaos is at its highest and the entropy is also at its highest value. To try to separate those two items again back to their original states would be almost impossible and if the system is closed, where no external factors can affect the situation, it is deemed to be simply irreversible.
The only way to achieve zero chaos, or to have the entropy with a zero value, is to have an absolute zero temperature. Nothing moves. Therefore, if nothing is moving, nothing can combine with anything, no chaos can occur.
But that’s not living is it? If we never moved, then we’d just be existing. So, we have to move and when we move, we create chaos The more we do, the busier we get, then the more chaos we add in. This is happening to everyone. Therefore when we are in a workplace for example, or a store or a school, with multiple people, all creating chaos, we really need to be on top of our game. Otherwise, before you know it, you feel overwhelmed, and all the plates you have spinning fall to the ground.
A few years back, my plates crashed to the floor pretty dramatically. It’s not common as a guy to admit these things. As I sat in a psychologist’s office, crying into my sleeve, snot running out my nose, a victim of my own chaos, I looked at the physician in desperation. “Go and find out who you really are” was her only advice. She was convinced that, with this information, I would be able to figure out how to fix the problematic situation that I was in.
At first, I was stunned. Go and what? I was sitting there, pouring my heart out to this person and what I really wanted was for a step to step guide of how to fix myself. What was I paying her for?! But as I contemplated her advice, I realised the answer was actually right in front of me.
Never did I think that the only way to get me out of the situation was looking at the one thing I had been doing for my whole life. ENGINEERING.
I embarked on a plan to Engineer my Life.
When I started to analyse my life as if I was at work, my progress was incredible. I could organise, simplify and execute in a smarter, faster, more elegant way, with more productivity than ever before. I found simple theories embedded in the heart of engineering, and turned them around and pointed them squarely at my situation. I lost my fear, I challenged my workplace, I had more money, I had more free time. I was less stressed, healthier, stronger, happier than ever before. Like a shipwreck being brought up from the ocean bed, or an old banger restored to its former glory, I came back and went beyond where I originally was.
The key to all this extraordinary amount of personal growth was to invest time into making my life, money, work and health, more efficient. I planned everything from my time used throughout the day to how much money I was spending on a five month ahead basis.
I started to work smarter, not harder and the results were seen immediately. I stood back, climbed up the mountain and looked down on my life from a far and saw my new path ahead was far better than the muddy swamp I’d been trailing in before.
So why is this story pertinent to you?
Looking around my friendship group, I realise I’m not the only one getting to my mid-to-late thirties and wondering if I took a wrong turn, asking why I didn’t appear to have the coping skills needed to deal healthily with life’s dealt disappointments early on so they didn’t grow into disasters. On the other side of what can only be described as a pretty traumatic struggle, I know I would have learned faster if I’d had a mentor, just as in business, to guide me through the emotional gauntlet of life.
I want to explain the theories to you, so that you can gain some control in this world full of chaos. Just the same as people’s preference of how much milk is good for their taste of a milky coffee, there is a limit of how much chaos is acceptable for people’s lives. To control the chaos, to limit the amount to our own personal level, we need to input energy by means of control measures.
As we look at our own lives and the chaos life creates–both day-to-day and longer term–, then it helps to start thinking in terms of chaos and Entropy. If we know and accept that chaos will occur in life, it is written in the law, our aim should be to try and aim for the lowest Entropy value possible. We can’t always control external forces, that’s just how the game works, but by ensuring the value is low in what we can control, external forces only push the value up slightly, rather than dramatically.
We need more order in our lives, according to Erwin Schrödinger. In his 1944 Book, “What is Life”, he stated we need to have more Negentropy. Schrödinger, described Negentrohpy as “negative entropy” and states that as an organism, we crave order “What an organism feeds upon is negative entropy.”
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho, from the Bioelectrodynamics Laboratory, Open University, U.K, explains this as
“Schrödinger uses it to identify the remarkable ability of the living system, not only to avoid the effects of entropy production – as dictated by the second law – but to do just the opposite, to increase organization, which intuitively, seems like the converse of entropy.”
Therefore, to create more order from the chaos that we live in, I want to show you tried and tested techniques from Engineering. Methodologies that control the chaos in production facilities for example, and explain how you could use them in your life.
I want to show you how you too could analyse your life and make it better with Lean Engineering, the PDCA Cycle, or Plan, Do, Check, Action. I want to show you how you could use the 5S principle to get organised. Or how water–the source of life–demonstrates why it’s so hard to change our actions to get onto a more progressive path. I want you to understand that maybe your boss is a victim of the Peter Principle, your company doesn’t love you and why you need emotional distance to obtain equality. I want to show you how you could organise your money, so you will have safety and security, bringing less stress.
Together we can engineer your life, wellbeing, money and work for a happier, healthier, more prosperous and successful way of life.
Every Friday evening I’ll be posting. All you need to do is subscribe to be alerted when there’s a new post.
Now, go listen to Primal Scream and get fired up. We’re going on a journey and we’re going to get loaded on life! We’re going to have a party!
While waiting for the next blog, consider the phrase ‘Go and find out who you really are’. How would you react to this statement? Who is the real you? What steps do you think you need to take for that discovery?
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