Published monthly by Sharon Eakes, Hope Unlimited, LLC
FOCUS: Maintaining Systems
Disciplines: Mental Models, Personal Mastery, Systems Thinking

"When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe." John Muir

I am fascinated with systems that work well. I like observing the systems around me - my car, my computer, my marriage, my family, my body, my business, my grocery store. I notice that some work better than others.

As I observe systems, I see that it takes at least 2 steps to maintain them:
1) Noticing the system (Barry Oshry says, "When we don't see systems we are at their mercy.")
2) Maintaining the system (sometimes we need systems to maintain systems)

Some systems are easier to maintain than others. Cars, for instance, give us precise maintenance schedules and then dealers remind us when it's time for what. Computers tell us when to update the virus definitions and defragment.
A system like a body or a family or a company is a little harder. We tend to forget these are systems needing maintenance until we get sick or there is a blow up or a slow down. Then we often respond with a quick fix that has its own unintended consequences.
A system like a body or a family or a company can best be maintained by paying attention to itself, noting changes, and purposefully adapting, realigning the vision, evolving.

My husband, Hal, has recently experienced significant vision loss. This is a real change to his system. While we're actively looking for the cause, he has kept up his voluminous reading by using a low vision machine and reading books on tape. Our relationship has also had to adapt. We're keeping the contents of the refrigerator in a certain order so he can find things easily. Hal has always been a fearless driver, while I am not. Because I want to continue the adventuresome life we enjoy together, I am boldly driving to unfamiliar places.
Our system is under pressure and we're forced to pay more attention than ever to our own and each others' needs. The strain to the system is made easier because we've practiced paying attention to our marriage, keeping it tuned.

1) Notice all the systems you're in
2) Pay attention to each system - monitor how it's doing
3) Maintain the systems in your life with loving care (your car, your computer, your body, your relationships) Adapt, realign, evolve.
4) If some system in your life is functioning poorly, disrupt it. That is the only way to change a system.

Please join me for a 45-minute telegathering to talk in more depth about maintaining systems. Call Wednesday, March 3 at 12 noon EST (11:00 a.m. CST, 10:00 a.m. MT, 9:00 a.m. PST) 1-858-300-3030, Access code: 720720 No need to register....just call at that time!
Reach me: 1-888-907-HOPE (4673)or e-mail I am a personal and executive coach and would be happy to offer you a complimentary coaching session by phone.

Each month FRESH VIEWS focuses on a single topic, relates it to one of the five disciplines of a learning community, and offers a coaching tip and a follow-up telegathering. Please forward it to friends and colleagues. My purpose in writing FRESH VIEWS is to nurture, prod and encourage readers to think and talk about these topics with their families, friends and colleagues. Mine is only one view. Multiple conversations may deliver us to insights only hinted at here. Such a process sustains the vitality of learning relationships, learning families, learning organizations and learning communities.

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