Have you ever noticed how people tend to be the same over time?
Successful and happy people tend to remain successful and happy.
Miserable and unlucky people tend to remain miserable and unlucky.
Why is this? Are they just genetically pre-dispositioned to attract certain things in life?
Or is it more the case that people, through their habits, routines and behaviors - all of which is governed by their internal operating system allows them to be so?
We would wager it is the latter of the two.
This is great news! It means that you dictate your actions, your internal state and therefore your reality around you.
You don't have to let life go past you. You don't have to accept defeat. You simply have to adopt a specific Modus Operandi, or what we call Operating Systems for Life depending on WHO you want to become.
Some of the common Operating Systems for Life that are out there include:
- Positivity and gratitude
- Systems thinking
- First principles thinking
- Focus and discipline
...I will also add an additional two that I've found useful in recent months:
- Regret Minimisation framework (From Ex-Amazon CEO, Jeff Bezos)
- The last day of your life framework (From the late, great Steve Jobs of Apple)
How would you implement these though?
As an example, if you're constantly stressed or sad, it may be wise to adopt a "Minimalist" and "Gratitude" operating system, so that you can begin to declutter your life, be thankful for what you have and improve your mood and wellbeing each day.
If you wish to be a successful entrepreneur, or you're studying to be an engineer and you are constantly forced to tackle hard, complex problems each day - it may be wise to adopt a "Systems thinking" and "First principles" operating system, as well as a healthy dose of "Focus and discipline".
This means you will learn to break complex problems down into their constituent parts or systems to make it bite sized and more easily processed. You will think of problems from their most fundamental truths (typically what the laws of physics allow) and reason your way up. You will focus on just one task at a time for hours on end until you finish the problem you've set yourself.
The extra 2 I have added there have proven to be very valuable, both as a Modus Operandi and as general decision making frameworks.
I think making decisions is something we all struggle with. In the modern world, we are inundated with options, choices and freedom to make whatever decision we please. But how do we really know what we want, or what is best for us?
A Regret Minimisation framework is a good way to go. Popularised by the now EX-CEO of Amazon, and former richest man in the world, Jeff Bezos. He has spoken about the decision he had to make to quit his high paying, stable career to pursue starting up Amazon and how he made that decision. What he did was project himself into the future, when he is 80 years old looking back on his life, and he would ask himself "When I'm 80 years old, will I look back on my life with regret if I make the decision that I'm about to make?". Of course, he would not regret leaving his safe job to pursue a once in a lifetime opportunity to build something great for the world, and so that's exactly what he did.
The second framework is the "If tomorrow was my last day" framework, popularised by the late Steve Jobs of Apple. At a 2005 Stanford commencement speech, he stated that each day he would ask himself in the mirror every morning, "If today were my last day, would I want to do what I'm about to do today". If he answered no this too many days in a row, he knew something had to change. Remembering that any day can be your last, and that we will all be dead soon, is a sure-fire way to ensure you're making decisions that truly align with your purpose, your happiness and your 'Why' in life. It's important to never forget how fragile life can be.
There you have it, some Modus Operandi and Operating Systems for Life that you can think about, implement and use to change the way you act and show up in this world. It's all about figuring out who you want to be, and finding the systems to help you become that person.