Just Seven Things

Exploring why and how we do what we do, and how we can do it better

Why Do Personal Games Work?

Danzo08 ico_ol_3So, building on the shift I identified in my randomness post, I’ve been thinking a lot about lightness of touch. I’m contrasting this against the heavy-handed ‘mental edict’ approach of thinking that I can affect change in my consistent, persistent behaviours by instructing myself to do so.

It really brought me back to what my coach, Alison Down, highlighted when we first started to work together. That I had to start feeling instead of thinking. That I had to trust my gut rather than analysing and planning.

Even before starting to read Fooled by Randomness I had started to question what was obvious to me as an internal lack of commitment to top-down (brain-first) change. I recognised the cycle that I tend to enter of creating a structure to achieve what I want. I then try and apply the new routine. And then it fails. Invariably however I have noticed that some elements of the desired change have stuck. This tends to be the reason why I have continued trying:

  1. Because some things do stick
  2. I learn a lot during the analysis and creation of the structure to achieve what I want

Also invariably, I endeavour to create tools as part of this top-down process. Checklists or time tables to ensure my compliance.

What I’m now starting to question is whether these are something that I should avoid dismissing as being part of a top-down approach that will invariably fail. Jim Estill’s CEO blog post led me to NSC Blog by Nathan Collier and a post on Making it a Game. Both of which talk about how the simple things are the things which can harness change, or help you to make a change. They reminded me of Allen’s point at the start of Getting Things Done about the way in which we leave things by the front door to remember them the next day. The point being that the mind seems to work in simple ways.

So what does this mean for me? Well I’m going to see how relaxing the pressure on myself to change/ improve has an impact. How the use of games or scores/ scorecards can simply prompt me to incrementally achieve. Watch this space….  

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2 thoughts on “Why Do Personal Games Work?

  1. Pingback: How Easily Simplicity Tips into Bad Habit « Just Seven Things

  2. Pingback: The Psychology of Game Playing: Creating Good Habits & Having Great Thoughts « Just Seven Things

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