Your life is like a software product

Your life is like a software product. Not in the sense that people are a bit like robots… I mean that you can choose your life’s features, look-and-feel, and what it does! (If this analogy doesn’t work for you.. sorry! Feel free to suggest a better one in the comments below)

Software development isn’t the same as it used to be. Instead of deciding all the requirements up-front, we use Agile to incrementally deliver value [1].

The same can be true of our lives.

People no longer need to feel like they are deciding “Mummy I want to be a doctor”, but rather “Mummy I want to be a doctor first”. Approximately 1 in 10 people in the UK have a current intention to change their career[2].

IMG_20160305_161256.jpg
Even Birmingham (UK) changes

How does this relate to you?

Firstly, by thinking of your life like a software product, you can consider the features your life currently has. Is it happy? How connected are you to other people? What are you spending your time on? What can you measure to understand more about your life? What are the issues you want to fix?

Once you understand where you are, you can think about where you are going. Not necessarily overall, but for the next “increment”. In particular, what one small change would make something better? And do that. People often do this each year at New Year: I do this at least every three months, since (maybe) this should be enough time to form a habit [3].

And you know what, if what you try fails, that’s fine: you’ve learned something! Information density (and learning) is highest when we fail half the time. You can stop that experiment, and try something new. Who knows, now the most important thing might not even be related to what you were doing last month. Maybe “Prepare in advance for Christmas” is now more important than “Lose 5kg by the end of November”.

This is hardly new news but please, don’t wait to start improving your life. Perhaps take up “Inspect and Adapt” as your (next attempt at a) personal mantra. If you’re after ideas on how you can help yourself understand more, take a look at something like http://plans-for-retrospectives.com/index.html

[1] http://www.agilemanifesto.org/

[2] http://www.thecareerpsychologist.com/2010/11/career-change-statistics/

[3] http://www.sciencealert.com/here-s-how-long-it-takes-to-break-a-habit-according-to-science

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