Thursday, May 14, 2015
The Input - Output Model
There it is, the I/O model. Many of you have heard of it, especially maths/computer science geeks, but it is perhaps a great deal more profound than most people realize.
The I/O model is a great way of understanding so many of the situations that we face in our lives.
We often struggle to get a different result, somehow naively believing that we could get a different output from the same input fed into the same process. Of course, if we are detached, we can understand that the only way to get a different output is to change the inputs or use a different process.
Working backward, we can use this principle to examine and adjust almost any aspect of our lives, from our work situation to our relationship status. We spend far too much time worrying about the results we get - financial, physical, emotional, spiritual. All too often, we are stressed out because we don't like the results (outputs). I would content that we spend far too little time examining the inputs and processes which yield these results. Time and again we repeat the same negative behaviors or use the same ineffective inputs - only to be shocked when the outputs are the same every time (or worse). How could they be better if the inputs are not improved or the process changed??
As we look at the areas of our lives we feel need improvement, we can work backward to examine the processes and inputs which created the outputs. In almost every case, the inputs can be changed or a different process used. Sometimes this will yield a worse result, but more often than not mixing things up will yield an improvement - sometimes a significant one.
If nothing else, adjusting the inputs and using different processes allows us to leverage feedback loop and explore the relationships between variables, sometimes seemingly unrelated variables. It reminds us that we are not victims of circumstance or subject to simple fate, dumb luck or bad habits. WE HAVE CONTROL - we always did. We can determine how good or bad our lives will be. We have the power to change the things we don't like, if we can have the courage to change the inputs and processes we don't like. This is complete empowerment.
Even in our training, we are always free to change the inputs and processes of the training.
Doing so gives a fresh, new perspective that can give additional insights or develop new skills.
Our diet routine, our sleep patterns, our exercise habits, our drills --- all of these create the output of who we are as martial artists. All are within our control to change. Different inputs of focus, time, discipline, energy added to different/better training processes are what really take our skills to the next level and keep us moving forward. FMA are unique (I think) in continuing this evolution at a rapid pace, while still trying to preserve the martial traditions which underpin our knowledge.
Changes take time and are often scary or uncomfortable. Martial arts is a great way to develop the confidence we need to change, and keep changing, the things in our lives we want to make better. Experts say it takes 21 days to form a new habit - sometimes that can feel like a very, very long time. Martial arts training gives us the discipline and patience to see the changes through to new habits, and create an environment of continuous improvement for ourselves.
Knowing this, we must accept responsibility, total responsibility, for our circumstances.
If we don't like something - CHANGE IT.
Make your life what you want it to be. I KNOW YOU CAN.
See you at class.