Personal Development

5 Ways to Reverse Engineer your life

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When engineers want to know how a piece of machinery works, without breaking patent laws, they can reverse engineer it. This is the process of taking something apart, mechanical or electrical, and studying the various components that make the device work.

You can apply this to various aspects of your life and something which you do everyday without realising.

For example, when you want to know how someone is able to be productive, you simply buy their book or ask them exactly what they do. You are dissecting the various components of what that person does and looking at ways to implement their processes into your own life, this is reverse engineering.

Applying reverse engineering in your life

Now, the great thing about reverse engineering is that it becomes extremely powerful when you consciously apply it to your life instead of unconsciously applying it.

For example when I wanted to become a more productive person, I looked at ways people were being productive in their lives. Leo Babauta springs to mind here, he wrote an eBook on it read the review here and in it, he explained exactly what he does to be one of the most productive people I know.

You can do this with almost any area in your life

"If one person can do it, then others can do it"

5 Ways to reverse engineer your life

  1. Become more productive "“ Most people want to have more time in their lives to do the things they want. To reverse engineer the process simply talk to people who you think are productive and copy their methods. The important thing here is to speak to a lot of people, read a few books, and get your own method from a mashup of everyone you study.
  2. Become a better writer "“ There are millions of bloggers and aspiring authors out there looking to become better writers. To reverse engineer your way to better writing look at the bloggers, copywriters, and authors who you admire. Approach them and ask for tips. Most writers were not that great when they first started writing but they persevered and became great. If you are looking for a great book on the writing process read the excellent book by Stephen King "“ "˜On Writing'
  3. Make more money "“ This is the area I am most involved in just now. I am studying the internet marketers and the people who are making money just now online, looking at their methods, and applying it to my online efforts. I am not copying their methods as their methods would not necessarily work for me, but I am taking their methods, breaking them down, and applying my own style to it.
  4. Becoming a better parent "“ Another area I always work at. I started off from the viewpoint of looking at people who I considered to be bad parents and breaking down what it was to be a bad parent: always shouting at their kids, humiliating them in front of their friends, hitting them, inconsistent praise I see lots of things in my kids playground that I would never do to my child. Therefore, I start from the kind of parent I wouldn't like to be and work it from there.
  5. Having a good career "“ I used to think I had a handle on having a good career. I thought it was all about finishing school, going to university, finding a good job, make lots of money etc etc. That is utter rubbish. I am now of the opinion you don't need university at all for a good career however the benefits of going to university is great when you look at it from the social side, you learn to mix with a huge variety of people, you learn to be comfortable around academia, you learn the discipline of timescales, and so much more. The degree you get at the end of your university life may not count for much but the other transferable skills you learn whilst there are priceless. So, to have a good career you have to know what you REALLY want to do, not what you think you should be doing or what your parents want you to do but what you consider would be great. If you want a career as a cartoonist go for it, if you have a family monetise your cartoons, study the biggest earners in the field and find out what they are doing to keep food on the table.

Other ways to reverse engineer your life:

I have only given five ways of reverse engineering your life there are countless others. Start to see that every area of your life can be improved upon by reverse engineering someone else's life.

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About the author

Steven Aitchison

Steven Aitchison is the author of The Belief Principle and an online trainer teaching personal development and online business.  He is also the creator of this blog which has been running since August 2006.