Monday, 29 February 2016

Apply Self-Regulation and Accept Feedback

"We reap what we sow."

This is the fourth installment in my discussion of the 12 principles of permaculture. This time I am sharing my thoughts on the principle, Apply self-regulation and Accept Feedback.  Please go to this link for my thoughts on principle three. 

Self-regulation is not a term we hear bandied about in general conversation, so first I think it appropriate to define self-regulation. It is the ability to monitor and control our behaviour, thoughts and emotions in accordance with one's own long term best interest and in a way that is consistent with one's personal principles. It is considered to be a core component of emotional intelligence. Applying self-regulation enables us to choose the best response in a situation rather than acting from impulse or habit. 

Examples of how I apply self-regulation  in my life include:
  • I regulate my expenditure by maintaining a budget that works for me and my husband.
  • I regulate the amount of TV I watch

Inappropriate growth and behaviours can be limited or prevented when we apply self-regulation and accept feedback. Accepting feedback helps us to grow  and adapt to changes in our environment. Here is an example, my husband and I planted a sprouting choko which died. We planted a second choko which also died. So here we have two examples of negative feedback. If we were to move on from this stage we had to accept the feedback and find a better way forward. I asked someone who had grown chokos about how to plant them and it turns out ours were planted upside down. So we accepted the new feedback, planted the choko correctly and it grew and fruited. 

Self-regulating systems are one of the main goals of permaculture designs because less work is needed for them to be maintained.  An exciting (for me) example of this is the vegetable garden we recently constructed. It is a keyhole style garden with a compost basket in the centre. The compost is watered and the nutrients spread through the garden as does the moisture. We have never had plants take off and fruit so quickly. 

In the future I  would like to harvest plant my own seeds which over time should adapt better and better to my local conditions, and by monitoring the growth of the different seeds I could obtain feedback as to which are growing best in our conditions.

For me an inspiring example of people who, in my opinion, apply self-regulation and accept feedback are Mr Money Mustache and his wife Mrs Money Mustache. They both retired in their 30’s and live on income generated by investments. They achieved this by regulating their consumption (money and energy), living what they call a frugal life, but from what I read on their blog it is a fairly abundant life too, not lacking in anything they need to achieve happiness. They believe masses of people could do this as well by ceasing to live ridiculously expensive lifestyles full of consumption and waste.

Are you familiar with permaculture? How do you apply the principle "Apply self-regulation and accept feedback" in your life?