What is the Removal and Replacement System and why do we care?

by | Sep 17, 2021

Simply put, the Removal and Replacement (R&R) system is designed to save us time and precious energy.

Why we care is because in “this ever-changing world in which we’re livin’” (cue Paul McCartney), being able to save time and energy is critical for our ability to function efficiently. More importantly, it also has a positive effect on our overall well-being.

I have loosely based the R&R system on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.  If you look at the bottom of the pyramid above, humans must tend to their basic needs (food, shelter, security) before they can move up the pyramid.  As you can see, at the top of the pyramid is self-actualization, where we can focus on our purpose and mission, indulge in our creativity, and become the best self we can.

Of course, if we’re worried about where the next paycheck is coming from or where we’re going to live, we can’t really concentrate on that self-actualization part.

Maslow’s research showed that people of greatness – FDR, JFK, Winston Churchill, Henry Ford, Nicola Tesla, Mother Teresa – through whatever means, figured out how to remove the obstacles that kept them dealing with the lower/baser needs for most of the time.

Having successfully done this, they had much more time and energy to devote to their own self-actualization and their service to humanity.

In my research, I have not found any detailed account from Maslow or anyone else about how these “giants” were actually able to achieve the removal of obstacles that prevent them from moving up the pyramid.  (I have my suspicions, but that’s for another time.)

The Removal and Replacement system is designed to do just that: remove or neutralize habits, mechanisms, and tolerances that seem to serve no other purpose than to suck energy and time from our daily lives.

This is not to say the R&R system will eliminate necessary functions (brushing teeth, need for food, excretion etc.).  It will help us realize how much of what we do may be overdone, or unnecessary altogether, and then show us how to minimize or eliminate them.

A classic example of a Physical Environment toleration is when the flapper on the toilet sticks and thus causes the tank not to fill up until someone jiggles the handle.  This will have impact on your time, energy, and emotional well being.  Here is how this scenario often goes: you flush the toilet, and then you go on about your business until you realize the filling of the tank has been going on too long. (There is a waste of water as well with this one.) You stop what you are doing, go jiggle the handle, and afterwards often mutter to yourself something like “I’ve got to get that fixed!”

You have now expended time, resources, and emotional as well as physical energy for no gain, in fact, in this case, a loss (of water).  Multiply this event by two or three times a day and then, by a week.  How much cumulative time and energy is lost?  If it goes on for a month, the time/energy loss will far exceed the time and energy it would take to fix the problem.

This particular issue exists in our physical environment. The R&R system looks at seven aspects of our lives:  Physical Internal, Physical Environment, Internal Process, Social Interaction, Relationships, Motivational Process, and Life Mission.  Each of these aspects/levels have their own versions of the scenario mentioned above.

If you would like more information on the Removal and Replacement system, please reach out as we have coaching, training, and soon digital courses on this topic.

Mark Shuler, Senior Trainer and Consultant at The Shuler Group LLC, has a master’s degree in clinical psychology and 28 years’ experience as a psychotherapist. He has thousands of hours coaching and training in multiple industries.

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