Scott Adams – Implement Systems Not Goals
Who Is Scott Adams?
Scott Adams is best known as the creator of the Dilbert comic. But recently he has become equally famous for other things.
His Periscope show ‘Coffee With Scott Adams’, which he puts out almost daily from his home, has become hugely popular over the last year.
Adams is a busy man. He has written a number of non-fiction books. His most famous book, How To Fail At Almost Everything And Still Win Big, contains a chapter about the value of implementing systems, not goals.
Scott Adams On Donald Trump
Adams is a staunch and erudite defender of Donald Trump’s intelligence in general, and communication and persuasion skills in particular. His adoration and sky-high praise for the president’s brains and persuasion skills have made him a derided figure in some circles, unsurprisingly. He is also (unsurprisingly) loved by Trump fans.
Scott Adams Is A Man We Can All Learn From
But whether or not you are a Trump fan, we Good Life Guys think Scott Adams is a super-smart man that you should be paying attention to.
Adams has a lot to teach. He tends to take an unconventional but highly rational approach to thinking about and understanding the issues of the day. And for this reason, his opinions and insights are usually very original.
He also has an unusually cheerful and relaxed vibe, quite similar to the vibe of the grandfather of CBT Albert Ellis. And it’s always nice to be able to pick up some of a vibe such as this through osmosis!
Implement Systems, Not Goals
The systems versus goals concept is not a particularly new idea. But for people who have never tried it, it can be truly life-changing.
Many people are toiling under the strain of their own self-imposed goals. For lots of us, having concrete and specific goals can actually be a major hindrance that prevents us from getting what we want from life.
What’s Wrong With A Goal?
A goal is a specific desired outcome. It is an exact end result. And goals are very often ill-conceived because we humans do not know ourselves as well as we tend to think we do!
Willpower Is Depressingly Finite!
Goals require constant willpower. Willpower is something that humans all too easily use up on a day by day basis. With goals, falling off the wagon is very common. Discipline ebbs… and down you tumble!
Specific Goals Mean We Spend Most Of Our Time In Failure
When you have a goal you have, by definition, not succeeded yet during every moment before you have actually achieved your goal. That is a lot of time spent in failure!
And when your specific goal is achieved you feel a burst of joy and then…. that’s it. Time to decide on a new goal. Time to spend another perhaps long expanse of time in failure until you reach your next goal.
A Goal Is Not A Way Of Life, But A System Is
A goal is a state, situation or achievement you hope to make real in the future. By definition, it does not exist now. Humans are deeply habitual creatures. So when you achieve a goal you feel good for a moment or three, but then you revert to your habitual state, mental, physical or otherwise.
Systems Beat Goals
Implement systems, not goals and all of these issues go away. This is why systems beat goals.
A system is a way of being that you develop, that you become. Your system becomes a part of who and what you are. Your system becomes thoroughly ingrained in you. You live your system every day. Your system becomes a habit so it does not require much discipline to maintain.
“I will write a novel” is a goal. “I will write for 30 minutes every day, no matter whether what I write is good, bad or indifferent”… is a system.
Systems Are Flexible And Sustainable
A goal is an end state that invariably depends on external factors. A system is something you can implement that when lived regularly will sow the seeds for many successes and improvements in the future. A system gives you lots of wiggle-room and space to grow and develop. A goal is constraining and rigid.
“I will lose 10 pounds” is a goal. It is rigid and too exact. And it depends on external factors that you have no control over, for example, the metabolic rate that you were born with.
“I will learn which foods I like to eat that are good for me and mainly eat them. And I will find an exercise type that I enjoy and do that for a short period most days” is a system. It is knowledge based and sustainable. It is a long term solution. It is a way of life. There is no exact outcome that you are depending on for success. Living the system, every day, is 100% success!
You are not waiting, waiting, waiting for success. Every day that you implement your system is a success!! This is so much more motivating!
A goal of losing 10 pounds can be forced, in an unhealthy way. Whereas a system of eating sustainably healthy foods and doing exercise you enjoy over the long term will invariably lead to profound and permanent improvements in body composition and health.
A system of writing for 30 minutes every single day will invariably make you a profoundly better writer in the long run.
Implement systems, not goals, and enjoy sowing seeds for real and robust future success!