Systems Are Better Than Goals

Goals are for losers. If you want to win build powerful systems instead.

Systems are better than goals. As Scott Adams puts it: “Goals are for losers”. Systems are powerful and they can be great leverage. This article is about how to use them.

The basic distinction

Then you enjoy 10 seconds of pleasure (or not) and the emptiness comes…

And you need another bigger/better/brighter goal.

It’s a never-ending loop in which you are unhappy most of the time.

The system is a different kind of beast.

 

You succeed every time you manage to follow it. Which means:

Let's say you want to exercise

Goal: I will bench 220 pounds.

  • If you hit 110 it’s still a “failure”
  • When you’re there you’ll scream “Yesss” and have to figure out the next plan (so if you want to keep exercising you have to stay super focused on it).

System: I want to hit the gym every other day.

  • You succeed on day one if you manage to visit the gym (it can start an epic momentum/positive feedback loop).
  • After some time it becomes a habit and you don’t have to invest nearly as much focus towards it as in the beginning.
  • You will be much more patient because you don’t wait. And because of this, there’s no need to be impatient…

It’s a simple example but you can apply it to various things from a business to dating.

It improved my content creation rate almost infinitely because now I create the content (which I love) and don’t have the outer goals.

So I am super patient and enjoy the process.

But this approach changed my life in one every more impactful and meaningful way.

Realization that changed it all for me

Example from my lifeI’ve set goals with many things during the past three years:- Uni- Blog- Twitter- WebdesignI struggled and failed a lotand when I left the venue it felt like a great loss of timeBut this summer a great thing happened.

I’ve realized I’m a serial entrepreneur.

You may laugh at it but psychologically it changed the whole game for me

  • Now, I can see all failures as an invaluable experience
  • I think long term
  • I know all my systems/routines will sort of compound over time

That illustrates also the other point:Goals make failures much harder to swallow because there is nothing you can do with them directly.On the other hand,Systems are antifragile, as you can improve them directly based on their failures (the more you fail the better)

In my daily life systems also has a form of:

  • Processes
  • Workflows
  • Daily routines

Using a system when building websites for clients allows me to improve it based on every failure we made. I’m a better designer with each project not because it’s my goal It’s just a byproduct of following an antifragile design system.

Of course, systems and goals are linked.

But the point isn’t in arguing if following the system isn’t a sort of goal in itself

Maybe it is.

Doesn’t matter.

The point is that if you focus on systems, not goals your life gets much easier

… and happier.

At least mine got.

If you are interested more in this topic feel free to comment or DM me

Also, check the excellent

@ScottAdamsSays

on topic:

  • Read: How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big
  • Watch and listen:

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