In this section of the book Adams talks about his view that setting goals usually doesn’t work out well, and that developing systems (that move one’s life forward) has a proven record of success.
Scott defines a goal as ” a specific objective that you either achieve or don’t sometime in the future”, and a system as “something you do on a regular basis that increases your odds… in the long run”.
Adams suggests that more often than not goals are a losing proposition and that when one is diligent in running their system, they will reach their desired objective… and beyond!
Losing 20 pounds / Eating healthy and getting regular exercise
Winning a running race / Training diligently
Making a lot of money / Becoming a serial entrepreneur
The author admits that the concept of goal Vs systems is largely semantics, but it’s the shift in mindsets that’s important.
How it relates to people like us:
People like us that are attempting to recover from depression, anxiety, or any other life stifling conditions are often trying to improve our situations through goal setting. Whether our goals are; to get out more, get fit, be more social, ect…
I’d say that it’s easy enough (OK, not so easy at all) to get out and take a walk… once. Or to put on exercise gear and do some calisthenics… once. Or to get worked up and make yourself do that ‘thing’… once.
It’s always been more better in my life to set up a routine (read: system) that ends up being a series of steps that lead me to my objective. My quick example would be leaving the house and going to the supermarket.
- Play my “leaving the house” playlist
- Have smoke
- Wash up
- Get dressed
- Grab my bag (if needed)
- Socks and shoes
- Ear buds in
- Walk out the door
I do all the steps, every time. That’s my system. When I work my system I get caught up in the steps and my mind is distracted from the (sometimes overwhelming) objective. Basically, I get swept up in the current of my system.
Daily (or even morning) routines are another example of a system. When you set up a good routine you will take almost all of the decision making out of the equation, freeing your mind to focus on the task at hand, and achieve your objectives.
Check out my review of the full book Scott Adams: How to fail at nearly everything and still win big .
Related posts: #ScottAdams #livingBetter
Click here to go to the Amazon page for Scott’s book.
Good luck, and keep Stepping forward,