Scott Adams is the creator of the Dilbert comic strip. He has experienced success and is known to be an avid systems thinker.
He promotes the idea of systems thinking and the benefits of thinking systematically instead of linearly. He has some great YouTube videos if you are interested in hearing his take on systems.
In the Joosr Guide to Adam’s book, How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life, the author addresses systems thinking and the benefits of using this way of working towards success. Specifically, he outlines the flaws in setting goals and discusses why the systems and habits approach is more beneficial.
One section of this introduction to the book calls out the fact that goals are temporary endeavors. It says, “Goals have a finish point. So what happens if you reach it? You can set up another goal, but then you’re back to feeling inadequate again. In this way, goals produce a cycle that is for the most part negative and unsatisfying because the goals themselves are unrealistic. So, why not adopt an approach that is less specific, more wide reaching, and most importantly, ongoing? This means altering your thinking so it is system based.”
This brings up a great point. If we set goals, we constantly put ourselves in a place of feeling inadequate. We strive to reach a goal, only to set another goal once there.
This leaves most people feeling as though setting goals is painful.
Instead of setting goals, the better approach is to slowly shift the systems and habits in your life. If you can work to align those with what you hope to achieve in life, you don’t have to constantly struggle and set goals.
Instead you can find small changes to make and then work to do them consistently. This starts to build a pattern. This behavioral pattern starts to gain traction and soon enough will start to occur without much thought. When it happens automatically, suddenly you will find yourself doing the things necessary to succeed.
And you won’t have to constantly make yourself feel inadequate. Instead you can build confidence in your abilities. This confidence helps to create a content mindset.
This is how you go through life constantly improving but also constantly being happy. I call it being content but not complacent. You keep working hard and accomplishing more and more without beating yourself up.
This can be a great way to go through life. Get away from setting goals and instead work to keep taking the right small steps so that they become automatic and soon you find yourself living a successful, content life.