In recent times, I have come across posts, tweets, or videos that encourage people to have systems or processes instead of goals. This is as a result of the goal/achievement-oriented society that we are currently in.
A person is usually judged by what they’ve achieved instead of what they could achieve. While there is some truth to this- in the sense that once you start achieving things, you tend to be more likely to achieve more things.
A person who hasn’t achieved a thing is less likely to do so.
However, this misses the whole point of achieving goals in the first place. Being fixated on the end goals is like being fixated on being at the peak of a mountain.
The essence of having systems is so that you can enjoy the journey and not only the destination. The journey is almost 98% of the goal. Once your goal is achieved, you naturally would want to move to the next goal. We, humans, are desiring beings.
Avoid fixation on the goal itself. Enjoy the journey. Achievement of goals should be the by-product of processes/ systems.
Instead of wanting to lose 10 kg, why not go to the gym regularly and eat healthily.
You want to be wealthy, why not invest continuously, earn more and spend within your means.
A counterargument against having only systems without goals would be, How would I know I have reached my goal? How would I track what I am doing?
This brings us to the importance of having both systems and goals.
Goals are a sign that indicates we are on the right path or otherwise. Systems are what we do, day-in-day-out.
For example, a person who wants to be healthy decides to go to the gym and eat healthily. After two months, it turns out the person is still overweight and has only added more weight.
We understand that something is wrong. We know that when we compare our actions and goals and see that our actions aren’t bringing the desired results.
A vivid example is in wealth creation and investing.
When you create wealth, it is by following the right process, irrespective of the result. The result is a lacking feature. If you do the right thing, the results show up later. Same way, when you invest, the dividends come later.
“Build from the inside out and bottom up. Great habits and practices make a great and successful life. Cultivate those and the rest will take care of itself.”
This is not to say that sometimes, bad processes don’t result to a good result. However, bad actions long enough result in bad outcomes. And more importantly, bad processes can’t be replicated to give good results.
Finally, it is important to understand that systems and goals are the same side of the coin. They both make us better versions of ourselves. Sound systems do not always guarantee good results. They only give us a chance at getting good results. However, bad systems ensure that we don’t have the chance of good results, to begin with.