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Following the system. How prepared are you?

by Olisa for TISV Digital 18 Jun, 2018

This might be a rather confusing title for some, however, it is as clear as it sounds.

I happened to read an article recently which did make more sense to me than others in similar categories. It mentioned how staying less focused on the goal/outcome and putting more energy into the system/pattern which provides the outcome eventually is the proper and wiser thing to do.

Many a time, and some would agree, we place too much of our focus on the outcome of things. Actually putting a foot forward becomes even harder than we expected, but alas when we do begin, it seems to take another kind of energy source to keep us going, of which we become drained almost very early and begin “searching" for another, probably easier to reach goal with a less difficult process…at least one we feel we can achieve given a simpler process of outcome. I am still learning. As I kept reading, I learned that simple habit (perhaps not too simple) will get us to our desired destination- but not without a fight, a fight in the mind.

Let me share with you an excerpt of what enlightened my thoughts:

"Rudders and Oars

Imagine a small row boat. Your goals are like the rudder on the boat. They set the direction and determine where you go. If you commit to one goal, then the rudder stays put and you continue moving forward. If you flip-flop between goals, then the rudder moves all around and it is easy to find yourself rowing in circles.

However, there is another part of the boat that is even more important than the rudder: The oars. If the rudder is your goal, then the oars are your process for achieving it. While the rudder determines your direction, it is the oars that determine your progress.

This metaphor of the rudder and the oars helps clarify the difference between systems and goals. It is an important distinction that shows up everywhere in life.

If you’re a coach, your goal is to win a championship. Your system is what your team does at practice each day.

If you’re a writer, your goal is to write a book. Your system is the writing schedule that you follow each week.

If you’re a runner, your goal is to run a marathon. Your system is your training schedule for the month.

If you’re an entrepreneur, your goal is to build a million dollar business. Your system is your sales and marketing process.

Goals are useful for setting the direction. Systems are great for actually making progress. In fact, the primary benefit of having a goal is that it tells you what sort of system you need to put in place. However, the system itself is what actually achieved the results.”

-James Clear, Author

In comparison to other publications I have read, this one stuck with me, I am not sure why or perhaps how, but I guess likely because the there was less emphasis on the “goal"s and more insight on the habitual process of things, of living your life each day, of building a system of daily patterns, routines (call it what you want…). 

Average consistency yields more than average returns. As the saying goes, little drops of water…

Stay tuned for more interesting topics that can help establish, build and grow your mental capacity and drive you to achieve.

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