Goals Are For Losers, Systems Are For Winners

Scott Adams wrote an inspiring book. It’s called How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life

How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big- Kind of the Story of My Life-book by Scott AdamsYou probably know Mr. Adams a lot better once you find out he’s the guy behind those Dilbert comic strips. Yup, that’s Scott.

Throughout this fascinating read he keeps reminding the reader not to listen to his advice, after all he says, “you’re taking advice from a cartoonist!” I think this is why I felt like I should listen to him more, because he was open with his inherent bias’s and extremely transparent. Still one of the best all around books on improving your life, career, business, and most importantly, mindset.

Goals are for losers, systems are for winners. He had a lot of great advice in the book, but this counterintuitive thinking jumped out at me. As a guy who’s always been a firm believer in goals, goal setting, writing down goals, etc. this statement of Goals are for losers! really caught me off guard.

What the hell have I been doing? Why am I setting goals? Am I a loser?!? 

Then you read on and find there is a method to his madness. The general argument is that goals, once completed, give you nowhere else to go, no next step, no contingency plan. But systems scale, they get larger with ease, they adjust to their surroundings, they’re more adept for growth. Your system is the way you create successful outcomes (if you aren’t creating successful outcomes you are probably using a bad system). Your style, personality, approach, tone of voice, attitude, etc. are all a part of your system. 

Goals are a singular focus, once you’ve accomplished said goal you must start over again. Systems are a way of thinking, a way of problem solving, a way of making sense of a confusing world. You no longer set your sights on one singular milestone in the future, you develop an approach that works no matter what situation you experience.

Maybe your next plan needs a system, not a goal. Still confused? Read the book you silly nilly!

dilbert_marketing_wisdom-Scott Adams