March 2nd, 2011 2:51 PM by Lehel S.
Systems Beat Goals, Every Time!
A few weeks ago, I wrote that "systems beat goals, every time." That sparked considerable interest and requests to say more about this. The key is that goals are a "destination" or target in the future. Systems involve repeated daily actions to get us there. It's important to strive for a future goal, but the secret of success is more in the "daily doing" than in the "big dreaming."
I've recently read biographies of two of America's great 19th century industrialists, Andrew Carnegie and John Rockefeller. They both grew up poor, lacked formal education, and yet built colossal empires. They were roundly criticized, but each achieved extraordinary success in their respective fields. They were the two richest men in the world, and they prided themselves on working very little!
Rockefeller often took naps during important Board meetings, and went home for lunch and a nap every day. Carnegie rarely worked more than three hours a day.
The key to their amazing success was not hard work, brilliance, education or luck. The key is that they were each able to develop systems and organizations that created enormous wealth.
The same is true today. Bill Gates did not create Microsoft by being a brilliant software engineer. He built Microsoft by devising systems and partnerships that made his software indispensable around the world. Remember his early vision of a computer on every desk? Well, look at your desk!
The systems of our lives make all the difference, and a few years ago I wrote a little ebook called, "Personal Eco-
Systems: Creating Systems for Automatic Success." If you don't have it, I encourage you (and your friends) to get it
The fact is that too many people are trying to create beauty while surrounded by chaos. They are trying to achieve big goals, but their energy is exhausted on errands, the crisis of the day, or on being busy rather than being productive.
It's very hard to achieve great things when you're "majoring in minor things" most of the time!
To create the life you truly want, you need systems that automatically carry you toward your ultimate goals.
You need habits that reflect your values because habits are stronger and more reliable than choices. You need routines and patterns, friends and traditions that build you up rather than wear you out.
Design your office, your home, your schedule and your relationships so they conspire to help you get there! Talk with loved ones so they actively support you! Eliminate clutter and replace it with equipment, furnishings and tools that make you smile, that energize you and keep you focused.
Design a schedule that includes time for your most important daily priorities.