Don’t Have a Goal, Have a System

Good advice from Dilbert’s Scott Adams.

…if you want to be hit by lightning, it won’t happen inside. You have to go outside, connect lightning rods, go to the top of the mountain, and only then will it hit you.

A goal is a morale killer. Every day you don’t obtain it, you feel like a failure. A goal is ‘I want a million dollars’. A system is learning and working everyday towards earning it. A system moves you in the direction of the goal realistically.

Again and again I read this about prolific novelists. They say every day they write a 1000 words or something. They don’t say they’re going to publish 3 novels a year. These seems like a subtly different, but better way to think. What do you think?


2 thoughts on “Don’t Have a Goal, Have a System

  1. It seems to me a system is a set of small goals. Just make small, daily goals and you have a good system. I write a short list each evening of what I want to do the following day writing-wise. I’m often over-ambitious, but I don’t feel too bad if I don’t cross everything off, providing the first item on the list – first because it’s the most important – is done.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This post is simple and straightforward but could not be more true for me. Writing is part of my daily routine. My little sanctuary at the coffee shop put me in writing mode no matter what else is going on. Just organizing your life so that writing is a built-in part makes you produce, produce, produce.

    Don’t be committed to a goal. Be committed to a process.


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