What's Better, Having a GOAL or having a SYSTEM?

16 replies
Here's an interesting article from Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert, about why he thinks that having goals is bad, and why having a system is WAY BETTER!

What do you think? ^_^

Scott Adams: How to Be Successful - WSJ.com!





P.S. Joe Moble, I just noticed that you posted about the same article! XD Sorry about that. ^_^;
#competition #dilbert #goal #system
  • Profile picture of the author rhodester
    My thought is that not much happens without goals to start with. And then not much happens once you have goals without a good system to implement them. What came first "the chicken or the egg?" It makes you think.
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  • Profile picture of the author Joe Mobley
    No apology needed. This is a Great! article. I hope everybody on the WF reads it.

    Oh... BTW, I'm a systems type of guy.

    Joe Mobley


    Originally Posted by cajtrixie View Post

    Here's an interesting article from Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert, about why he thinks that having goals is bad, and why having a system is WAY BETTER!

    What do you think? ^_^

    Scott Adams: How to Be Successful - WSJ.com!





    P.S. Joe Moble, I just noticed that you posted about the same article! XD Sorry about that. ^_^;
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  • Profile picture of the author Odahh
    he said passion was bad...goals are ok but a system is better .

    also he explained something i try to get at with what i try to convey in my writing .

    your goals should be based on building useful skills .. and your systems should be set up to nuture and improve those skills .and new skills . and your failures should be part of the process and not leave you dead debilitated or broke .

    fail but fail in ways that allow you to keep playing and show where you need to build new skills and set goals to get better there . .

    i read his blog years ago the stuff still sticks with me .and i listen to a lot from seth godin .

    you can make a lot of money .. but without skills to fall back on .. you end up paying people to much to do simple stuff you should take care of .

    currently working on getting a sourdough starter going to learn to bake my own bread with it .. because i like bread but don't like the toxins being put in bread you buy from stores .

    the more you build your skills the better system you can use and the bigger goals you can set and get to
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  • Profile picture of the author abdovic
    This is a wonderful book that I felt compelled to share the experience with other fans reading always looking for good books to read . The author describes this book as a thought experiment in the form of a fiction . I must say that the definition is pretty consistent.

    The starting point of the story is when a young man, a businessman who book offers a set of an old man. Instead of accepting the package and sign for it , the old man asked the dealer a strange question : " If you toss a coin a thousand times , how many times have the opportunity to head? "

    The response of the young brings more problems of the elderly , and a very interesting conversation that takes place between the two . This conversation is the essence of the book. The young man appears to be a moderately educated and intelligent , while the other seems to be someone who literally knows all, a wise man.

    The conversation covers a wide range of topics , science , philosophy and religion as gravity , magnetism, if man has free will , if God is all powerful, very analytical , logical , sensible . Among them , I found two completely new concepts about God and probability.
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  • Profile picture of the author tamo42
    Action is more important than everything else. If a system helps you take action, then great. If a goal helps you take action, that's good too.
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    • Profile picture of the author MJ Collins
      Originally Posted by tamo42 View Post

      Action is more important than everything else. If a system helps you take action, then great. If a goal helps you take action, that's good too.
      And not just any action, the right action... action that gets positive results.

      The premise that goals and systems are exclusive is false. Goalsetting is an integral part of an action system. An effective system involves planning, doing the work specified in the plans and deals with the reality of work that's NOT part of the plan.

      Plan all you want but urgency, emergency, distractions and reality all enter the picture. With a good system you stay on track and get right back on track more easily.

      I can appreciate why someone would say goalsetting is not important. For goals to work they have to be effective. There are many approaches to goals, which are often ineffective.

      I like fewer goals, however to argue that one can be more effective without goals and systems strikes me as ludicrous.
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    • Profile picture of the author whoissvenwolf
      Originally Posted by tamo42 View Post

      Action is more important than everything else. If a system helps you take action, then great. If a goal helps you take action, that's good too.

      I truly understand your point and I agree...to a point.

      A system sure could help you take action. But what good is action if there is no direction.

      To me a goal gives my actions purpose and direction.

      For example. I mow the lawn. But the goal was to bake a cake.
      The action is still an action. I'm doing something, but it won't bring me
      closer to my goal, even if I have the most efficient and effective system how to mow the lawn.

      In my humble opinion you can't have on with out the other.

      A clear goal to work towards and a system to get the work done.


      //Sven
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      • Profile picture of the author Recon24
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        • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
          I have a schedule. I don't need goals...they are implicit in my schedule. My system is the backbone of my schedule.

          Did I mention I have a schedule?
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  • Profile picture of the author honimyo
    I think BOTH are important!

    Its having the intention for a result and the system helps to take action towards it. I do make a distinction between goals and outcome. Often without an outcome - folks give up on the goal (eg, a basketball player takes many shots on goal - with the outcome intention of a certain number of baskets ) without the outcome intention... its possible to give up at the first failed shot....or with the outcome in mind.,,, and a system to learn and adjust..more baskets! Hey I love basketball what can I say...
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  • Profile picture of the author honimyo
    I think BOTH are important!

    Its having the intention for a result and the system helps to take action towards it. I do make a distinction between goals and outcome. Often without an outcome - folks give up on the goal (eg, a basketball player takes many shots on goal - with the outcome intention of a certain number of baskets ) without the outcome intention... its possible to give up at the first failed shot....or with the outcome in mind.,,, and a system to learn and adjust..more baskets! Hey I love basketball what can I say...
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  • Profile picture of the author dave147
    It depends on how people view and define goals.

    For me goals are not the ultimate outcome,
    goals are just the means to achieve a result,
    they are the stepping-stones to achieve a desire.

    The system in place is your plan of action, it is what you need to do to
    achieve those "goals" that lead you to the realisation of your desires.
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  • Profile picture of the author larry50
    I think his view, of the all powerful "system" is dead wrong, it appeals to the masses to stay in the problems and financial issues the masses have always had. That is what allows cartoons to connect with people, they get to see how ridiculous their life is and then continue living the same way.

    Goals are the only way out, what he is saying if you listen closely is, if you don't know HOW to get to your goal, then you should not have a goal. The problem is you have to have a GOAL in order to find out HOW to achieve it, but that is not what the masses want to hear.

    And that is why even today with more opportunities to make money with little or no investment than ever before, and we still have the masses at 95% of the population.

    On the subject of passion, as has already been said, not everything I am passionate about makes money. We need to grow and try new things and expand our awareness, so we can find new passions that we can make money with.
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  • I think you found a great article! Mr. Adams poses a very intriguing point.

    However, I don't think that having a goal and having a system are necessarily two mutually exclusive things. Every system presumably has a goal embedded end it. Otherwise, why would you have the system in the first place?

    I think that perhaps the point of the article is to say that if you have a goal, you simply have a "desire" based on enthusiasm which can easily be lost.

    But you can also create a plan of action (which is a system) to accomplish your goal.

    A goal without a plan (system) is just a dream without action.
    ___________________________

    Terri Lynn
    The Goals Academy!
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  • Profile picture of the author Ricardo Furtado
    If you have a system and you do not have a goal, what is the point in it?
    All the best. Regards.
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    Ricardo Furtado

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  • Profile picture of the author Heiseye13
    Listening to guys like that can turn you into a pessimistic loser if you don't think for yourself. Anyone who tells you not to follow your passion is setting you up for failure in my opinion. I do agree that its good to have a process but the truth is everyone has a process. As a matter of fact EVERYTHING IS A PROCESS whether you are intellectually conscious of it or not. From your daily routine to the way the solar system works..Its all a system baby.

    The real way to be successful at anything is to define success. No one person has the same way of thinking nor the same exact desires. Therefore no one person can tell you how be successful. They can only give you there beliefs which may or may not serve you depending on what you want.

    If its money you want than you should probably study those who have made a lot of it and for the record I have never heard one them say you should not follow your passion. I would find it hard to take this guy's word over someone like Richard Branson, Steve Jobs, or any other one of the BILLIONAIRES that constantly remind us to follow our passion.

    Of course it might be easier to play it safe, go by the numbers, do something boring and predictable. But at the end of the day you would have to ask yourself "what the hell am I living for?" The problem with the state of the world is there are way too many people afraid to push the boundaries of what society believes to be possible for themselves or "rational". You can make money but without a sense of challenge, excitement, accomplishment but you may end up being depressed, overwhelmed, and unhappy as well.

    I believe that every has a purpose and a passion and they are both intertwined. Ignoring your passion could mean never finding your true purpose. While following your heart can lead you to making a positive difference in the world. I personally believe pessimism is for cowards. Following heart can be tough but that's what PASSION is. One minute your kicking, screaming, and crying just to make it, the next your jumping for joy in a victory celebration and happy for all of the struggle that showed you what your made of. Its verification that you can do ANYTHING if you put your heart to it.

    The point that I'm making is that you are your own guru, your own life coach, and your own mentor. Learn and be grateful for your mistakes and your fears because without them you would not want at all. Contrast! Free you mind and make up your own rules and you'll find your own path.
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  • Profile picture of the author laurencewins
    I get bewildered when I see people ask if X is better than Y or vice versa.
    The reason is that why should you have to choose? Use both to their best advantage as there would obviously be benefits to both choices.
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