Last week I wrote about my decision to focus on process over goals this year.
And to be honest, it’s been a little scary for me. Even though my prior obsession with goals didn’t always help me hit them it still provided a safe mental “framework” regarding life in the future.
In other words, it gave me a sense of control about where I was headed, even if that control wasn’t real. So to let go of that to grab ahold of something new has been both exciting and uncomfortable.
The uncomfortable got so bad the other day I wondered if I had made a mistake. But today I’m excited again because of something I read, something I believe I was meant to read.
Here’s what happened…
As I was walking around my RV I felt led to pick up the book Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss (a book I haven’t read in about 2 weeks). I flipped to the table of contents to decide which interview, out of over 100, I should read.
I saw the name Scott Adams and it jumped out to me even though I had no idea who he was (I found out he’s the guy who created the Dilbert comics).
Check out what Scott said in his interview about “Systems vs Goals”:
“When I first started blogging, my future wife often asked about what my goal was. The blogging seemed to double my workload while promising a 5% higher income that didn’t make any real difference in my life. It seemed a silly use of time. I tried explaining that blogging was a system, not a goal. But I never did a good job of it. I’ll try again here…
Writing is a skill that requires practice. So the first part of my system involves practicing on a regular basis. I didn’t know what I was practicing for, exactly, and that’s what makes it a system and not a goal. I was moving from a place with low odds (being an out-of-practice writer) to a place of good odds (a well-practiced writer with higher visibility).
The second part of my blogging system is a sort of R&D for writing. I write on a variety of topics and see which ones get the best response. I also write in different “voices”. I have my humorously self-deprecating voice, my angry voice, my thoughtful voice, my analytical voice, my half-crazy voice, my offensive voice, and so on. You readers do a good job of telling me what works and what doesn’t.
When the Wall Street Journal took notice of my blog posts, they asked me to write some guest features. Thanks to all of my writing practice here, and my knowledge of which topics got the best response, the guest articles were highly popular. Those articles weren’t big money-makers either, but it all fit within my system of public practice.
My writing for the Wall Street Journal, along with my public practice on this blog, attracted the attention of book publishers, and that attention turned into a book deal. And the book deal generated speaking requests that are embarrassingly lucrative. So the payday for blogging eventually arrived, but I didn’t know in advance what path it would take. My blogging has kicked up dozens of business opportunities over the past years, so it could have taken any direction.”
As I read that I was instantly excited again about my decision to focus on the process instead of goals!
I’ve been worried lately that I’m wasting time with a daily blog. It’s not logical but my heart says to do it! So I will.
And I’m thankful for people like Scott Adams who are willing to share their story of where they were because it helps me in where I am now!