Backward Goals

Backward Goals

Let’s explore how things work in a systems environment. Let’s say each puzzle piece illustrated below represents goals and the center is the arbitrary achievement hub of our brain. People conventionally work “toward” reaching a goal, but this is backwards in a systems environment.

Now, let’s view the puzzle pieces as representing each part of our business and the center piece as an arbitrary achievement hub. Again, conventionally working toward the center to reach a goal. This too is backwards.

The “goals” and “parts” of our business should be built into the system (center hub) and worked outwardly. They become the “result” of the central system. They are a side-effect of the system where the system ensures the result and not simply aiming for something.

With goals, we aim for the bullseye, but we don’t always hit it.

Hypothetical example: Let’s say our referral business is virtually nonexistent and we want to turn it around. We would make it a goal to get new referral business. We would work towards achieving something. The idea becomes an area we focus some effort and hope for the best.

When we set up a central system in the beginning, the referral business becomes a side-effect result of the system, not something we work towards as an afterthought or corrective measure in the future. It occurs on its own because the result is built into the system.

Real-life example: How to paint a room in 6 minutes was never a goal. The ability to paint a room in 6 minutes is the result of a system where the system gave birth to the achievement. There is a valuable lesson to understand when Scott Adams said, “Goals are for losers. Systems are for winners” and it’s no different from what I’ve preached for 20 years.

The concept may sound profound, but once we fully grasp how systems work and understand how the pieces fit, things harmoniously fall into place on their own. The system ensures the result.

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