If I had to sum up the philosophy that influences my coaching, speaking, and writing in one sentence… I don’t think I could do it.
But one idea that would be prominent:
“Having a good process is important, but it’s how you engage with that process on a human level that determines the outcome.”
Or to put it in another, geekier, way:
“Systems and processes are necessary for success, but not sufficient in and of themselves”.
Life Gets in the Way
This thought was spurred by my wall calendar that I use to guide and motivate my daily writing. Actually, the thought was spurred by the massive amount of blank days on my wall calendar over the past few months.
Writing time has been hard to come by with a newborn hanging around. And I was caught up in trying to figure out what book project to work on next. And I moved my home office around so that the calendar ended up a little hidden and it wasn’t as good of a reminder.
So, you know. Life happened.
The system is still good but how I used it suffered.
And life always continues to happen. It’s filled variables, chaos, entropy, spontaneity, and noise. Our job is to navigate all of that and still get something done.
That’s why I think it’s crucial that you think beyond the system. You have to think about how you are going to engage with that system within the context of everything else swirling about you.
By All Means, Have a Good System
This might sound a little abstract, but I promise you it’s not. All around us, there are systems and processes that are promised as the key to success. We often think that there is a “secret” path to accomplishing our goals because we see that idea on ads, in self-help books, and pretty much everywhere you look.
There are books full of systems for sales, marketing, entrepreneurship to help you succeed in business. For your personal life, you can find goal-setting apps, meditation schools, and diet plans. And I couldn’t even count the number of exercise programs out there.
There’s nothing wrong with most of them. But in the end, the system will only get you so far. You still have to engage with that system. They’re just tools and you have to be the craftsman that uses them.
You Determine Your Process’s Success
So that’s why I focus so much on building our innate capacities and capabilities. It’s too easy to keep looking for a new system rather than examining how you use the system you already have.
Whether you want to hit your sales goals, write a book, or get in shape, you need a process. But if you are still struggling, don’t be so quick to throw out your old system. Take a look and see how you can re-engage with the one that you have.
And if through that self-reflection you realize that you didn’t have a process…well, then that is a good time to go get one!