Feb 062014

Make things happen Mystie’s post, Education is a Life: Fortiter fideliter forsan feliciter, or Repentance, got me thinking about goals and getting things done. She makes the point that results are not in our control. We obey, God rewards (in His own way). This is just as true in all areas of life. We do; stuff happens. If our focus is on goals rather than just being faithful (in all of life) then we will be disappointed.

Then I ran into this article, Forget Setting Goals. Focus on This Instead. which emphasizes systems (faithfulness) over goals.

What’s the difference between goals and systems?

  • If you’re a coach, your goal is to win a championship. Your system is what your team does at practice each day.
  • If you’re a writer, your goal is to write a book. Your system is the writing schedule that you follow each week.
  • If you’re a runner, your goal is to run a marathon. Your system is your training schedule for the month.
  • If you’re an entrepreneur, your goal is to build a million dollar business. Your system is your sales and marketing process.

Now for the really interesting question:
If you completely ignored your goals and focused only on your system, would you still get results?

He even appears to discourage goals with his points:

1. Goals reduce your current happiness.
When you’re working toward a goal, you are essentially saying, “I’m not good enough yet, but I will be when I reach my goal.”

3. Goals suggest that you can control things that you have no control over.
You can’t predict the future. (I know, shocking.)

But he does concede that goals have a place. Just not 1st place.

Goals can provide direction and even push you forward in the short-term, but eventually a well-designed system will always win. Having a system is what matters. Committing to the process is what makes the difference.

Are you focused on goals rather than on being faithful in the little things?

  One Response to “Bravely, Faithfully, Perhaps Successfully”

  1. Henry Blackaby (Experiencing God) opened us to this concept of being other than goal-driven. He saw and taught others that our job as God’s children is to join God in what He is doing as He reveals that unto us by His Spirit through prayer and His Word. And that walking in His Spirit’s power to accomplish His leading is a continual process (similar to ‘system’ above). So, though Henry Blackaby and those he led were remarkably accomplished in spreading the gospel through Canada, and later the USA, it was not because he set goals and made plans to meet those goals. Instead, he felt it was his job to abide in the Vine (Jesus) so he didn’t miss out joining in what God was doing!

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