Think of a 100m sprint in the Olympics. All of the athletes are there for one reason and have one goal in mind. To win.
However, statistically there can only be one winner and usually, it isn’t the person who wished the hardest, it’s the person who worked the hardest who will prevail.
So whilst goal-setting definitely has its place in helping us visualise success, it certainly isn’t our final destination.
The real success will go to the person who aggregated the most amount of small wins along their journey. The person who created a system which allowed them to accumulate marginal gains which have compounded to one critical moment of success.
Much like a block of ice. It will not start melting until its environment reaches 0 degrees Celcius, however, it does not mean that the increase of temperature from -10 through to 0 was a waste of time.
It may look like an “overnight success” between the point of 0 to 1 degrees celcius, however, it was the accumuluation of marginal gans which helped it reach the critical moment of success.
More often than not, the person who wins one gold medal, will likely win many more subsequent medals in the following years. Look at The Usain Bolts, Ian Thorpes and Michael Phelps of the world. They just kept winning year after year, due to reaping the rewards of the systems they sewed in the lead up to their first gold medal.
Why? Because whilst the purpose of a goal is to win, the purpose of creating and following a system is to continue playing the game.
Once the habitual system is in place the downstream effects will be in motion long after the dream has come and gone. Just like bad habits are hard to break, good habits also have a connotation to hang around once they have been engrained in our identity.
Rather than acting like a yo-yo that stops every time you complete a goal, or worse, someone that gives up before reaching the goal, you set yourself a daily or weekly system that gives you a constant feedback loop.
It’s about the cycle of endless refinement and continuous improvement.
Ultimately, it is the commitment to the process, that will result in your progress!
The ability to withstand periods of latency or plateau, for extended periods of time, whilst having confidence in your systems will yield the greatest results.
Much like a bamboo shoot which can lay dormant for up to 5 years with no sign of progress and then rise to over 80 feet tall in as little as 6 months.
“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can”. – Arthur Ashe