Thursday, September 03, 2015

Scott Adams Connect2014 Keynote

Just bought Scott Adams' book: How to fail at almost everything and still win big.

He talks a lot about systems vs goals.

He defines a system to be something you do regularly that increases your odds of success.

He says focus on doing things that no matter what the short-term outcome of a specific action -

Did I get the job? Did I get the date? Did I prove the Theorem?

Put you in a situation where you have better odds of success in the future -

though you may not be able to predict where this success will ultimately manifest,

especially in today's increasingly complex, and getting more complicated at an increasing rate, world.

One nice example he gives: A friend who would go to interviews for jobs he didn't want just
to get better at selling himself. At the end of one of these interviews the interviewer said `well you're totally overqualified for this job; but the department manager just left and you'd be perfect for that job.'

A psychological positive side-effect of being system vs. goal oriented,
is that each time you follow the system - by going to the gym, going to the job interview,
you feel good: `I'm doing something right now that's making a long run positive impact on my life'
Whereas, with the specific goal in mind, you are almost constantly in `pre-success failure' -
as except for that small interval of time where, in the best-case scenario, you've achieved your goal
and are still enjoying the glow of victory before moving on to the next goal, you're feeling like you are lacking something.

This reminds me indirectly of how in Buddhism they talk about `The Dhamma that is good in the beginning, good in the middle and good in the end'.
That is, the true spiritual path should give fruit every step of the way, it should not be total misery
except when reaching Nirvana.

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