goals and systems…

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One step leads to another.

Where is he going with this?

I’ve spent a lot of time working on this comic.  It stopped being an occupation a very long time ago.  Initially, I started the strip to possibly get a syndication deal and make a living.  I The goal was to become a syndicated cartoonist.  The ONLY thing I’d do is the strip… that would be my job.

That was the plan.
That was the goal.
That was almost 15 years ago.

51NrS9MAT9L._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_I recently finished reading How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life by Scott Adams.  I wouldn’t say that the text changed my life per se- despite the fact that Astronaut/Artist Capt. Alan Bean sent me his personal copy (!).  Capt. Bean said that he got some ideas from it and maybe it could help me.  When a Apollo astronaut tells you it could help, you tend to give that “help” some greater scrutiny.

So, yeah.  As I said before… the goal was to become a syndicated cartoonist.  But Adams contends that by setting a goal for myself, I most likely set myself up for guaranteed failure… because anything achieved short of the goal is technically a failure.  Goal setting is for suckers.

Adams believes that people who create SYSTEMS for success are more successful.  I cried bullsh-t on that when I read it.  But, Alan Bean says it could help… I put the bullsh-t aside and read on.  The more I read, the more it kind of made sense.  Creating a system of work that builds on work is more realistic.  It allows for greater leeway and creates situations that may take you on different, unintended, yet positive paths.  The goal I set for myself way back in 2002 was not a way to ensure success.  Going by that, I failed out of the gate.  Failed for a decade and a half.  I’m failing while writing this.

That’s not to say it’s been a waste.  It has not by any means.  It just means that my goal held me back and focused me so much that I may have missed a ton in the periphery.  I don’t know what that periphery was/is.  But believe me when I say this:  From this point on, I’m looking all around.

It’s not an occupation, it’s my life.  It’s not a goal.  It’s a system.

Now I just have to figure out how to create a system… other than “looking all around”.