While goals are great, not every project or hobby that I do has a clear pathway or objective. For example, when I started The Canvas Project, there was no clear ‘outcome’ or ‘exit’ strategy. Rather, I simply wanted to document conversations that I enjoy, learn more about the brain and ways to enhance performance, and to practice creating content on a regular basis. This desire to document, learn and practice has led to several amazing podcast episodes, regular social media posts, and several initiatives in the pipeline.
Scott Adams (@scottadams925), creator of Dilbert comics, shares his story of how he began blogging and the drivers that led to his success. First, he acknowledged that blogging was a system, not a goal — there were no defined objective. Second, he emphasized that blogging was a system that allowed him to move towards becoming a well-practiced writer with higher visibility. Thirdly, blogging was his method to experiment and learn what people wanted. By consistently living up to his “system”, the blog garnered the attention of @WSJ which led a book deal and countless speaking engagements. @timferriss shares a similar story where his podcast (#1 in in 2016) was originally a 6 episode experiment intended to improve his interviewing and communication skills.
1) Define the project or hobby
2) Does this have a binary goal or does it represent a system to learn, improve or experience something
3) What adjacent benefits does this system have on your life (self, relationships, career, play)?
4) How important is this system? What is the optimal level of duration and frequency to spend on it?
5) Follow through with the system
6) Re-evaluate whether this activity is to remain a system or if it is better suited to become a defined goal/objective