Why It’s Not About The System You Use.


Do you have a goal? Professional, personal, or otherwise? I bet you do, whether it’s to get a certain number of clients per month, to stop eating grains, or to learn to juggle.

Now, let me guess: You’ve got a system worked out to get you there, don’t you? You’re going to attend networking meetings, write blog posts, and update your LinkedIn profile. You’re going to only eat at home so you can control your meals, and throw all your old grains into the compost heap. You’re going to watch that Juggling For Fools video, and practice your juggling fifteen minutes every night after dinner.

No matter what the goal is, you’ve got a system, I’m sure. How am I so sure? Because systems are said to be the key to achieving everything these days. Just think about productivity… there’s GTD , ZTD , and Hipster PDA’s; Blackberries, Franklin Planners, and 37 Signals. What’s best? That’s like asking, “What’s the best kind of music?” It all depends on you, what you’re doing, and what works for you.

The point, in any instance, is not what system you use… it’s that you stick with it.

If you’ve dabbled in productivity systems for any length of time, you know what I’m saying is true, because everyone has discovered, researched, and spent time on setting up some kind of system, only to have the thing gather dust and fall by the wayside.
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Why Growth Is Better If It Don’t Come Cheap

You gotta embrace the suck.
As I was bouncing around on Twitter the other day, I saw someone ask the question, “What do you do for your mind, body, and spirit?” It’s easy, of course, to answer that question with three answers. “Oh, I’m cleaning up my diet, I exercise a few days a week, and I meditate.” Nothing wrong with an answer like that… it means you’re looking after yourself.

But being the between-the-lines kinda guy that I am, I wanted to answer the question not with three answers, but with one. And so naturally, my answer was “CrossFit.”

Now, I never would have answered that question with any other fitness/exercise/sport that I’ve done (except maybe Nomadics), and I’ve done tons: intercollegiate rowing, yoga (bikram’s, ashtanga, hatha), triathlons, tai chi, full-contact martial arts, bodybuilding, you name it. Why?
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Which S Are You?

3 tall men

I read an article years ago about tall people, and their supposed nomenclature for describing how tall they are. “What are you?”, one tall guy says to another. “Three,” says the second guy, who’s 6’3″. “You?”, he continues.

“Five,” says the 6’5″ guy, clearly feeling superior about the extra two inches of height he was given (and didn’t lift a finger for, of course). The two men size themselves up for a moment, swagger and grunt a few times, and both walk away feeling good that they’re in the upper percentiles of vertically-endowed men, and equally happy they didn’t come across LeBron James. Or Leonid Stadnyk.

Is This True?

I don’t honestly know, although I can say with all certainty, as someone who’s 6’4″ myself, I’ve never referred to myself as “four”, nor have I ever had some guy come at me and say he was “six” or “one” or “hey, I’m four, too.”

The idea, though, of self-identifying with a number is, of course, pretty darn silly (not to mention indicative of some serious insecurities that you should probably seek help with). There are plenty of metrics you can use to get a better grip on where you are in your life, and height isn’t one of them, unless you’re a teenage NBA hopeful. For the rest of us, let’s take a look at one metric that can have direct bearing on the kinds of conversations you are having, whether you realize it or not.
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Are You One IN a Million, or One OF a Million?

One in a million...You’ve got a burning passion to help people, change the world, and make your mark. You believe in the uniqueness of who you are and what you want to do, and you know that people will love your services, if they would just try them.

And that’s the crux of it, right there. Why aren’t people lining up around the block for your service?

Maybe it’s because you aren’t giving them a compelling enough reason to.

If you’re unique, then why are you marketing yourself just like everyone else? Do you really think that just calling yourself a coach/trainer/designer/whatever-it-is-you-do is going to help you stand out from the rest of the vanilla, white-bread, snore-inducing coaches/trainers/designers/etc.?

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