Most people who try to improve themselves fail.
They watch a video, read an article, or listen to a podcast and feel motivated. Because of this motivation, they buy a book, a course or join a paid community. This community champions a system for how to become successful which they then follow. They adhere to all steps meticulously, buy recommended products, and track their progress.
But, despite their best efforts, they soon start to slack. They skip a few days of practice, stop tracking, and become impatient. Soon, they doubt the benefits of the system and like it's too much work which they already have enough of. Slowly their enthusiasm fades. A few weeks later, they realize that the system just doesn't work for them and quit soon thereafter. Over the next few weeks, they return to their old habits and lifestyle being none the wiser.
A few months later, they come across another course, book, or product that speaks to them. They buy it, try to stick to it, and fail again. This cycle repeats itself for months or years. Eventually, they stop buying new courses and books or quit self-improvement altogether.
My Story of Quitting
I know this because until roughly a year ago, this was my approach to self-improvement.
I listened to Jocko Willink's podcast and became a very disciplined person. Then, I realized that my heavy focus on discipline become oppressive and quit. I watched Jordan Peteron's lectures and made meaning my Northstar. But then I realized that I was trying to make everything meaningful and put too much pressure on myself. So, I quit that, too. Next, I tried to hustle like Gary Vaynerchuck. But, soon I realized the shallowness of that pursuit and quit hustling, too.
Don't get me wrong.
These systems got me great results for a few months or even years. But, eventually, they stopped working for me and I quit all of them.
The Universal Promise of Systems
Part of why they appealed to me in the first place is their promises as universal problem-solvers:
"Here's a perfect system. All you need to do is follow everything already laid out for you as closely as possible. Do this for a while and you'll be happy, successful, and content for the rest of your life. The end."
If such a system existed it would be a miracle. And that's what most people (myself included) look for. A miraculous system that solves all their problems. But, this isn't how the world works.
So, what can you do?
No More Systems?
You could do away with systems, courses, and advice altogether. After all, we've established that they don't bring lasting results.
But, that would be foolish.
Trying out systems that work for others is still beneficial. You can learn about valuable insights, optimized processes, and enlightening combinations of both.
So, don't throw out the baby with the bathwater. Don't avoid systems, advice, and proven methods altogether. You'd only be shooting yourself in the foot.
Create Your Individualized System
The real problem is that most people try to use someone else's system to solve their own problems. But that doesn't work. Such a system is rarely a good fit for them. It can't be. It doesn't take their situation, personality, and preferences into account. Which is why it's so difficult to follow and most people quit.
Instead, you need a system that does the opposite. A system that is built around your self. Your strengths, weaknesses, personality, and everything else that's relevant to you.
You can't buy such a system. You have to create it yourself.
Next week I will show you how.