The Power of Unthinkable Goals and Systematic Progress


Hatched by Glasp

Sep 15, 2023

3 min read


The Power of Unthinkable Goals and Systematic Progress


In our quest for success, we often find ourselves setting goals as a means to achieve our desired outcomes. However, what if I told you that goals alone may not be the key to long-term progress and fulfillment? In this article, we will explore the concept of unthinkable goals and the importance of implementing systematic progress in order to truly excel in life.

Unthinkable Ideas: Uncovering Hidden Opportunities

Farnam Street suggests that great work often stems from ideas that are overlooked or deemed unthinkable by others. By challenging conventional thinking and exploring uncharted territories, we open ourselves up to a world of possibilities. It is in these unthinkable ideas that we can find true innovation and unique solutions to problems. Embracing the unconventional can lead to extraordinary outcomes in both personal and professional endeavors.

The Power of Consistency: Overcoming Short-Term Setbacks

Making decisions and taking action often requires sacrifice and the willingness to endure short-term discomfort. Muhammad Ali's approach to training exemplifies this mindset, as he only started counting sit-ups when the pain became unbearable. Similarly, being consistent in our efforts, especially when things get challenging, is what sets us apart. While intermittent effort may work in some situations, consistent dedication is crucial for achieving long-term success.

Systems Over Goals: Sustainable Progress

While goals provide direction and motivation, they are often short-lived. Achieving a goal may bring momentary satisfaction, but true progress lies in the systems we follow. Bill Walsh, a three-time Super Bowl winner, emphasized the importance of systems, stating that "the score takes care of itself." It is the consistent implementation of effective systems that yields sustainable progress. By focusing on refining our systems and processes, we can continuously improve and adapt, leading to long-term success.

The Pitfalls of Goal-Oriented Thinking: Restriction and Setbacks

Setting goals can inadvertently restrict our happiness and create an "either-or" conflict. When we tie our satisfaction solely to accomplishing a specific goal, we limit our potential for fulfillment. Additionally, a goal-oriented mindset can lead to a "yo-yo" effect, where we revert to old habits once a goal is achieved. True long-term thinking requires a goal-less approach, where our focus shifts towards establishing well-designed systems that consistently propel us forward.

Actionable Advice: Strategies for Consistency and Sustainable Progress

  • 1. Embrace Unthinkable Ideas: Challenge conventional thinking and explore uncharted territories. Look for overlooked opportunities and unconventional solutions that can drive innovation and success.
  • 2. Cultivate Consistency: Develop strategies to stay committed and motivated even when faced with challenges. Remind yourself that you can quit tomorrow, but not today. Push through discomfort and embrace the power of consistent effort.
  • 3. Prioritize Systems: Shift your focus from goals to systems. Design and refine systems that support your progress and enable sustainable growth. Continuously evaluate and adapt your systems to ensure long-term success.


In the pursuit of success, it is essential to venture beyond the realm of conventional thinking and embrace unthinkable ideas. While goals provide direction, it is the systems we implement and the consistency we maintain that truly drive progress. By adopting a goal-less approach and prioritizing sustainable systems, we can unlock our full potential and achieve long-term success. Embrace the power of the unthinkable, cultivate consistency, and prioritize systems to pave your path towards greatness.

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