I came across a very interesting article today on DumbLittleMan.com that talks about the importance of following a proven system of success and why such systems should be followed to the core by those who seek success.
The author cites very good reasons to when he suggests why one shouldn't get "creative" to invent a new system. It is a very good article with great examples.
However, I have some reservations against the theory of just following the system without being fully convinced about it and here are my examples and reasoning:
Story of 'Horn OK Please' on Vehicles In India
'Horn OK please' is a phrase commonly painted on commercial vehicles like trucks, buses, auto rickshaws or local taxis in India.
The purpose of the words Horn and Please is obviously to alert a driver of a vehicle approaching from behind to sound his/her horn in case they wish to overtake. But 'OK' in the middle makes no logical sense especially when there is no official significance with respect to Indian traffic regulations.
With research, I found that this system of putting OK on the vehicles has a very interesting origin. Legend has it that the term bears its roots in the Second World War, where the trucks were run on kerosene engines. Kerosene, being highly unstable in nature, would cause the trucks to explode at the slightest accident.
Hence a warning would be painted on the back saying "Horn Please, On Kerosene". Gradually this became a norm and is still seen on most trucks, auto rickshaws, taxies like vehicles even today.
This system of putting 'OK' was okay when there was relevance. But today, vehicles are different, technologies have changed and people just blindly follow the trend without thinking.
Today's school systems, that continue social preaching of 'Go-to-School: Get-Good-Grades: Get-a-Good-Job,' are among many examples of such systems that are proving to be less empowering and more limiting for our children today simply because they are not able to cope with the changing times.
Think Different – Steve Jobs Story
Legendary Steve jobs created a history by going against the traditional education system, traditional thinking and traditional way of building businesses. He chose not go be like everybody else and so the slogan – Think Different.
If you want to succeed you should strike out on new paths, rather than travel the worn paths of accepted success.
~John D. Rockefeller [tweet this]
Can you imagine holding that iPhone or iPad (or that Android device) in your hand if Steve Jobs decided to just follow what others had always done to be successful?
As a society, we always do a good job of suppressing creativity on the name of 'System of Success'. But that mentality has done more harm than good in the long run and those like Steve Jobs, who dared to get creative and go against the current, created history.
Story Of Mahatma Gandhi And India's Independence
Mahatma Gandhi was from an affluent family. He had the luxury to go to London for higher education. His father was a senior government official in that system and he had a chance to lead a successful life within that system's boundaries.
On the other hand, the world had already seen how Americans fought and won their independence. So the system of revolt and armed agitation was proven to be successful. Many Indian leaders were already following the armed method of fighting for India's independence.
But Mahatma Gandhi chose to break out of both the systems and to get creative. He invented the non-violent civil resistance that finally lead to India's independence.
I doubt that the world would have ever known Mahatma Gandhi for his leadership if he just followed one of those known systems that seemed to be working then.
System Should Be Like A GPS
Having shared these two stories, I want to clarify that I am not against following a system. I am a big advocate of following a system that you are convinced of, especially one that has proven credibility.
However, it’s very important for the leadership responsible to realize that the system remains up to date with rapidly changing times to provide maximum leverage to those who seek success.
If a system is just too big to quickly adapt to the changes, then it must have the flexibility to allow individuals to apply their creativity and still use the system like a GPS.
System Can Only Guide, You Are Responsible
Successful people are generally very willing to share their success story, their knowledge with those who desire to learn about it. Successful people do follow a system that either they latched on or created on their own to define their success strategy.
However, their success is not just because of a system alone. Although it is important to understand that system does play a vital, but it is your own resolution to succeed, your own confidence, determination and passion for your goals that drive your success.
If you don’t have a clearly defined goal, if you do not have a passion for your desire, it is easy to get intimidated by rules of a system. In situations where your vision is not clear, jumping from one system to another becomes easy since you aren’t sure why you are doing what you are doing.
It doesn’t matter which system you follow, if there is no commitment towards a clearly defined goal, success will always stand away from you.
Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other.
~Abraham Lincoln [tweet this]
But, if you fix your eyes on your dreams, your goals, you can pick up good things from any system, get creative to fill the gap and create your own little system that can lead you to success.
You are unique on this planet, your needs are unique, your talents and abilities are unique. As long as you know that, as long as you truly believe in it and are willing to work hard, your success is inevitable. You then become truly unstoppable.
What Do You Think?