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Most people believe that the best way to achieve what we want in life is to set specific goals. Every entrepreneur wants to build a billion-dollar business. Every olympic athlete wants to win a gold medal. Every student wants to make good grades. After all, we all want to be successful in life. But if successful and unsuccessful people often have the same goals, why do so many individuals and organizations fail at achieving their dreams? Because the vast majority of people focus on the goals, but extraordinary, great people focus on systemic change for continuous improvement. Goals are about the results you want to achieve and they are adequate for setting direction, but systemic change is best for making progress because is about the model of change that lead to continuous improvement and results.

For example, we often think that we need to lose weight in order to get healthier and feel better. But having extra weight is not the problem, just the outcome of our inappropriate lifestyle. It’s not just about going on strict diet during some days. What we really need is a systemic change to improve for the better in a holistic way, such as eating a healthy diet, taking regular exercise and getting plenty of good-quality sleep at night. When we solve problems at the results level, we only solve them temporarily. In order to improve for good, we need to solve problems at the systems level.

Goals are finite but systems are infinite. If you want to achieve your goals at all times, create a model of systemic change that works. The life philosophy based on setting goals is just to win a finite game. In contrast, the life philosophy by means of systemic change is to play an infinite game in perpetuity. True infinite thinking is goal-less thinking. It’s not about any single success, but making the change a partner in life to endless refinement and continuous improvement. Because the longer we play an infinite game, the more the benefits compound and the greater the rewards are. The truth is, the result of 95% of truly successful people and organizations wasn’t a lucky event, it was the result of a model of systemic change.

I started learning and working about change more than 20 years ago and I’ve learned that we do not rise to the level of our dreams but we fall at the level of our thinking and models of systemic change. One way to build a model of systemic change is by connecting three fundamental questions: WHY we do WHAT we do and HOW we can do it better.

Infinite Thinking Model of systemic change by jose cantera

Everything breaks down into intent, impact, and intelligence. Firstly we need a singular intent to give a purpose to the things we do. Secondly, we have to follow a proper strategy to maximize the impact of what we do. Finally, we need to be extremely fit for steady change by scaling our intelligence. So, anyone can accomplish their dreams by setting direction through a singular intent, achieving a sustainable impact, and improving continuously by means of our scalable intelligence. This is the essence of infinite thinking. Infinite thinkers, both individuals and organizations, have patience because they know that what they are really doing is creating a model of systemic change that is designed to capitalize on change.

When we bring intent, impact, and intelligence together I can almost guarantee we will see our dreams come true. It is how I have seen people and organizations time and again achieve success in life.