This past week I've written a lot about raiding in MMORPGs (particularly World of Warcraft), and now we've reached a take-away point for a more general application.
As I posted previously, I know why most people fear failure. Therefore, it should not be surprising for me to want a solution to the problem therein. Well, Scott Adams has a solution and he took a blog post to summarize it; if you want the long version, read the book-length version of it.
As I looked over the past week's posts, it hit me that raiding is exactly what Adams' system is: a feedback loop process that iteratively builds to success, incorporating failure as a key component in that iterative process.
You pull the boss. The boss wipes out your raid group. You go over what went down, figure out what went wrong, fix that shit, and then you try again. Lather, rinse, and repeat until you figure out through successively better iterations until you kill the boss. You then go from "We got it right!" to "We can't get it wrong!" following the same iterative process so that variations in group composition and so forth cease to be a factor in killing that boss week after week.
In other words, the system approach is what you do to go from Newbie to Amateur and then from Amateur to Professional. This is why successful folks get away from fixing upon goals and towards establishing and refining systems of iterative improvement.
That is raiding. Iterative improvement towards success, disguised as iterative improvement towards a goal.