All failure is systems failure

It is common to blame or praise a person's mistakes on their character. It is more useful for all involved to point out and redesign the systems that enabled that state.[1]

These techniques and behaviours tend to exacerbate problems:

Instead, these approaches have better long term results


Some may argue that by not blaming the individual they are "getting away" with bad habits.

Some also point out that Atomic Habits attributes a person's habits to a person's beliefs. Thus the initial point that a mistake being part of a person's character seems to hold true.

This philosophy has a strong resemblance to Stoicism.

  1. A claim I thought about while reading Atomic Habits by James Clear, and also The Design of Everyday Things by Don Norman - that if you use an object and fail, it is likely the fault of the designer, not you. ↩︎