Enjoy the Process

Results results results!

Achieve achieve achieve!

All too often we become so focused on the end result of our goals that we forget about – quite possibly – the most important part… the process.

“Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome.” – Arthur Ashe

In a society that seems focused on instant gratification, it is very tempting to be all consumed with crossing the finish line to get the reward – so much so that we miss out on all the benefits and value along the way.

The process, or journey, is where the real work happens. It’s where we do most if not all of our learning and growing. More than likely, it is also where we will receive the most joy and satisfaction from the entire experience (including reaching the goal itself).

If we continue to neglect the process, no matter how intense our desire to achieve may be, we risk losing ourselves along the way and ultimately falling short of the finish line.

Today, let’s talk about the importance of the process and why we should prioritize our focus on it as we move towards our goals and vision for the future.

process

Perhaps I’m coming down from my 2018 goal setting high or wrestling with where to invest my time towards all my goals, but all I can say is, I’m tired.

Even though it is very early in 2018 I’ve been catching myself having some unrealistic expectations of how quickly I should be able to accomplish some challenges I’ve set out for myself.

Part of me is hard on myself for not hitting a few of my 2017 goals.  And another part of myself wants my new goals to be happening faster.

While I could keep beating myself up for not accomplishing some things and taking too long to accomplish others, I’m instead reminded about the importance of embracing (and enjoying) the process.

The process helps keep me in check and motivated to:

  • Continue moving forward
  • Never stop learning
  • Push myself towards bigger challenges

To those 2017 goals I didn’t hit – Good! The process helped me confirm I set some BIG goals and learn why I wasn’t able to achieve them by my original deadline.  It’s time to learn, adapt, and move forward.

And those 2018 goals that seem to either be taking too long or perhaps seem a bit unrealistic 12 months from now – Good! I’ve set big enough goals that will stretch me and push my comfort zone!  Time to keep getting after them and push myself to think bigger about what is possible.

So let’s take some time and give ‘the Process‘ the time and attention it deserves!

Keep your eyes on the road…

Keeping your eyes on the road is certainly sage advice when driving a car.  Believe it or not, it’s just as applicable to our daily life as we move forward towards something bigger and better than what we have today.

If we are to fully enjoy and the experience our lives, then we need to be focused on our daily process – our road towards the future.

The process will take many shapes and look different for all of us, yet the essence of what it is should be the same… the process is the rigor, approach, daily steps and practices that help us get from where we are to where we want to be.

Yes, we are all achievers and want the promotions, weight loss, financial freedom, etc.  That’s good!  It keeps us hungry and motivated.

What I am asking, is that we take a moment and reflect, so that we don’t look past all the great stuff on our way to the finish line – the incremental progress and growth, our learning opportunities, adventure, and basically… well…  life.

So let’s hit the pause button on our sprint towards the future and look at a few of the key benefits of enjoying the process:

  • Anchors you in the moment – Focusing on what you are doing on a daily basis helps you to gain a better sense of perspective and keeps you grounded.  It puts you in the moment instead of only focusing on the future.
  • Serves as blinders to the noise – Part of the reason our process is so important is because we know it will ultimately get us to where we want to go.  Each individual action and 1% improvement will continue to build upon each other, and before we know it, will create monumental changes and improvements to ourselves and the world around us.  With that said, there are distractions that are always cropping up to steal our focus.  Being mindful of your process insulates you from the noise all around you, and is a constant reminder that one step in front of the other will get you there. No shortcuts, do the work!
  • Increases your opportunities to learn – We learn best my ‘doing’, which makes our daily process the perfect teacher.  Each and every day we can learn from what went well and what didn’t, what worked, and what failed, and how we were before and who we are now.  We just need to listen…
  • Serves as our compass during the journey – One of the beautiful things about our process is that it is a living thing.  It can change and evolve at any time based on whether things are or aren’t happening as we hoped.  As a result, our process can be our early warning signal or compass to keep us on track, or get back on track if we start to drift.  It allows us to course correct early and not be surprised by whatever results come our way.
  • Sweetens the reward – Doing the work and putting in all of that time and effort will make achieving the goal that much more impactful and special.  The thing about instant gratification is that just as quickly as we get something, the joy and happiness it brings disappears just as fast.  When you put in the time and effort, you can look at yourself in the mirror and know without a shadow of a doubt that you earned it, and no one can take that away from you.

My hope is that this post is nothing more than a reminder to take a step back and enjoy all the hard work and dedication you are putting towards what you want for yourself and your life in the future.  Sure, it’s a harder and longer road to the destination, yet it is without a doubt the best road you can travel.

Getting the reward dropped in your lap means nothing – the journey and what you learn along the way is everything.

Here’s to the process, taking one step after another, and realizing your wildest dreams!

Let’s get back out there and get after it! #unleash

Discussion Question: What is one way you can upgrade or refocus your daily process?

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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