Not the End Result
We currently spend our lives living in a society that is ambitious, and often results driven(especially here in the USA). Sometimes we fall into the habit of taking what we can get, and look no further than that. Rare are the times when folks are taught to stay patient, consistent, determined, and work hard to reach any level of success. No matter what area of life that “success” may be, or how you may measure your own success. That’s why I’ve decided to spend some time today, and write an article on how important it is to fall in love with the process of whatever it is you are doing. Rather than focusing solely on the results that are to come from your efforts some time from now.
If we have a large obstacle in our path, it may be good to think about the challenges of overcoming said obstacle, then spend a little time thinking about the end results after conquering it. Visualize what it is going to feel like, and what things will look like once you obliterate that obstacle, and come out the other side of it. Spend a small amount of time visualizing this to the smallest detail if you are a visually oriented person. Then chop that obstacle and the goal associated to it, into smaller more attainable goals. That will help you reach the overall goal by attaining each small goal along the way, and check them off your to-do list. Each check mark on the list, hits your brain with a small dopamine rush, that will keep you moving forward with a positive mindset of “I can do this!”.
Now it’s time to focus and redirect your energy & mind solely on the process you’ve laid out in front of you. The process of attaining those smaller goals, to ultimately claim the overall larger goal you’ve set. The more you can get into the flow of the process involved, the more you will enjoy your own journey along the way. Then later on, you can enjoy the results that come from it.
I’m sure you’ve had moments where you’ve started a new hobby, or set your mind towards conquering some task ahead. Perhaps, it’s learning how to draw hot anime girls, or maybe it’s losing 100+ pounds(I’ve been there, and done that, I was a big dude at 300+ on the scale). You were probably terrible in the beginning, at whatever task/goal/skill you’ve set in front of you, and will have set backs along the way. Learning a new sport? Maybe your free throw is crap, or maybe you can’t juggle a soccer ball between both feet without tripping over yourself at first.
Overcome the struggle, and focus on loving the process of getting better at whatever it is you are doing, and learn/adapt yourself along the way. Once you can do that, the more you will start to enjoy the activities associated with your goals and ambitions. It doesn’t matter who is winning or losing, don’t compare yourself to others. Compare only to yourself the previous day, and focus on the process of becoming better version of yourself. This goes for all aspects of live, daily progression, and becoming a better person overall is critical. If you solely focus on the end results, you will ignore the process you are undergoing, and will walk away feeling unfulfilled. This is because your happiness will be relying on the results which have not been seen yet, rather than the process that will take you there.
While going through any process, learn from your accomplishments, as well as your failures. Failures can be the best gift when viewed under the proper light. There is always something good that has been learned from any failure, no matter how big or small. You can take those lessons, and move forward. You may fail again on the next attempt, but I’m sure you’ve learned something new from that second failure. Repeat the process until you’ve reached your end goal, and then set for yourself a new goal to attain. Then again, learn from your failures while moving towards that new goal.
While going through moments you feel so low you want to give up, remember past accomplishments, and how you overcame them. I’ve had moments during game development jams, or starting businesses, where I want to give up. I think back to the times I’ve succeeded at anything, and lean into them for encouragement. Whether that was losing over 140 pounds(hint: didn’t happen overnight ;)), or when I finally figured out how to fix a bug in one of my previous games and was able to keep moving forward with new gameplay mechanics. This helps me see how anything is possible with the right mindset and determination. And, trust me, mindset is everything.
The best way to experience a feeling of “validation” for ourselves, is when we complete this cycle of setting ourselves a goal to work towards, achieve it, then grow from it through the effort you put forth towards it’s completion. This will lead to further future successes, through repeating the process of setting a goal, failing, learning, and continually moving forward and adjusting your path and yourself as you move along. This will all also give you a set of data that you can use to measure how you are doing, while moving towards the next goal on your list. Again, compare your current standing, to yourself, rather than others. Life is not a race, and we all move at our own pace in all regards.
Take a moment and appreciate the endless hours of practice and failures you’ve put forth in the past, while working towards any and/or all of your past goals. Look at the results/victories, and appreciate those as well! It’s rare that you will have anyone cheering you on along the way, especially if you work solo like I do most of the time. That is, unless you have a very supportive group of people surrounding you. It can be a challenge. Life is a challenge. It’s up to each one of us to step up to that challenge, become the best person we can be. Learn from our mistakes, keep moving forward, and continually reach new levels of success through attaining those goals. And, as stated earlier, success can be measured in many different ways, depending on what your goals and aspirations are.
If you become distracted. No sweat. Just learn to see when you do become distracted from your own process. This will be easier to spot overtime, the more you learn how your mind works, and take notice of the times when you will seek out distractions to perhaps hide from what you should really be doing. After a distraction, it might be good to take a step back, re-evaluate, take a look at your goals and to-do list. After prioritizing tasks, and figuring out your game plan from where you are standing right now, dive back into the process!