Focus on the Process, Not the Outcome
Life is lived in the present, not the future, and happiness is a process, not a place.
I’ve seen far too many of my friends here at WA fall into the trap of rating themselves and their performances solely on their outcomes. I must confess I am one of them.
However, this thinking is flawed and is a major challenge we must face and overcome.
Happiness and satisfaction in one’s work is often very illusory, and what we think should make us happy will only lead to our inevitable discontentment time and time again.
It’s time to change our thinking to bring greater contentment and happiness into our daily lives.
This is the very reason we should focus on the process, not the outcome.
Problem: We Judge Ourselves on Outcomes
Think about it. We constantly are judging ourselves and assigning our value to the world based on our outcomes.
We judge ourselves based on what WA ranking we occupy, how many referrals we are getting, the commissions we earn monthly, how much traffic we are driving to our websites, how high we are ranking in the SERPs, did we win our pool match, etc. and so on and so on.
By default we tend to be results-focused, forward-looking, and goal-pursuing. Why?
Because we’re hard wired to be discontent with the present while striving for a better future.
This is certainly understandable. Results are much easier to measure and evaluate than processes. Since we know others judge us based on results, we tend to care way too much what others think.
However, the fact is if we focus our attention and effort less on the results we’re hoping for and more on the processes and techniques we plan to use, we will learn faster, become more successful, and be far happier with our outcomes.
A Path to Greater Happiness
In the long run things rarely turn out the way we expect them to.
If your happiness is strictly predicated by your success, and if your success is strictly predicated on a specific outcome, you are setting yourself up for a great likelihood of frustration and disappointment.
Instead let go of the need for any particular outcome, and you will increase your chances for success and contentment.
It’s fine to set goals and desire a certain outcome; just don’t make your happiness contingent on it. Stem your happiness from knowing that you gave every attempt your best effort.
This is truly a path to greater happiness.
And ironically more consistent successes.
John Wooden: A Great Role Model
Here is a great lesson in valuing processes over outcomes that we can learn from one of our most successful sports coaches.
The greatest and most winning college basketball coach in history, John Wooden never told his players they had to win. Not once.
What he told his players everyday was to be the best they can be. And the rest would take care of itself. Everyday.
Here are some great John Wooden quotes that apply:
“If there’s anything you could point out where I was a little different, it was the fact that I never mentioned winning.”- J. Wooden
“You can lose when you outscore somebody in a game. And you can win when you’re outscored.”- J. Wooden
“Just do the best you can. No one can do more than that.”- J. Wooden
“Never try to be better than someone else. Learn from others, and try to be the best you can be. Success is the by-product of that preparation.”- J. Wooden
John Wooden was all about processes, not outcomes. The outcomes were simply the byproducts of the processes he employed.
8 Steps to Take to Focus on Processes
Focusing on processes can be a very “difficult process” for anyone hard-wired on results, but with consistent practice this new mindset can be achieved to a point where you can thrive. .
Here are 8 Steps to take to focus on processes over outcomes?
- Focus on the process with diligence and effortful study, then let the outcome take care of itself.
- Bring awareness to your performance, either during or immediately after it, so you can learn to identify when bad results follow good processes, and vice-versa.
- Don’t pursue the rewards directly, trust that they will come.
- Rate yourself based on the effort, not the outcome.
- Determine what your best effort would look like, and then unleash it.
- Stop worrying about what others will think of your performance.
- Don’t only try to win today, try to become a winner.
- Be happier when your best effort results in defeat than when a weak effort results in victory.
Focusing on process will let you engage more deeply with the present and experience it more fully, which will help you learn faster and experience life more completely.
The more you focus on process over outcome, the more confident you’ll become, and there’s no greater measure for success than attractiveness and confidence.
Thanks for taking the time to read this artcle my dear friends, and to be highly engaged in the process.
As usual, all of your comments will be most appreciated!