Focus on the Process, Not the Outcome

Last Update: Aug 17, 2018

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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!


Cheers,

Kaju


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Recent Comments

161

This post hit home, for sure.

Colette's dad always said to strive to be the best at whatever you are doing. He was a fan of the poet Edgar Guest, who was a very down to earth, grassroots poet. Here is a little quote of his:

"Courage must come from the soul within; the man must furnish the will to win. So figure it out for yourself, my lad. You were born with all that the great have had."

We are so with you on this journey, Kaju. Thanks for your post.
Colette and Philip

Thank you C & P. I cherish your very important reminder of poet Edgar Guest's grassroots life lesson here. Especially his comment "...You were born with all that the great have had."

We are all made from the same "stuff" and are all born to be great. And whether we believe in God, the Universe, or some other entity that is higher than we are, we ALL share in its premodial "stuff".

Well said!

Thanks!:)

Great Post Kaju,

Be the best you can be.. Everyday, So True!!

- Glen B

Amen to that, Glen. Let's always strive to be OUR best:)

Really great stuff to think about -- but I wonder if this is really that realistic for those of us who depend on that success for paying the bills... In other words, we can feel successful as a person and because of the blessings we have worked to create in our lives, but focusing on the success of our businesses or our jobs or whatever is, to me, very realistic.

If I am not focused on my success at the law firm where I work, I will pretty much guarantee the end of my job there. If I am not successful at running my web design business, I won't get new clients.

So while it is important to focus on the here and now, and certainly less stressful, I think it has to be a healthy balance of both.

Really great post and thanks...!

Very salient points Amy, Thank You. We definitely need to be realistic. This post in no way is implying that we not be concerned with achieving positive and desirable end results. After all, as you say our success in the end (re: results) are very important and realistic to maintain to keep our jobs.

Quite the contrary.
I still personally struggle with this. And then I meditated, and later did some reading. And pondered.

There are things that are simply out of our control. You can do everything right and still lose the client. or you can do many things wrong, and keep the client.

The sooner we accept this fact, that the process is what matters most to focus on - and only in adopting this new attitude will we achieve more consistent successful end results - the happier and more balanced our lives will be. And the more successes we will achieve.

The same holds true with my pool game, which is one of the reasons why wrote this post. I am mired in one of my worst slumps.Yet I've being many things right, playing very well, and have still lost 6 consecutive matches.

Another example. A member who I'm friends with here was lamenting today in a post that she was down in August, was doing everything right and worked even MORE than she did in July, but her traffic on her website had dropped drastically.

That's why focusing on your success should be rooted in keeping your eyes carefully engaged in the process first, with a positive end goal in mind of course. Too much emphasis is placed on stressing about the outcome first , but this is a flawed way of thinking and can undermine your efforts.

Thanks so much again Amy:) I have a new You Tube channel where I'm producing great content.
Check out our great Tokyo story as well as my Efren Reyes match win video play by play:)
Send me your YT link and I will Subscribe. You can Subscribe to my channel here:)

http://bit.ly/2T21P2N

If you don't yet, I will happily return the favor when yours is up.:)

I loved the blog, I will defiantly try to focus on the process and not the outcome.

Be defiant Ashley, focus Defiantly.
I Love it!

Thanks so much again Ashley:) I have a new You Tube channel where I'm producing great content.
Check out our great Tokyo story as well as my Efren Reyes match win video play by play:)
Send me your YT link and I will Subscribe. You can Subscribe to my channel here:)

http://bit.ly/2T21P2N

If you don't yet, I will happily return the favor when yours is up.:)

Cheers

Ditto!

Great Blog Kaju. Full of wit and wisdom. Walk the path... so true
To you!

Thank You Fleeky, you walk the path!

So true, will follow your philosophy.

Than You Ria, it is SO important and it will make you happier!

Have to keep it on the Steven Covey track. Begin with the end in mind but have fun on the way!

I like that one Mike, it is so very true. xxx

Always have FUN, right on Mike!

Yes so true C, and smiley red and yellow clowns know about these things:)

Hey Kaju, like the saying goes "true, true." My philosophy is duality.

Indubitably Afforo. Way to go!

Thanks so much again Afforo:) I have a new You Tube channel where I'm producing great content.
Check out our great Tokyo story as well as my Efren Reyes match win video play by play:)
Send me your YT link and I will Subscribe. You can Subscribe to my channel here:)

http://bit.ly/2T21P2N

If you don't yet, I will happily return the favor when yours is up.:)

Thanks Kaju. I always find it better to allow others to judge me.

Derek

There you go Derek. The habits of a winner!

So true Kaju! I run marathons, enjoy the 26.2 miles as much as finishing the race. And if you enjoy the run, you are more likely to cross the finish line. Thanks for sharing! Brian

Fabulous Brian! Thanks. Continued success in all your processes from running marathons to running your business!

Thanks so much again Brian:) I have a new You Tube channel where I'm producing great content.
Check out our great Tokyo story as well as my Efren Reyes match win video play by play:)
Send me your YT link and I will Subscribe. You can Subscribe to my channel here:)

http://bit.ly/2T21P2N

If you don't yet, I will happily return the favor when yours is up.:)

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