There is a very simple principle that I come back to again and again. It is so simple, in fact, that it can be easy to overlook or dismiss as unimportant. If your goal is to live a life of peace and perseverance though, you must understand and embrace this principle. What is the principle?
There is Power in Process!
I told you it was simple. The truth is, if we are able to build our lives around process instead of arbitrary measures of success, we will experience success, as a product of process, as well as lives of balance and peace. My March or Die Podcast (which can be found here) deals with this topic so I wont make this a long post. For those that prefer to read instead of listening to me rant, here are the main points.
1. Learn to love the process and let the goal come to you.
When we learn to love the process of achievement as much as the achievement itself, we will persevere when the goal, or achievement, takes longer to appear than expected. It can be so easy to see the process as a means to an end which often leads to frustration and sometimes an overwhelming desire to quit when things don’t turn out exactly as we had hoped. If we learn to love the process though, the goal or measure of success, the achievement, is a by product that will come to us. Don’t focus on the goal. Focus on the process required to get to the goal and you will find fulfillment as much in the journey as you do in the destination.
2. The process can be controlled-The outcomes cannot.
I am a big believer in controlling what you can control while letting go of the rest. The reality that many choose to ignore is that OUTCOMES CANNOT BE CONTROLLED! Attempting to control outcomes leads to anger, frustration, and often depression. There are so many variables when it comes to outcomes that cannot be controlled. That’s why defining success is a near impossible task.
What you can control, however, is process. You can control getting up every day and doing the things, following the process that leads to an outcome. You can focus on controlling what you can control and letting go of what you cannot. This will allow for peace and contentment even when outcomes are different than desired because you know you did everything that you could to get you where you wanted to be.
You cannot control outcomes, but you can control the process.
3. When you focus on the process, you can adjust for better outcomes.
How many times have you gotten a desirable outcome but, if you were honest, could not explain why things turned out well? Perhaps it was luck or the hard work of others but it was not the result of good planning and and well executed process. This happens. And when it does we should be happy about it. The problem here is that when the next outcome is not what we had hoped we have no way of adjusting for a better outcome. If you do not know why something works you will not know what to do when it doesn’t. When you focus on the process though, you can make adjustments and identify areas that need adjustment when you need to get back on track.
4. Emotions should not be tied to outcomes.
This goes along with the previous points, but our emotions should not be tied to outcomes that we cannot control. Tie your emotions to the process, whether or not you are doing all that you can, and you will experience peace and joy, contentment, regardless of how things turn out.
5. Process creates a resilient life. When things get crazy, you know what to come back to.
A resilient person is one who can bounce back when they get knocked down. Living a life focused on process does not mean that there will not be trials, traumas, and difficulties. That is not really the goal. It does mean that when the unexpected happens and you get knocked off course you will be able to get back to the established process and keep moving forward. Adjustments may need to be made and the process may look different but you will have a course to realign to when you get back up. Living a life of process allows you to live a life that is resilient.
There is Power in Process. While this is often an overlooked principle for those seeking to move forward through trial and difficulty, a life built around process is a life that will find success but will also experience peace, contentment and joy along the way.