I'm joining pals Sarah and Elizabeth to write every day in the month of December, feel free to join in any time! Today's prompt: Process Over Outcome. What did you take on this year where you truly enjoyed the process (and didn’t just focus on the outcome).
Hmmm. I can think of a lot of times that I had a goal (outcome) and achieved it. Hurrah. I can even think of times when I've thought I was putting a lot of value in my process, but when examining it closer, I realize that the outcome has been more important to me all along. Oops. It's becoming painfully evident that I infrequently focus on the process and put the outcome second.
But then I read this today. (an excerpt from Steal Like An Artist by Austin Kleon)
Something that you do just because it makes you happy. Not the outcome that makes you happy, the thing that makes you happy.
Wow, I have a lot of things that make my happy. Clean, folded, organized, and put away laundry is an outcome that makes me happy. But, I truly enjoy the process of it, from beginning to end. The sorting, the smell after, the happy chime the machine makes when it's done, the way the clothes feel when they're going in, coming out, being hung up, being folded. I don't do it for praise or to receive any favor in return- although I know G appreciates it very much- I would do it anyways. That's a pretty soft example, but at least I don't have to feel bad about my failure to enjoy a process.
Speaking of hobbies that make me happy, teaching my classes at the gym is another thing that I do that I enjoy the process of. The outcomes are nice too - staying healthy, a built-in workout for me, helping other people stay fit - but those are all things that happen incidentally. I love the process. Getting new releases every quarter, assessing them, seeing how my reaction changes to them the more and more I listen and watch, planning for classes (although I do complain sometimes it is a burden I generally like it), connecting with members, the actual process of teaching a class and appreciating the differences between the formats I teach and members I teach to... it's all a process that I enjoy very much. Or, I wouldn't do it.
That's perhaps something we don't realize all the time. If we don't enjoy the process, we generally won't do it. Like, some crazy diet. We can force ourselves for a finite amount of time to do something strictly for an outcome, like weight loss. But it's not sustainable. The process of becoming healthy and making good choices and feeling better has to be something that you enjoy. And then weight comes off incidentally. Like, oops! I accidentally did that. It's true.
More process, less outcome. Enjoy the journey, not the destination. Prolong that meandering adventure in life... forever. Never arrive. I love this statement so much. I find so much comfort in it. It's part of my #iambecoming campaign. Always continue to grow and to become. The outcome is not you, the process is you. #thanksyoda