Do you set goals? Do you dream about the result of the goal and enjoy that picture in your mind’s eye?
For many of us, this step is the easiest part. We all set goals. We carefully go through the list of things we want to accomplish, do all the research diligently and come up with an awesome ‘action plan’ to achieve the goal. For many of us, the hardest step comes next. The process.
The process is all the intermediate things that needs to happen, between setting the goal and achieving the result, for our goal to become a reality. The process, also called strategy by people with MBAs, is the invisible machine that takes your dreams and converts it into the tangible results that would make you feel all proud about yourself and people around you envious. But the sad thing is that, many of us want the result, but we are not willing to own the process. We want to be rich, but we don’t want to do all the planning and execution needed to become wealthy. We want to learn to speak Spanish, but we don’t want to spend time actually learning it. We want the end result, but we don’t want to own the process. And without process, all you have is a big list of to-do items that never get done.
Upon closer inspection it is clear that process is what differentiates an average person from an accomplished person of any degree. From the outside, we only see the achievement, with all its glamour and adoration, but it cleverly hides all the planning and execution involved in the process that has ultimately lead to the achievement. We all know how great our favorite athletes are, but we rarely look or reflect on the amount of training, discipline and persistence they put themselves through. It is the many hours of totally under-appreciated process that made these people’s work great. This is true for anybody who has done anything of note in any field imaginable. The invisible machine is what powers great works of genius and without it even mediocre tasks seem like mountains. Once the process is understood and perfected, genius becomes the norm and almost effortless.
Once you acknowledge the importance of the process the goals become fairly straightforward. You know what you have to do, and all that is left is to actually do it. Of course, this is easier said than done. But there is no way around it. It does not matter if your goal is minimal or grand, intricate or simple, without the process, the end result of your goal is arbitrary. You have got to put your head down and decide, very clearly, that it’s not the goal but the process that is essential. If you want to get fit, then instead of focusing on how great you would look after getting fit, focus on what you should do to get fit and then do it. If you want to write a blog everyday, instead of thinking about writing a good blog everyday, think about the strategies that will enable you to produce an article consistently and then actually do it [In case you hadn’t noticed, I missed three days in the last five including a double miss on Tuesday and Wednesday]. Once you get into the practice of perfecting the process no goal will be out of reach.
How do you achieve your goals? What are your strategies to make sure you stay on track for achievement? Share your knowledge and make the world a better place.
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