Focus on the Process, Not the Result
I recently finished reading the book The Miracle Morning for Network Marketers. I have the ebook so I highlighted digitally, took screenshots, and sent snippets to my team a few times. There are some nuggets of gold in that book. The interesting part about all those "nuggets" that stood out to me is that they are all solid pieces of wisdom that apply to more than just network marketing. The biggest piece of wisdom for me is this:
"The secret to success in network marketing is to be committed to my daily process without being emotionally attached to my results. I can't always control my daily results, but as long as I follow through with the process, the law of averages will always play out, and my results will take care of themselves."
Wow. "Be committed to my daily process" but not "emotionally attached to my results."
This can be applied to every area of my life. From running my business, to losing the baby weight, to growing spiritually, to raising up my kids to know and love God... I can get so focused (truthfully, worried) about the future result that it often takes over my ability to be committed to the process.
Is there a process?
There is always a process for doing things. The very definition of process is: "a series of actions or steps taken in order to achieve a particular end." There is a process (a series of actions) for washing the dishes. There is a process for having a shower. There is a process for making coffee.
Whether we are conscious about it or not, there is a process involved in anything we do. It's how we get from start to finish.
Something I've learned, largely due to business books, is that there needs to be an intentional, thought out process or system in place in order to achieve our desired or optimal results. When we don't have an intentional process, we tend to be all over the place with our decisions and actions. This ends up causing us a lot of extra time and energy, with often a less than ideal result.
Think about how many times you've had a week's worth of laundry to wash, dry, and fold all in one day. Or how you've rushed frantically out the door with your kids in the morning because you're running late.
Sure, you got all the laundry done, but was it ideal for it to take up your entire day? And maybe you got the kids to school before the bell, but were you a stressed out basket case when you got there?
Why focus on the process, not the result?
Maybe you're not too worried about the laundry or school drop off, but you have a goal to lose 20 pounds. It's all you think about. You look at your clothes every morning and dread having to squeeze into a pair of jeans. You imagine yourself losing that weight and being able to fit into your favourite pair of shorts by the summer.
It's great to have a goal and to visualize yourself reaching your goal. But what happens when you step on the scale the next morning and you haven't lost a thing? Or worse, you've gained a pound. How does that make you feel? How does that affect your future choices? Often, when we are emotionally attached to the number on the scale, we allow it to have a negative impact on our ability to stay committed.
When we focus on the result, we're often let down. The journey towards any goal is always full of ups and downs. We feel a "high" when we're on a peak, but we feel "low" when we're in the valley. When we focus on the process, the part of our lives that we have control, we feel empowered.
In the example of losing weight, focusing on the process would mean focusing on going for your daily walk, drinking your 2 litres of water, and eating your lunch from home instead of eating out. Those are all actions you choose to do because they have a positive impact on your health. Stay committed to that process, regardless of the ups and downs of the scale.
Another example of focusing on the process would be in raising your kids to love God. You can't control whether or not they will know, love, and follow Jesus. But you can commit to teaching them about who God is and loving them as an example of His love for them. Becoming emotionally attached to their salvation can cause us to be too controlling or overcome with worry. As parents, we should focus on the process of teaching and leading by example, then let God take care of the result.
Daily action leads to success.
One of the most freeing mindset shifts for me was shifting my focus from my future to my present. There are too many variables and unknowns to try to guess what is going to happen, but what I can control is how I use each present day.
I'm not perfect. I still waste too much time scrolling through Facebook or I forget to take meat out of the freezer to thaw for dinner or I decide to watch an episode on Netflix while the kids nap instead of being productive. But I've been slowly learning how to organize my life, set up processes, and take daily action.
Decide what you want and what you need to do to get there, then focus on what you can do each day to help you get to where you want to be in the future. Focus on your daily progress, and let go of your emotional attachment to the long-term result.
Remember to celebrate your success along the way!