Published on September 3rd, 2013 | by Jason Goldberg
Lessons from a Time Traveling Physicist: Focusing on the Process, Not the Outcome
Hey all you MEometrists! This is JG and YOU are watching MEometryTV, THE place to be to yearn more, learn more and earn more from your life and business.
Today I want to talk about achievement!
Gold medals, big sales contracts, degrees, work projects, 6% body fat, you know, all the stuff you work your little tushy off for in order to get the BIG RESULTS, THE REWARD, THE PAYOFF, when you are finally able to pump your fists in the air, feel victorious and know that there is NOTHING that can take that feeling away from you! Until that is, you remember that, for many of us, it feels as if we are only as good as our last sale, our last project or our last big accomplishment.
When I was thinking about somebody I could use to paint a picture of when such a punch in the accomplishment gut happens, I immediately thought of my favorite fictional time traveling physicist, Dr. Samuel Beckett from the 90’s cult classic Quantum Leap. For those who are not familiar with this show, first of all, shame on you, go watch it on Netflix as soon as this video is done, but essentially Sam travels through time, temporarily taking the place of other people to quote “put things right that once went wrong”. Everything from preventing suicides and saving marriages that have domino effects on the lives of other people to advancing the civil rights movement in the deep south in the 1950’s. This guy has his work cut out for him every time! He has no knowledge of the people or places involved until he arrives and figures it out almost entirely on his own. There is no guarantee of success, he is constantly having to experiment with his methods and the understanding that he may be stuck forever and never get to go home if he fails. And here is the kicker. As soon as he DOES accomplish righting whatever wrong he was tasked with, he almost immediately “leaps” from that person to another one and the adventure starts all over again. This guy is saving lives, saving families, saving humanity and he doesn’t get more than 5 seconds to celebrate it before he has to start all over again.
Do you ever feel this way?
You pour your heart and soul into achieving something, you accomplish it, sometimes against all odds and overcoming your own limitations, but your happiness is short-lived because that success triggers the “leap” into the next project, the next result, the next outcome you are searching or are responsible for? It is a never ending cycle that can leave you unfulfilled and unhappy which can be detrimental to your growth in life and business.
What if there were a way to make that feeling of accomplishment last…I don’t mean for 5 or 10 minutes more, I’m talking about damn near EVERY DAY! Doing that, like most of the things we talk about here at MEometry, is simple, but NOT necessarily easy. The answer is to focus on the process NOT the outcome. I know what you are saying, “How in the F*#k am I supposed to focus on the process when it’s the RESULT, the OUTCOME that my boss, my customers, my teachers, my (insert external iron fist here) is measuring!”
Believe me, I feel you on this COMPLETELY, and it’s a part of our results-based culture to be this way and it kinda sucks. We have quarterly earnings reports on wall street, annual performance reviews at work, championships in sports and medals in the Olympics and NONE of the people who participate are deemed “successful” by outsiders because of their process, but instead only by their end result. It is one of the reasons that I became an entrepreneur so I could dictate what was important and what should have focus in my own company.
How about an example from my own life that seems timely. I hit this HARD while creating this actual video! It is such an important topic to me and I was so focused on the outcome of how it would be received, would it be something that people could really resonate and relate to, would they take action to overcome it? Unfortunately, none of that focused on the process and on another note was focused on external validation, which is something I will do a video on in the future. Focusing on the process by the way is really focusing on a collection of every big AND every seemingly insignificant action I take, my attention to it and my detachment of my concern for the NEXT step while I focus on THIS step.
So here is what I did to get back to reality and shift my focus to the process:
- I remembered that every time I create a new video, I am refining my skills in breaking down and communicating concepts that are important to me and that I think are important to this community. I am getting better and more natural on camera, on my willingness to be authentic and vulnerable and on building and sharing my story of overcoming my own doubts, beliefs and insecurities so I can help others do the same.
It took me actually writing that last part down and re-reading it probably a dozen times at the height of my block to help me shift my thinking, push through and keep moving forward. You will see that there was no mention or focus given to whether the video was actually impactful or whether it fulfilled my goal of causing others to be inspired to take action. Focusing on the process also means having faith that being truly dedicated to the incremental steps involved in the process are the rewards themselves and the goal coming to fruition is just icing on the cake.
And what about our good buddy Sam, the quantum leaper. How did he make this shift? Sam knew his purpose: to put right what once went wrong and in order to do that he would constantly have to acquire new skills in helping himself and others overcome major obstacles. Every leap was a chance to learn new skills in being of service to others that he knew he could take with him (in fact it was the only thing he could take with him) to help in the next challenge he encountered. If he didn’t pay attention to the importance of each decision he was making and each step he was taking, he would not have been able to make the connections to the people and situations he was in to gain their trust and make the difference he needed to make.
The point here is to dedicate your focus to the process, quite possibly the only thing you have any real control over. Then the outcome will be exactly what it needs to be and so you don’t NEED to worry about it. I’m not saying you shouldn’t have a goal, or a picture in your head of what you want the outcome to be, but once you have that, you need to release it and refocus onto the process.
Focus on the experiences you will have as a part of the process over the outcome. Especially if you are going to be a successful entrepreneur, you will need to get used to appreciating, respecting and embracing the process.
Here are 3 tips to help you do that, NOW:
- Before starting a new project or experimenting with something outside of your comfort zone, list 3 skills or experiences that you hope to learn from undertaking this process. So even if you “fail” you will have succeeded. (having these non-end-result goals in place will help you identify different areas of success during the process)
- Be fully present in the process. – What work can I do and give my absolute best effort in RIGHT NOW that will best serve my ultimate goal. There is only one outcome to celebrate but there can be tons of milestones along the way to celebrate, weekly, daily or even multiple times per day for improvement and eventual mastery of particular steps in the process.
- Luckily, you are not a quantum leaper!: Unless you are in certain, very specific professions, the outcome of your decisions, projects or business dealings are not a matter of life and death. Remember that no matter how fast you drive, the horizon NEVER gets any closer so you might as well enjoy the scenery, have fun and take advantage of the time you have on this earth to learn, experience, stretch and soak it all in instead of worrying about the outcome.
I’ll leave you with a quote and it’s a sweet-tweet-treat so feel free to share it:
“The achievement of our goals seems glamorous. It is the journey though, not the outcome, that leaves a lasting impression upon us.” @JasonRGoldberg – Click here to tweet it!
Now as you know, we yearn, learn and earn exponentially more when we share our gifts with each other. I want to hear from you, so leave a comment below and sound off with your opinions on this outcome-centric focus. Oh and If we get at least 15 comments, I am going to pick one person at random to give a FREE month of life architecture coaching! So get your friends involved and good luck!
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Plus, If you are a future-prenuer who dreams of dumping your 9-5 and starting a business of your own, I can coach you to build the skill set and mind set to find the true happiness and massive success that you have been searching for. Click the “work with JG” link above or the picture of me on the right for an absolutely free, one-on-one strategy session to see if what I got is what you need to get where you desire to go! What are you waiting for? Get out of your comfort zone and take the leap!
Remember that you and your gifts are extraordinary and exceptional. Be You, Do You, and Love You because you know there is only one OF you!
See you next time on MEometryTV