Enjoy the Journey

by Ron Potter

Shane Parrish, my favorite blogger, offered the following quote—

“Become addicted to the process and results will follow. “

I believe many of us who are used to charging ahead and getting things done have a hard time coming to grips with this quote.  It just seems like we should be focused on the outcome and the results more than the process.

Simone Biles

Simone is considered the best gymnast of all time.  She has had four gymnastics elements named after her — one on beam, one on vault, two on floor.  She seems to be able to locate herself in space, regardless of what her logical brain is trying to tell her.  When she is high in space over that beam, her mind is able to locate herself and her body in relationship with the beam or the floor.  There is nothing quite like her ability to do so.

So when she pulled out of the Tokyo Olympics, everyone was baffled.  Why would she do such a thing?  One of her own explanations likened it to being blind all of a sudden but with everyone expecting you to continue to perform your regular job.  But I was blind!

Her quote that caught my attention was “The outpouring of love and support I’ve received has made me realize that I’m more than my accomplishments in gymnastics which I never truly believed before.”  Italics are mine.

The point is she never realized that her self-worth was more than what she could and had accomplished as a gymnast!

More Than Your Accomplishments

This is the heart of the issue that most high achievers deal with.  They (we) assume that our self-worth is dependent on a high level of accomplishment. 

This is a dangerous tightrope.

Just like Simone, her original feeling of not being able to compete at that high level equaled failure.  Her quote above about being more than her accomplishments shows that she was dealing well with what originally felt like a failure.

What Keeps You Up At Night?

Is it a task or accomplishment?  Are you thinking about everything that has to be done but you haven’t accomplished?  Is it thinking about what you have to “do” first thing in the morning (Saturday and Sunday included)?  Does it feel like you have to instantly respond to emails or texts 24/7 because something might need to be done?  Have tasks and the need to accomplish them taken over your life?

When I was first going into the consulting world 30+ years ago, I had an interview with the head of the Detroit office of one of the large consulting firms.  As I talked with the general manager he asked me, “If I need you and I call you to immediately come to the office, but you’re at your son’s birthday party, will you be will to leave and come to the office?”

I was so blown away by the question I didn’t even know what to say.  I asked the manager “How did you handle those situations?”  His answer was, “I got remarried!”

He was willing to sacrifice his family in order to get the job done.  His wife divorced him and he eventually remarried with no kids.  That ended my interview.  I wasn’t willing to sacrifice my family (and life) and he wasn’t willing to hire me if I wouldn’t make that sacrifice.

He seemed happy.  He had the corner office high in Detroit office tower, an entire section of the company working for him; he was well paid, etc.  But he may have been the saddest person I ever met.

Become Addicted To The Process

As Shane says, become addicted to the process and results will follow.

What’s process?  If you’ve been a reader of this blog, none of this will be news but your process should include:

  • Being Humble.  We all want to stand out and be seen as the best.  But what people remember about you will be your humility, not your arrogance.
  • Build Team.  There is an abundance of research and experience that indicated teams outperform individuals.  However, that’s only true if the team is functioning as a unit rather than just a group of people.  Especially a group of people who are there simply to do what the arrogant boss tells them to do.
  • Build relationships.  People want to know that you care for them and know them as human beings, not just about what they can accomplish.  People are motivated to work hard and be innovative if they believe their teammates and their boss know them and care about them as human beings.
  • There are many other processes that you can be focused on but start with these three.  The results will follow.

Meaningless Photo

This is a photo that really has nothing to do with the blog but when I saw this photo of Simone and Shaquille O’Neal together I couldn’t resist including it.  Enjoy!


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