“If you can’t describe what you are doing as a process, you don’t know what you’re doing.” -W. Edwards Deming
In his book, Living with the Monks, Jesse Itzler tells a story about being put on dishes duty at the monastery. It goes like this:
Jesse begins doing the dishes after having served food to over 100 people. As he’s working, the monks keep bringing in more and more plates. It gets to point that there are about 500 dirty dishes stacked up.
Knowing this could take hours, he asks one of the monks how many more he’d have to do,
“You only have to do one,” he said, “Just the one you’re holding in your hand.”
What once appeared to be a grueling and near impossible task is now as simple as doing one dish after the other.
This is the power of focusing on the process. The process turns something not so simple into something very simple. Here’s how.
Anything is Achievable When You Break it Down into Smaller Enough Pieces
“Any goal can be achieved if you break it down into enough small parts.” -Brian Tracy
Like Jesse, we all too often see a task in front of us and think it’s beyond our limits.
But the truth is, behind the achievement of any task is a simple process. You find and follow that process enough times and you’ll soon be right where you want to be.
Take for example a couple of the goals I want to achieve by the end of 2018:
- Get 10,000 Medium Followers
- Get under 10% body fat
At face value, these just look ridiculous and out of reach. But once broken down into smaller pieces, they both become incredibly manageable and achievable.
Getting 10,000 Medium followers is just writing word after word, sentence after sentence and article after article.
Getting under 10% body fat is as simple as tracking every single thing that goes into my mouth and staying under my caloric goal day after day.
Of course, there will be obstacles, but the premise is still the same.
Don’t focus on the achievement. Focus on the process. Break down your task into smaller pieces and do one thing at a time. Do it well, and then move on to the next piece.
The road to any goal is a matter of taking one step after the next. The process will take you right where you want to be. Results are the enemy that distract and prevent us from seeing this.
Don’t Try to Picture Everything Bad That Could Possibly Happen
“Don’t let your imagination be crushed by life as a whole. Don’t try to picture everything bad that could possibly happen. Stick with the situation at hand, and ask, “Why is this so unbearable? Why can’t I endure it?” -Marcus Aurelius
If we knew how much work it was going to take when setting out to achieve our goals, would we even bother trying?
I’ll tell you now, most people would not.
Most peoples motivation comes strictly from the results. Without seeing “real” and tangible results, they become filled with fear and doubt which leads them to run away from their dreams before anyone chance to open the door.
Said motivational speaker, Les Brown,
“Most people knock on the door of their dreams once, then run away before anyone has a chance to open the door. ”
But these sorts of feelings all crumble under the process. The process gives guidance, it forces you to solely focus on whats right in front of you and take one step at a time.
With this mindset, anything is achievable. You don’t need to give up on your dream or the task at hand because it looks like too much work. Don’t be blinded by the results. Simply trust in the process and you will win.
“The process is about doing the right things, right now. Not worrying about what might happen later, or the results, or the whole picture.” -Ryan Holiday
If you begin to focus on process, not the results, the way you do your work and what you accomplish will change very fast.
You’ll be achieving more than you ever thought possible.
You’ll be making more money.
You’ll be living at a higher level.
You’ll have more joy and satisfaction in your life.
The journey starts now. Focus on the process, not the results. Do one dish, one and word, and one step at a time. You don’t climb a mountain by simply looking at the top.