In our business and professional world, everyone seems focused on goals and results. Although there is merit to people who are goal focused and produce positive results, we often overlook a valuable part of reaching those objectives.
What happens between the starting point to the finish line can be the most important part of an initiative. This is what I refer to as the process. We are always in such a hurry to finish a project, to know the outcome and to have the end results that we rush through the process and forget to take in what was learned and how we grew professionally.
We can correlate this to other more emotionally driven things that occur in life. We have all heard the saying…”it isn’t about the destination, but the journey that matters…” or something to that effect. There is a great deal of truth in that, and we must remind ourselves to take it in. We have to be aware of what is going on and happening as we move forward.
Sometimes, what we accomplish isn’t as important as how we accomplished it. Who did we get to meet in our journey? What new skills did we learn? Were we exposed to a new experience? What did we become aware of about ourselves and our team? These and other questions should be asked on order to truly evaluate the process and become more knowledgeable and better-rounded.
There are many ways to observe and appreciate the process and everyone needs to do this in their own way, but some tactics might include daily journaling, engaging in regular conversation with team members and stakeholders, listing the small steps taken, regular reflection or just taking the time to think about what has happened and how it has affected what you are about to do.
“The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, the process is its own reward.” Amelia Earhart