“The reward of our work isn’t what we get, it’s what we become.” – David Hassell
Goals run our lives, and for good reason. With goals, we give ourselves dedication, drive, and a healthy level of ambition. Without them, our lives would be like tumbleweeds blowing in the wind – a lot of stopping and starting with little-to-no progress.
Goal setting is a great way to give our lives purpose. Achieving those goals is a great way to measure the success of our lives. But when our goals become our sole focus, the purpose and success they give us comes at a cost: the loss of the present moment.
Have you ever heard the saying “love the process”? Loving the process means loving the fact that you are better today than you were yesterday. It is loving the challenge of incremental daily improvement. What’s the point of a goal if you can’t stand the process of achieving it? Life is short. We should be equally focused on – and happy with – the goal we set as well as the process of getting there.
That’s not to say that achieving some goals are both tough and painful. Just ask a law student studying for the bar. But you should take pride in – and glean happiness from – the strength of character, the increased knowledge, and the discipline gained from working toward a goal as lofty as becoming a lawyer. Studying might be tough, but if you can’t enjoy the person you’re becoming as a result of the studying, than what’s the point?
The key is to be process oriented and goals driven. We all need the drive that goal setting gives us, but we also need the life-altering meaning we gain by enjoying the present moment.
How many of us have set out to attain a goal only to be unsatisfied when it was attained? Want a new car…ok, now what? Want that corner office…wasn’t as big as you thought, huh? Want to start your own company…well you’re incorporated, what now?
Goal setting gives your life purpose, but orienting yourself toward loving the process of waking up every day and making that .0001% progression toward achieving your goals is what gives your life meaning.
Many times the goal we set out to achieve isn’t even the goal we want by the end. To someone manically focused on the end result, this is devastating. The end all be all. But to someone oriented toward the process rather than the goal itself, this isn’t more than a blip on their success radar. The goal might not be worth attaining after all, but by focusing on incremental daily success and progression, they end up growing in a way that wouldn’t have been possible otherwise.
They are essentially achieving their overarching goal of constant self improvement.
David Hassell once wrote, “The reward of our work isn’t what we get, it’s what we become.” Couldn’t have said it better myself, so I won’t.
Goals are important, but loving the process is the true key to success. When we take pride in the process of becoming incrementally better every day, there’s no way we won’t be successful in our endeavors. And hey, lets face it, achieving a goal is only gratifying when we understand exactly how much hard work was needed to get there.
Evan Tarver is an author, nonfiction writer and editor, screenwriter, and small business owner with a background in finance and technology. Overall, the content he creates is meant to shift the way people think and encourage them to act. Some ideas explore the social environment on the macro level, some ideas explore the transformative power of personal growth on the micro-level, while most fall somewhere in between.