When a magical idea knocks on our door, we want to run down the path of mastery to fame and success. We want to arrive at the top immediately to maintain an image for the world to see. We become obsessed with the end goal. We forget that the structure we’re building requires a secure foundation.
Success is not a beautifully wrapped package delivered to our doorstep. It comprises little steps stacked against each other, creating the perfect pathway that eventually leads to our destination.
On my journey toward success, sometimes I lose sight of this fundamental truth. I forget that the big picture comprises many individual strokes that come together to create the masterpiece. Each stroke by itself may represent nothing significant, but together they tell a story.
When all I see is how big the mountain is in front of me and how high I need to climb, I become overwhelmed. I can’t help but think about the distance between where I am and where I want to be. The thought of enduring that feeling of discomfort becomes unbearable sometimes.
I’m familiar with the quote that says ‘Enjoy the process and forget about the outcome.’ But wait! If my focus is not on the outcome, why should I bother to grind every day?
I’m familiar with the quote that says ‘Enjoy the process and forget about the outcome.’ But wait! If my focus is not on the outcome, why should I bother to grind every day? What is motivating me to keep showing up? Why should I invest my time and energy if all I do is for the sake of enjoying the process? I want to know that my hard work pays off. I’m in it to win.
Don’t lose sight of the outcome
For me, the result is crucial. Isn’t that the reason we celebrate milestone achievements and use that to propel us forward? Those small wins matter — a lot. It blows my mind when people tell me to enjoy the process and forget the outcome. Don’t they realize the destination is just one spot, and the process is, well, a million tiny dots that connect the beginning and the end? Those dots can feel like an eternity.
Let me be real here. I don’t get to leap from one fluffy white cloud to another in a perpetual motion until I arrive at my castle. That’s not possible. Some days I’ll be good. Other days I’ll be at the bottom of the pit.
Building a creative dream isn’t always smooth sailing, and passion alone will not sustain me. It’s especially true when I’ve put in so much and not seeing the results I wanted. I wonder, what is the point?
I believe the outcome is just as important. It reminds me that when my passion wanes and I’m in a slump, I’m not wasting my time pressing through but paving the path to where I’m going.
One day, one week, one month — overtime, everything in life compounds, no matter how small.
Regardless of where we are, there is always something to celebrate. We don’t see it because we have the unrealistic idea of jumping from level 0 to level 10. When we’re at level 2, we’re frustrated. When we’re at level 5, we’re discontent. When we’re at level 7, we whine and complain.
We keep losing sight of how far we’ve come, the little steps we’ve accomplished that eventually add up. If we don’t have achievement markers along our journey, we become discouraged.
Instead of celebrating the small wins, disappointment clouds our path because all we see is how far we still need to go. We force ourselves to go through the motions because we’re desperate for the results but dreading what it takes to get us there.
While working on our dream, whether creative, business, or health, it’s impossible to identify that one point where everything changes. That big, giant leap that transforms us from failure to success does not exist. There is no secret hack that will make everything easier right now. The resources we need are not immediately available but are acquired along the way as we travel down the path of persistence. Every little step counts.
No one can climb a mountain overnight, and no one needs to. That’s an impossible task. But if we shift our perspective and focus on taking just one step forward, that takes the pressure off. I’m at the foot of the mountain. I’m not strong enough to get up there, but I can manage one step right now. That’s doable. Anybody can. We do one more step tomorrow and another the following day.
That’s huge because often, I notice each day comes with its share of obstacles and barriers that I need to overcome. Just getting through today is an impressive accomplishment. One day, one week, one month — overtime, everything in life compounds, no matter how small.
Now and then, I take the time to glance over my shoulder to see how far I’ve come. I’ve always been able to notice that I’m further along than when I started. Sure, I can’t plant a flag on the mountain peak just yet, but where I am today was a dream 12 months ago.
I’m glad I started. Indeed, there’s still more work to do, but time continues forward whether or not I take action. I can grumble all day. How impossible it is to reach the top, how intimidating that goal seems, and how insignificant is that one step compared to the million steps required of me. As I complain, time passes, and nothing is happening.
I’ve learned to enjoy the process, but I don’t take my eyes off the outcome. That’s the fuel that keeps me going. I permit myself to celebrate every little success. When I begin to view life this way, I realize nothing is too big or too difficult. I’m winning the game.
What about you? How far away are you from your goals? Remember, there is no such thing as an insignificant step. There are only steps not taken. One day, you’ll be glad that all you did was take that one small step.