You aren’t in control of the outcome. That is a hard sentence for some to read. In this post I’ll give you three resources that have inspired me to focus on the process and not the outcome.
We all want control. I’m a type A engineer so I’m right there with you. I want to be in control and dictate the outcome. Unfortunately life doesn’t really work like that. Often times I’ve found myself looking at the outcome and not being too pleased.
As I reflect on my actions to get that outcome I’m pleased with what I’ve done. I’ve put in the work, I’ve done everything I can, and yet I’m still not getting the results I want.
The thing I’m realizing more and more is that I need to focus on the process not the outcome.
Focus on the process not the outcome
This isn’t easy, but trust me, it works. Regardless of what you are trying to accomplish its vital you forget about what you are trying to accomplish and put all your time, sweat, and energy into determining the things that are within your control.
Focus on the actions. Focus on the process.
Don’t worry about winning that game coach. Focus on the building blocks of a successful team and the wins will take care of themselves.
Don’t worry about that fast pace runner. Focus on the training, nutrition and tools you’ll need to get there.
Don’t worry about page views blogger (yea right!). Focus on the quality content, guest posting and SEO.
Putting your focus on the things that are 100% within your control will give you the freedom to dig in and make real progress.
The common denominator of success
I just happened to run across this speech given to life insurance salesman nearly 80 years ago. It still rings so true today.
I’d highly recommend you give it a read. It’s hard to believe something so old and for an audience of life insurance salesman would be so applicable to success.
The money quote is:
“The common denominator of success — the secret of success of every man who has ever been successful — lies in the fact that he formed the habit of doing things that failures don’t like to do.”
Give that some thought. It’s so powerful and yet so true. If you want to accomplish things that most won’t, you’ve got to do things that most refuse to do. This aligns so well with the EAT money philosophy that if you want to be in the 1% you’ve got to do 1% work.
Habits are such a powerful tool and something that, if done correctly, can have such a profound impact on one’s life.
10 Years of Unwavering Commitment
I study success. I study what success is, think about what it looks like for me, and try and meet successful people.
A key difference I’ve found between successful people and everyone else is that they just stick with it. Whatever “it” is to them they put their head down and grind. On the other hand I’ve seen several people in their careers get enthused about something, give it a year or two then try something new.
How are they ever going to make progress if they keep changing course?
Sam at Financial Samurai put out a great piece of content around this topic (find it here). His primary thought is that:
“I strongly believe if you do one hard thing for 10 years in a row, you will achieve results far beyond your expectations. Don’t quit before giving your effort a chance to produce amazing results.”
Think of how many people you know that have stuck with one thing for 10 years. I’d guess that the vast majority of them have some level of success. I believe that persistence is one of the key drivers of success.
The reason I believe this is simply because most people won’t stick with anything. Sometimes I just tell myself, just stick around. Go through the motions. Sometimes your all isn’t going to be great but its better than not doing anything.
Nick Saban and The Process
If you aren’t aware of who Nick Saban is I’d recommend checking into him. The success he’s had coaching football is second to almost anyone who has ever dared to coach college football.
His main message: Don’t worry about the scoreboard, focus on the process.
I’ll never forget the moment below. It was near the end of a national championship game. Alabama was throttling the opponent and they had virtually wrapped it up. Then this happened:
The all-american quarterback and his center start going at it! They weren’t laid back because they had the national championship in the bag. None of that mattered.
The Alabama players were so focused on perfection. They were so focused on perfecting the process they didn’t care what the score was. The scoreboard didn’t matter.
Applying this to your life
What if you didn’t care about the scoreboard, focused on perfecting the process, and gave unwavering commitment for 10 years?
What could happen? Some of you may be scared to even think about it. I think the results could be that powerful. I think just 10 years with this mindset could be life altering.
Why doesn’t anyone do it? Because its hard. It wouldn’t be fun at times. It would mean late nights, early mornings and doing things that just plan aren’t fun.
Deal with it. Having success in any facet of life is going to require hard work and sacrifice.