Invest in the process so everyday is a good day. I’m not sure if this is an actual quote or if I merged two ideas together and wrote it down while I was listening to the TED Best of the Web talk of Srikumar Rao, the creator of “Creativity and Personal Mastery.” Whatever way, it’s been one of those “I get it!” moments for me.
Over the years I’ve had the opportunity to watch many people with various types and stages of illness go about the business of healing. Some become fixated on outcomes (cure) only-they will only allow themselves to be happy if and when they have achieved a cure-while others recognize that a cure is the direction they are moving towards, but embrace the process of healing first and foremost.
There is the nagging knowledge we all have that the final outcome of life is death. Still we want to know that we’re “cured” of a particular disease. The reality is that we have no control over our ultimate outcome. However, we do get to decide how we wish to proceed through life.
At the moment I’m writing a grant that isn’t as straightforward as I had hoped it would be. After listening to Rao’s talk, I decided to just embrace the process of writing the grant and not become obsessed over the outcome. That shift in attitude changed everything. While I certainly hope the grant will be funded, if it isn’t, I’ve learned so much from the process that my life is far richer for the experience. There is also the possibility that I can probably achieve the results I want but in a completely different way. Maybe most important, the process has been recharged me in ways I hadn’t thought imaginable.
There is something very freeing about living life from the perspective of process versus outcome. It certainly makes living with a chronic condition a bit more manageable. To that end, I reread Healingthe Whole Person: Ways to Increase Well-Being, which is the handout I give to people that I’m working with. I realize that it’s all about process, but I just haven’t called it that. Isn’t it amazing how reformatting an idea changes everything?
The bottom line of this post is simple-Focus on outcome (be it cure, remission) as a direction you are heading towards, but do not invest in it. Instead invest in the process. Check out the Healing theWhole Person post for ways to do that. You might also find Rao’s talk interesting as well.
I found an interesting quote, which is a good way to end this post. We enjoy the process far more than the proceeds. Warren Buffett