It's the process that matters

My grandparents had a dog. He was the cutest, happiest puppy I’d ever met. I was a child, he was a puppy and together we got along well. I remember one sunny afternoon. I was sitting in the shade and the puppy was resting on the ground near my feet. Then, he got up and started chasing his tail in circles, and circles and circles, until he got tired and, with a satisfied look on his face, settled down for a nap. He accomplished his goal.

We all have goals.

More sales, more customers. Better customers. A better business. A sunnier office. More freedom. More fulfillment. There will always be another goal. We will always want more or different, because that’s what life is all about. Wanting and fulfilling.

Goals are beautiful, and goals do lead the way. We want our goals to happen, so we think about them a lot.

But it’s the process to get our goals accomplished that truly matters. It’s the process that changes us and has the most profound impact on us, not the achievement of the goals. It’s the process that occupies most of our living time.

If the process is what truly matters, shouldn’t we enjoy it a little bit more?

My grandparents’ puppy wasn’t just chasing his tail. He was chasing the fun of running around and around and around. He wanted to experience the process of running after his tail, and he did so with playfulness, exhilaration and surrender. Because it was the process that mattered to him, not the tail.

We’re programmed to think that the excitement will come only when we get to the destination. I’ll stop fretting when I get this done. I’ll be happy when I finish my product. I’ll be happy when I get my first 5000 customers. I’ll be happy when I finish my book.

But why not make the process as exciting as attaining the goals? Why wait until it’s all done? Why did I worry so much along the way, most of us think when we reach a milestone. Why didn’t I enjoy it a little more, we wonder with regret.

Like a puppy running after his tail, we too can revel in the experience of chasing our goals.

That book you want to write? It’s the process that matters. Enjoy it all, from allowing the idea to visit with you, to editing it, to sharing your book with the world.

That business you want more customers for? It’s the process that matters. Enjoy it all, from creating something meaningful to sell for money, to putting it in front of people, to saying thank you to the customers who buy it.

I invite you to fall in love with the process. Whatever you’re working on right now, whatever you want, whatever you want to change or whatever you want to become - it’s a process and it wants to dance with you. A jazzy, fluid and beautiful process.