How the Process is The End
Every time we pursue a new goal, various things come up in our minds. Like, how far the climb is or how long will it take to accomplish. Are we even capable of attaining a set task? Then there comes procrastination. Like, I want to write a book but I’ve been postponing it for years now. At times, all I can think about is how the finished product would look, or will it be that great. The truth is I haven’t even begun yet.
I know that there is an end to my goal, a point when I’ll finally say I made it! But that’s it. That point is going to be the end! After that, I’ll have another mountain to climb on. I remember reading Yvon Chouinard,
“How you climb a mountain is more important than reaching the top.”
So how do we live the process?
The answer is simple. Yet, not so easy. We must know that “The process is the end. We need to endure it to the end.” Why?
Because this thing that you’re working on, the long-term or short-term goal, is going to end someday. With that, the entire process will die. So, you’ll say, “Ah! I’m bored. It was over too soon”. When in reality, you were always too focused on jumping through to the end. Like there was a shortcut or a door that will lead you to the finish line. Remember —
“If the path be beautiful, let us not ask where it leads.”
― Anatole France
Connecting the dots
Consider this. You are 70. Or 80. Sitting on a rocking chair, facing the ocean, having lived your life. You lived through your days, thinking there’s another one tomorrow. That it’s a new dawn, a brand new opportunity. Of course, it is. But you’re 80 now. You keep living like there will come another day when you’ll give your best shot. You know, maybe get to live your dream. But there won’t be another day. Life is too fragile to keep postponing. These days shall pass by you if you let them.
I was obsessed with the end. I would figure out how to quickly reach the top of a goal and set my eyes on another. All the while, I would be anxious about the future, what it’ll bring along. Will my planning be ever enough? But now, I can say, all my flowcharts, all that planning, and plotting won’t turn out to be as I would imagine. Ever. Maybe, it’s far better than you imagined. Or maybe not. Maybe, you need to go back and prepare again. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t make plans.
As Winston Churchill said, “Plans are of little importance, but planning is essential.”
What I want to tell you is that you are never going to feel ready. There’s always something that would miss out. What’s important is that you better live every second of that journey you’re on. When you’re writing, feel the words. When reading, wait, and think for a minute. Retrospect. Do you agree with the writer? Do you not? Or you have your own opinion about what the book has to say?
When having dinner, pause to be grateful. It’s gratitude that brings happiness and not the other way round. We get so distracted by notifications, distractions, and news that we seldom stop to look at the wonders around us. No matter how well off or torn you are, no matter your status quo, pausing and reflecting every day will bring you closer to the process. Right here. In this moment. It is at this moment that you are alive. Thank God!
Living in packets
I have another analogy that I now use to live my days well. Everything we do is significant, however small or big it is. You can be a bartender, or a janitor, or a CEO. You’ve got one shot: one shot to live this day well. How you wake up, what you read, how you spend your mornings shall determine your process. Whether you have mornings at all or are you one of those people dozing till the clock strikes noon?
“The goal of climbing big, dangerous mountains should be to attain some sort of spiritual and personal growth, but this won’t happen if you compromise away the entire process.”
― Yvon Chouinard
Whatever you do, you must do it well. Your minutes become days. Tiny packets these days are. Concise but highly effective. Days turn into weeks, weeks into months. Years pass by adding to your life! You still thought you had another day. You can’t afford to ditch today. That’s the power of process. It’s yours to live and use well. You can’t keep imagining that one day you’ll work and reach where you want to just by procrastinating. You must understand the power of the process. The process is what entails true meaning. Not the end. The end is just something that happens after. It has no significance. But, it does speak about your process. That process determines the end.
So, endure through difficult times, poor health, or nerve cracking inflation. Know that this too shall pass.
“Our progress, the realization of our dreams, and the quality of our life depend directly on the level of our commitment to the process.”
― Dr Prem Jagyasi
The process matters. It is what gives truth and meaning to the outcome. You must strive to live in it no matter what.