Enjoy The Process

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“Never try, either do it or don’t waste your time.” – Phil Anselmo

I’ve haven’t talked too much about failure and trying until you succeed before, but it’s an important topic. Look at any successful person and they’ve probably failed more than they’ve succeeded.

One of the keys to that success is consistently going after it again after failing. Successful people have learned to enjoy the process of doing.

If we don’t enjoy the process of doing something the end result won’t make it worth it. And the end result we’re expecting may never actually materialize.

Total Honesty

Before starting your quest for Ridiculously Extraordinary Success you have to be completely honest with yourself. Assuming you will succeed in whatever it is you’re striving towards, is the end result really what you’re looking for?

In Other Words, Is It All Worth It?

Sometimes we get on a path towards something and then realize it’s not really what we want. That may be hours, weeks, months, or even years into the process.

There is no sense in forcing yourself to get what you don’t want. In situations like that, it’s perfectly OK to quit.

A simple example, based on a conversation I had with someone who said they always finish every book they start: if I start reading a book and I’m not enjoying it within ~50 pages I put it down and never pick it back up. There are too many good books to read to waste my time on books I don’t enjoy.

Another example: one of my favorite comedians is Demetri Martin. In one of his comedy bits he tells the story of being in law school and then quitting to become a comic. In doing so, he gave up a future higher than average salary for an almost guaranteed life of relative poverty in an instant.

Now as a successful comic he probably makes more than he’d ever make in law. More importantly, Demetri quit something he didn’t enjoy to do something he did enjoy, no matter the outcome.

He quit something he had been working towards for many years because he realized the end result wasn’t what he wanted.

Don’t think it’s ever too late to quit something that isn’t completely you.

How To Enjoy The Process

Assuming you care about the end result, how exactly do you enjoy the process?

After all, the process may be dull. The process may be frustrating. The process may sometimes even be boring.

If you’re on the right path, you don’t need help enjoying the process.

Because if you’re on the right path, you absolutely love the process, don’t you?

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{ 23 comments }

Mac

Very True

The problem is most people have an end goal of a well paying job. They are not open to open ot anything else unless it pays the same or guarantees the same amount of money.

These people will force themselves through school, then the job it self for hte money to then pay of debts for hte simple reason of social competition.

They need to understnad what they want before they go into hte process IMO.

Karol

Hey Mac, thanks for commenting!

You’re right, a lot of people want a well paying job and may force themselves through a process they don’t enjoy to get it. The point is, it’s never too late to quit. After you reach your “end goal” you might realize it’s not what you really want. Years wasted. But it’s OK. You can always start over doing something you really enjoy.

Thanks again!
Karol

Justin- AlittleBetter.net

I like the kind of commitment you are calling people to take before they go after their dreams here, and yes when you do this not only do you enjoy the process but you start feeling better about yourself as a person.

Karol

Hey Justin…thanks! You hit it on the head with “you start feeling better about yourself as a person.” :)

Robert Fisher

Everything in life can’t have equal measure of enjoyment. The process of getting what you want in life can involve some steps that are anything but lovable, but if the goal is right , it doesn’t matter and it is definitely worth it.

Karol

Hi Robert,

I agree, and that was essentially the point of the post. :) Even the boring, tedious tasks are actually worth it if you’re doing something you really want to do.

Thanks for commenting!
Karol

Andy Hawkins

I think Mac hit the nail on the head with his comment about people’s goal to “have a high paying job” and the question I ask anyone when they say this is simply “Why?”

Why are we obsessed with this “high paying job”?

We should all know by now that wealth doesn’t necessarily bring happiness. Look around you at the people who serve you every day and that the services you simply could not do without. Are any of those provided by someone in a “high paying job”? The most likely answer, unless you’re a career criminal is no.

I’m all for pursuing success but success is subjective, its relative to the individual. As a self employed computer tech I worked my ass into the ground for three years lost my marriage and missed a huge amount of my sons life because of work. Why? Because I thought that the money all that work would bring in would solve all my problems.

It didn’t

In fact the work I was doing pursuing that wealth was creating all my problems. I was unhappy, I was exhausted and I was depressed. All work and no play makes Andy a dull boy as well.

Once the crash came I took time to stop and evaluate what had happened. Sure I had a “successful” business but at what cost? One sadly, that wasn’t worth it, my successful business gave me a failing life.

So I changed things. I looked at where my cash was coming from and where my time was going and realized they were two different places. So I stopped doing the low margin high time-cost stuff to focus on the money makers. I went from working 16 hours a day 7 days a week to working 80 hours a month. I have more money than ever before I have more time to myself than ever before and I am happier than ever before.

A few months back someone asked how business was, they had seen that I had closed the store and were a little concerned. I explained what I had done and where I was now and their first question was, “so why don’t you get some more clients now”. They were visibly shocked when I told them I didn’t want to. I am earning enough to get me what I need out of life, why would I go back to the excessive hours just for more money.

Money isn’t success and success isn’t measured by the amount of money you have. If you think it is then you may already be what I call “a prisoner of your possessions”

Strangely enough the guy that was shocked I didn’t want more is a classic prisoner, his family don’t like where they live but they like the lifestyle. While some may see his 6 figure salary as a measure of his success, I wouldn’t trade places with him for a minute.

Karol

Hi Andy,

Thanks for sharing your story. “Because I thought that the money all that work would bring in would solve all my problems.” I’m finding the only way to really learn this lesson seems to be to actually live it.

Karol

Paula

want to learn more about you Andy but google was inconclusive.

Andy Hawkins

what do you want to know Paula? you can always contact me through andrewhawkins.org

Krishna

hey Karol! lovely post again and quite inspirational too. hehehhehe i liked the reading a book example that you gave. its pretty much true for me if i don’t like the book i drop the idea of reading it, but i take it a little further by suggesting someone else to read and thus get rid of my copy of the book! really naughty but hey many a times other people really start liking the book. weird but funny!

sudan

Yeah!you are right to some extent but sometimes you feel like quitting those things and later when you give it a second chance you get the different taste which you didn’t find in the earlier attempt.what about that?
Moreover there are several situations where you are so obligated that you can’t give up your job still knowing that you are not enjoying it anymore…Your point of view doesn’t match much in countries like mine ” Nepal ” where unemployment rate is so high that if you quit your job you have to sit ideally for at-least 2-4 month..What about this situation?

Prasaad Gadkari

Hi Karol, Andy and others…

I am India and i totally agree with you guys. I need a bit of handholding to come out.

Let me know if you have time for it.

Prasaad

Paula

Hi Karol,
Reading more and more of your posts and enjoying them, Thank You!
Do you think that people who have always had the ability of obtaining what they want, even from an early age, have DNA (to use Gary Vaynerchuk’s expression) that is different enough than others’ that allow things to come more easily to that person, including the ability (internal strength) to convince themselves to enjoy the process (by doing things like writing letters to their future selves, or actually slowing down enough and being open enough (strong enough) to meditate, etc.)? Simply put, do you think the act of enjoying the process is something everyone can do or do you think people need to have a certain characteristic to really pull that off?
I always like to hear people’s motives (which usually comes in the form of their own defined legacy) that describes their process in recognizing that the things they’ve experienced would be of benefit to others, giving a more (appealing) in-depth reason for why they have positioned themselves to help (wo)mankind, and also perhaps as a measure of credibility.

Karol

Hi Paula,

That’s a great question and I’ve never thought about it. It may very well be our DNA. Accepting failure and moving on. It’s difficult not to take failure personally, but it’s essential to just let things roll off our backs to be successful.

That said, everything can be learned and everyone can enjoy the process. As I mention in the article, if you’re not enjoying the process it simply means you’re probably doing something you shouldn’t be doing. No worries. Just keep taking action until you find something that absolutely engulfs every ounce of your being.

Thanks for making me think. :)

Karol

Ayush

Hi Paula

I have struggled with the same question for a long time.
I have met many people and have come across very few who genuinely enjoyed the process even when the stakes were high.

I read a scientific study which showed how making progress towards what we want releases dopamine in our brains and gives us a high.

I have found that personally I only enjoy the process when I know it is leading to some place. It is leading to success.

So the two things kind of connect.
Personally I have tried to extremely slow my pace down (deliberately), at the cost of moving slower in the direction of my goal. It just makes the process more enjoyable………..and its working so far :)

Kelsey

Enjoying the process is one of those keys to life that most people never understand. If you love the goal but hate how to get there, you will likely never make it to the goal. It’s why most people want to be healthy and fit but end up never losing that weight or getting the body they want – they hate dieting and they hate exercising, and so eventually they give up. They want the goal, but they hate the process, and so they don’t make it.

Karol

Exactly Kelsey. “They want the goal, but they hate the process, and so they don’t make it.”

Kelsey

My boyfriend’s mother keeps insinuating that I should get a “real” (read: cubicle) job while I’m trying to save up money for my Mongolian project. Right now I walk dogs during the day and soon I will be waiting tables at a really nifty neighborhood cafe in the evening. Neither job is “glamorous”, but they’re active and fun and I make enough money to pay my bills, and I find them way more intellectually stimulating than sitting at a desk shuffling papers around all day. If I had to sit in a cubicle to raise money for this project, I probably wouldn’t be doing the project at all.

Jeanie

Demetri Martin is awesome. So stilted though-is that a gag?

I find myself processing the love as well as loving the process.
analysis paralysis, or the opposite of Just Fucking Do It. :)

How do you manage to live while still being extremely responsive?
Timeboxing doesn’t seem time enough.

Karol

More Demetri Martin coming in tomorrow’s article! (I think) It wasn’t a gag. It’s his story.

My timeboxing has come unboxed for the past 2 days. :)

Nicutza

You’re right!
Doing NOW the things you love is more important then hoping for some high paying job (or a fulfiling relationship, or a bussines etc etc) in the future – because you need to be happy now, not in un undefinite time in the future (wich usually never comes).

Yet is very hard to live with that during the lyceum (it’s the high school in Moldova). We have to study here 15 subjects (mostly of them are hard and require alot of time: physics, programing, chemistry, literature, geography…) and, even if I was one of the best students in school till now, the last two years I am stuggling to mentain myself on the surface. My grades had drastically decreased and my parents pressurize me to study harder to make them higher, so I could go to a better university…The only thig is that I can’t study when I feel that everythig I hear and read at school would help me in life. So, I’m clueless about what can I do in this situation….

Karol

Hi Nicutza, that’s a tough situation to be in. Outside pressure is a big problem. Unfortunately, the majority of people believe a university track is the only way to make it in life. But you have to do whatever makes you happy.

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