There are moments I get frustrated. Frustrated and simply fed up. At what? Everything. Work, fitness, marriage, God's timing, all of it. Why? I love all of these things, but frequently they don't deliver for me everything I want from them as quickly as I desire. Instead, they require a level of focus, effort, intentionality and patience that are costly to me. They require me to submit to a process.
So I get frustrated and maybe you do too. Or maybe you feel something different. You might procrastinate, deflect, avoid, blame, get angry, lash out, feel overwhelmed. You may just want to quit.
In our instant gratification, click-it-and-I-get-it world, a process seems to make goals as far away as Halley's Comet ☄️ (that's coming in 2061, btw). And today, I could probably find a shortcut that would seem to microwave any process that I could lay out.
But, the process always wins.
Let me tell you about Oak Hill. As you may know, I'm a cyclist. Any given weekend of the year, you can find me on a bike riding for miles and miles. I started this four years ago and let's just say, it has been a process.
Each year, the test of the process is a 500+ mile ride with a group of men from Memphis, TN to Rosemary Beach, FL. And obviously, the final destination is the ultimate goal. But along the way, deep in Alabama, is this part of the trip called Oak Hill. Last year, despite failing to submit to the proper training months ahead of time, I decided I would take on the Oak Hill climb sprint.
Now, you don't have to do Oak Hill. There's an easier route that many of my fellow cyclists take. It's shorter and the path is not as challenging. That's probably the route I should have taken last year but my competitive ambition kicked in and I attempted Oak Hill. And I failed. I failed miserably.
Why did I think I had what it takes?
Since that ride last year, I committed to the process of training. I hired a cycling coach. I hired a nutrition coach. I did the hard rides on the weekends when I could have chosen the easier path. I did these things because I was committed to the process.
In mid-October, it was time for the Ride to Rosemary again. I was prepared for the ride but I told myself ahead of time that this was not the year for Oak Hill. But then, as decision time came to choose the difficult path or the easy path, there was a voice (it was actually the voice of my good friend) that said, "It's your year. Do Oak Hill." I wasn't planning to do Oak Hill. I had a sandwich in my hand and I was quite ready for the easy stretch of ride ahead of me. But my friend was right. I had committed to the process for a year to become a better cyclist and now was the time to do it.
The pavement under me and the memory of last year following me, I embarked on Oak Hill, along with 20 or so other men from our team. We make it through the first part and I'm still hanging with the group. We get farther into it and something must be wrong. It must be wrong because I haven't been left behind like I was last time. I was still very much a part of the pack. As the finish line comes into view, I'm still right there with the other riders. It suddenly dawned on me...I didn't fail! In fact, I did quite well.
Focusing on the process (this year) allowed me to achieve a better result than when I was actually focused on the result (last year).
My habits this year beat my desire from last year.
Most of us don't like the process. It takes too long and requires much from us. But, the process always wins.
So my question for you is: Where are you opposing the process? At work? At home? In life?
And where do you need to lean into, trust and learn to love the process instead?
And if you need help developing a process, let me know!
Interested in making sure you continue to grow? We are too! Schedule time with Bob to start your journey today!