Why You Must Focus on The Process, Not the Results

Why You Must Focus on The Process, Not the Results

Last Updated on March 6, 2024 by The Unbounded Thinker

Most of us love focusing on the results, when working on something, not knowing that this approach can cause frustration and eventually force us to give up. We are unaware that putting more focus on the process is the best approach to anything we are working on because the process is fully under our control while the results are not.

If you want to keep your body in good shape, recover from an illness, or if you are working on a business or musical talent, you must realize that the results depend on several variables beyond your control.

Particularly, if you want to recover from an illness, you must realize that several things, for example, genetics, ageing, and environmental factors, which are beyond your control determine when you will recover. The only thing in your control is following your doctor’s advice. You will feel more peaceful and increase your chances of recovery if you focus on the process by following your doctor’s treatment plan instead of worrying if you’ll get better.

Similarly, if you want to be a successful musician, you must know that your song’s success depends on things beyond your control such as trends, social media virality, and media coverage. You’ll be more at peace with yourself and you’ll work harder if you focus on the process rather than the result. Focusing on the result will result in self-doubt, and eventually cause demotivation, especially if nobody gains interest in your songs despite working hard. You cannot control people’s tastes, trends, and the media: you can only control the quality of your songs.

I came to understand the importance of putting more focus on the process while working on my blog. Sometimes I became motivated when I checked my blog’s traffic and saw a substantial increase. However, I almost lost all motivation and became frustrated when my traffic decreased. I had to force myself to write articles when I was demotivated and as a result, I wrote low-quality articles. I started writing good articles when I avoided focusing on the outcome by not checking the blog’s traffic constantly.

By the way, focusing on the process and detaching from the outcome doesn’t mean relinquishing your intention or desire. It means holding onto your desire or intention but giving up attachment to the results, knowing that the process is the only thing you can control.

Surprisingly, the chances of progressing faster, achieving your desired results or surpassing your expectations increase when you put more focus on the process because fully engaging in the process results in intrinsic motivation, better decision-making, enhanced learning, lower stress levels, lower anxiety levels, increased resilience, and most importantly, a high-quality product or service.

Farmers who prioritize attentive crop management become more successful than those who solely focus on profits. Business enterprises that focus more on providing a good customer experience consistently produce high-quality products and services than those that only focus on profitability. Likewise, athletes who prioritize consistent training tend to outperform those solely focused on winning.

It’s, therefore, smarter to focus on the process that will optimally lead to the desired outcome. If you want to focus on the process you must define success as giving everything you’ve got. This definition will make you see yourself as a successful individual as long as you always do your best. It will lead to a sense of fulfilment, present-moment awareness, and high self-esteem regardless of whether you achieve your goals or not.

The stoic philosopher Epictetus wrote, “Happiness and freedom begin with a clear understanding of one principle: Some things are within our control, and some things are not,” to imply that the primary cause of emotional suffering is to focus on things we cannot control. Focus more on the results and you will be depressed. Focus on the process and you’ll be happier and you’ll feel successful regardless of what happens.

You’ll never regret if you focus on the process by trying your absolute best in all aspects of life, be it your health, relationships, job, creative pursuits, or business endeavors. You’ll always be satisfied because you know you did your best. Conversely, you’ll deeply regret if you give up because you focused so much on your desired results.

Therefore, focus on the process and redefine success as giving your best, and you will never fail if you do everything that’s within your power. If mainstream success, which is usually characterized by financial success comes, then you will be lucky. If it doesn’t, you’ll still be happier and fulfilled.

If you are an artist, envision the universe telling you that you will never blow up or become a financially successful artist. If you imagine yourself quitting after hearing this message from the universe, then you must quit art right now because it is not your calling. However, if you imagine yourself continuing to work on your art after hearing this message, then you were born to be an artist and you should continue working on your art and perfecting it by putting more focus on the process.

If you ignore your art despite knowing that it is your calling just because you don’t see the possibility of becoming a successful artist, you’ll always feel like something is missing in your life, and you’ll never be fulfilled. Remember, in the ancient era, artists never worked for the sake of fame and fortune, and this is why the greatest works of art were created by ancient societies.

Good art comes when you aren’t worried about your art supporting you financially since you easily step into a state of artistic flow.

For this reason, focus on the process, and not the outcome. Financial success or your desired results might arrive after 1,3,6, or 15 years of working hard. Focusing on the process will make you patient, and maybe enable you to meet with success when you least expect it.


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