4 Ways You Can Enjoy the Process of Getting to Your Goal

"Whatever we plant in our subconscious mind and nourish with repetition and emotion will one day become a reality." ~ Earl Nightingale

I’m sure you’ve also heard the quote by Emerson that "Life is a journey, not a destination." Emerson wanted us to take a moment and realize that life is not about the end product or goal but about today…about the present moment. Each experience we have in life builds on the previous experience.

We all strive to be a master of our art, of our life, and of our careers. To be a master we must learn to love the journey of repeating and practicing skill sets even though this can be boring, tedious and annoying.

It’s the process of life, the process of making art, the process of cooking a meal, etc where the joy, the love, the lesson and the growth towards mastery can occur. There are nuggets in the journey and the process that you can’t get if you skip right to the end.

Focusing on the product can lead to boredom, resistance, impatience, and overall dissatisfaction with how fast you are getting there. When you give up the attachment and focus on the journey, the product or end result takes care of itself.

Take for example, sawing out shapes out of metal. Maybe you find it monotonous and dull to have to saw out your shapes. You’d like to just have them done! However, you’ve got this great idea for earrings where the outside frame is going to be a certain shape which can only be done via sawing.

4 Ways You Can Enjoy the Process of Getting to Your Goal:

  1. Systemize your Process
    When you set up systems or the mechanics of practice, so that it becomes efficient, effortless and expected, you take out the resistance involved in repetition.

    Commit to spending 15 minutes, 3 times a week when you are in the studio sawing out those shapes. You won’t allow yourself the opportunity to do anything else in the studio until you’ve done this. You set it up so you can walk in, turn on the lights, sit down at your bench and saw out the shapes. There is no set up time involved, no procrastinating at the computer first, and no diversions.

  2. Make it Efficient
    Make sure you’ve got a good supply of blades on hand. Organize them so you have them available in handy dividers for each thickness or gauge of metal. Set them out so they are handy and ready to be used.

    Get a good saw frame you will enjoy using. Have a comfortable chair at the right height with a great lighting. No excuses. Don’t try saving money on cheap saw blades or an economy saw frame. Get equipment that will economize on your time and patience!

  3. Reward Yourself
    Celebrate and savor the journey of accomplishment as you become a master of sawing. Instead of mindlessly sawing out the shapes, breaking blades, and becoming frustrated, acknowledge how you are making an effort to practice this skill set, that you are learning to gently grip the saw, you are gaining ground with a smooth and effortless sawing action, and you are sawing out shapes faster and faster with each journey.

    Getting into the journey, making it a zen-like experience, may provide you with ideas for future pieces you would have never had, had you not been present during the experience.

  4. Check Judgement at the Door
    When you walk into your studio, you escort judgement and criticism to the door. It doesn’t cross the threshold of your sacred space. If you break 10 blades, that’s okay. It’s not about how fast you get to the goal or how perfectly you go there.

Go easy on yourself. Give yourself credit for practicing, performing repetition on a skill, and having the courage to make that journey to mastery.

When you take the time to reflect on the journey you learn more about the process. It’s about setting up systems, making the practice a habit, being present for the process and committing to becoming a master at that skill.

10 Responses to 4 Ways You Can Enjoy the Process of Getting to Your Goal

  1. What great advice, Tonya. After all, that's where we spend MOST of our lives anyway – in the process of living. If we can focus on the now, and really live in the moment, then we are are living more of our lives vs just waiting for something else to happen. But I have to admit that it's a challenge.

  2. Tonya, I always say "life just got in the way". Well I came to realize that was just an excuse so I decided recently that it was time to concentrate on what mattered to me and just start doing things that were important, little by little. I started weeding out all the "junk" I get daily and keeping what I felt was important on my journey and what could actually help me achieve my goals. What a surprise when I opened and read your email and started going through back issues. I am so glad I did. Can't wait to continue my education with you and allow my business to grow and prosper. Thank you for all your time and knowledge. Next year will be more promising for me I'm sure.

  3. Tonya, this article made me realize why I have a difficult time remembering things that I have done in the past. It is because when I am doing something I am so concerned with the end result rather than the process that I do not engage in the moment. Thank you for opening my eyes and my mind.

  4. I look at repetitive tasks as a type of moving meditation – like sawing metal, kumihimo ( which I find very relaxing) or cutting a stone. BE in the moment, SEE what the results will be and CHERISH each moment spent in reaching your goal.

  5. Wonderfully insightful and encouraging as always! Thank you for the reminders to enjoy the journey of our lives, because that is what each and every one of these busy days comprises. Your sawing illustration was perfect for me as I have often stated "I hate to saw!". When I force myself to quit hurrying through it, though, I find that the repetitive motion has a medatative quality to it that is actually calming and helps me to relish that part of the project that I used to dread. My Knew Concepts saw doesn't hurt either!
    Thank you, Tonya!

  6. Thank you Tonya! Your perspective fits right in line with the philosophy of yoga: you can only work with where you are in the present moment. Progress ceases to be a struggle when you just stay in the moment. This article is a great reminder to me to apply the lessons of the yoga studio to my jewelry studio.

  7. Thank you Tonya. When I begin to realize that I can control the outcome by directing my thoughts, the process of nurturing and molding my thoughts becomes the process I enjoy – it is that creative process, the power to change, the power to re-direct, the power to achieve, that has become so life giving to me. Your the best!

  8. Great advice, especially the part about leaving criticism at the door. Also the part about spending 15 minutes on a task. You can do anything for 15 minutes!

  9. What a very insightful article Tonya. There are so many times that I get discouraged and overwhelmed by the process that I do forget how exciting the journey can be. I also have to agree with you on having your work area all ready for those 15 mins of committed time. A clean and organized area makes such a big difference at so many levels. Thank you for all that you share with us.

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