Process Trumps Results

Success Journey Not Destination

The other night I caught up with my good friend Rick. We did get to spend some time together over Thanksgiving break. But we both had other obligations so we didn’t hang out as much as we both wanted. Now that we are back in the grind, we reminisced about the Thanksgiving vacation that was.

One of the highlights was going to an outdoor shooting range with Rick and some other friends. It was a fun time as we were lucky enough to borrow handguns (Glock 17, Taurus “Beretta”, USP) and rifles (AR) from the gun enthusiast of the group. He has been shooting for about twenty years and expertly tutored us on gun safety and proper equipment handling.

Rick confessed that he was worried that I wouldn’t have a good time. Let’s just say I’m the least outdoorsy of the bunch. On top of that, I am all thumbs. He was worried that my hand challenges would make me uncomfortable since there would be a lot of equipment and ammunition handling.

I wasn’t surprised as Rick and I have been friends since junior high. I explained I had a great time. The key was because my mind is now more process focused instead of being results oriented. It also helped that I am being as positive as possible.

In the past, I would be beating myself up for not hitting all the bullseyes. Rick quickly countered, “That is totally unrealistic. Why would you think that?” I retreated, “I was being overly dramatic.” I continued, “My ego would be upset because everyone in the group was hitting more targets than me. Since I performed the worst, I would think that I had a bad time.” Rick, who himself has been on a healthy positive tip fired again, “I hate to tell you, but I think you shot pretty well. You actually outshot one of the guys you just met that day. Therefore, you can’t say you performed the worst either.” I stood corrected.

Since Rick had a counter for everything, I didn’t dwell on my old mindset and explained why I had a great time. “It was nice getting out on that beautiful day. It was great spending time with the guys. Ironically, something that can be violent was very stress relieving and zen like. I had to be calm, still, and control my breath while acquiring my target and firing my weapon. Finally, I was focused on improving my shot and not worried about how well I did at the end of the day. I may not have hit as many bullseyes as the others. However, I was happy that I was able to make good adjustments with my aim. I also stayed relatively consistent with targeting across all handguns. Rick was thrilled and chimed in, “It’s all about the journey, not the destination!”

I wrapped the discussion with one parting shot. Pardon the pun. My notoriously fragile hands were getting tired with loading bullets into the cartridges. Rick agreed his fingers were getting tired, too. Rather than get bent out of shape about it, I found a workaround. I loaded less ammunition than the group agreed upon five shots per turn. If I didn’t feel like shooting more I took a break. If I felt I wanted my fill, I loaded my remaining bullets. Recharged and well rested after my Thanksgiving vacation, I will adopt this process trumps results mindset at work, dealing with my son, and everything else I face.

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