In the past few weeks, my articles have focused on purpose, defining the end state and starting with the end in mind. I have written about awakening our consciousness and checking our own biases, the path to making and sustaining change and stepping into the new year with purpose. Now, it is time to talk about the process – making the transition from the start towards achieving the end, and the messy journey – the part where what you do is all that matters and all that really does matter is what you do.
The process is as important as the output. The destination is only a dream which cannot become a reality if we don’t embark on the journey.
The output is only a reflection of the input and the process. The flourish, in the end, is a result of the work done. The ‘middle’ matters a lot because that is where almost all games are lost or won. What happens in the middle determines whether you can go on the offensive or defensive. Each journey comes with its own challenges; it does not matter whether you are young or old, experienced or not, it still tests your patience, perseverance, tenacity, and creativity. However, the more experience you get – which can come with age or environment – the better equipped you are to deal with tough times in the journey because there certainly will be challenges and you need to be prepared.
At some point in the journey, you may get weary and want to re-evaluate your choices. We can call this point ‘the middle’ – the point where you begin to think that you were naïve to have set those targets, the end seems very distant and you are running out of strength. This is the point when doubt creeps in and you begin to question yourself if the end is surely worth the hassle. Relax, Rest and Recharge. This is only a test of how bad you really want the end state. You are much stronger, wiser, intelligent and tenacious than you think you are. This is the process that makes it all worth it in the end. Do not give up at this stage, you are just attaining your battle scars.
This is the furnace of life preparing you, making you pure and worthy of good things to come. Hold your head up and persevere. This time too, like every other time, will pass. If the struggle gets a bit too much, take a step back, evaluate things and adjust accordingly, ask for help where necessary and forge ahead. You are the center of your world, a true hero in the movie of your life. You have to lead yourself on because at this stage, what you have done is much more than what you have to do to attain the end state.
The start is the most difficult part. Summoning courage to take the plunge is harder than swimming through. If you overcome that fear of starting, you are on your way to victory. Every difficulty along the way, especially in the middle, is a part of the process. Like I said sometime in the past, failure is part of the process. What matters is to pick ourselves up, learn, improve and continue. Failure is when we stop trying because we are afraid of outcomes.
Persevere, push on and attain the benefits of your hard work, not all heroes wear cape. This messy stage is the actual point where all that really does matter is what you do. Your choices at this stage is critical to the mission. Surprisingly, nothing final will happen at this stage, but it is the stage where all that matters happen. The results and output are all a function of this stage.
Don’t be surprised if you have trolls and doubters at this point. “Shebi you say you be Samson, na you strong past”. Some will even laugh at you to your face. Don’t cave in to their negativity. When you succeed in the end, they will become your praise-singers. Turn those criticisms and jeers into motivation. Success has many friends.
Be kind to yourself, celebrate every successful step along the journey. Never forget to pat yourself on the back, you need and deserve it. Always remember why you started in the first place and focus on the destination – this should fuel you till the end. The end state is always worth the journey. The more difficulty you navigate, the sweeter the home stretch feels. Nothing excites the brain much more than the feeling of success.
Please, do not ever give up on your dreams. It may be difficult and time-consuming, but always remember that nothing is impossible and believe in yourself.
The destination should be non-negotiable but the path is better when it is dynamic. The best path today may not be tomorrow, keep learning and improving. Change the course of navigation when and where necessary. There’s more than one route to success, just chose the path that best suits you.