We’re all driven by the end goal of whatever projects we pour ourselves into. We invest so we have lots of money in 30 or so years. We write so people will read our thoughts and even comment. We play a game or sport so we can win at it. We go above and beyond at work so we gain recognition.
Finding end results that appeal to us is not hard at all. In the above examples, I believe everyone reading would be attracted to more money, more readers, more victories and more recognition. But that doesn’t mean we should all be investors, writers, athletes or blue collar all-stars.
In terms of how you spend most of your time, don’t choose based on the attractive end result; choose because you’ve found an end result in which you actually enjoy the process of getting there.
If you’ve ever met someone who is completely happy with their profession, it’s because they enjoy the process (the work) as much or more as they enjoy the end result. Which makes sense. We spend way too much time preparing and managing our little projects to not enjoy the process.
I would love to finish a triathlon some day. The idea of being the type of person that can complete a feat like that is extremely impressive. However, as of yet, I am not willing to go through the process of getting there. I’ve tried starting on several occasions throughout my life, and the same thing always happens: I don’t enjoy the process enough to keep it going.
At the same time, I love putting together market research reports. I love gathering the info, digging into it, finding little nuggets of info that probably only I will ever find interesting, gathering it all into a presentation that’s easy to read, and then presenting it to a group of ‘big dogs’ and waiting for their reaction. Sure, I love the end result, but I love just about everything that happens before to get to that point.
If you’re struggling with finding ‘that thing you do,’ start asking yourself which processes you enjoy the most. Find ways to spend your time doing what you enjoy. Or, if you already know what those processes are, start doing them more.
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