Why It’s So Damn Hard to Love The Process
Why is it so damn hard to love the process?
We hear the advice about loving the day-to-day grind. “Love what you do, and you’ll never work a day in your life.” If we can love the process, we’ll look forward to the daily grind, and reaching your goal will simply be a positive byproduct of something you’re already reaping the rewards of.
All this sounds great in theory, but it’s possible the process leaves something to be desired. It’s possible the process sucks. Especially if the process feels like its been set for you, rather than one that you’ve set for yourself. It’s possible your process was set by your parents, societal norms, or what you thought you were supposed to do.
My kids are only 5 and 3, so they won’t be making any career choices anytime soon. But I already think about the advice I would give them. “You can be whatever you want to be” seems to be the best advice I can give right now. Pirate, princess, penguin trainer, you name it, you can be it.
But as they get older, I’d like to give them some advice they can actually use.
Growing up, it’s common to get steered towards the things you’re good at already, and know you have a good chance at being successful at. Cue scenes from my own life, committing solely to baseball and majoring in Economics because math came easy.
We tend to choose the things were good at so we can continue to excel at them. Our minds rationalize towards the path of least resistance whether we fully recognize it or not. As much of a unique badass we think we are, we still go for our comfort zone more than we realize.
I have 3 pieces of advice to my kids (and to you) when it comes to choosing a goal, path, sport, activity, job, etc.
- First, you have to find something you can enjoy working at. What is something that when you fail, you’re inspired to put in more time to get better at it?
We are going to struggle in anything we choose. Struggles are certain. Choose the struggles that will be fun to tackle. What is something you will wake up excited to try and get better at? Something that is just as fun to practice as it is to put to the test on gameday.
When you are searching for new books or podcasts, what is the thing you search to learn more about in your free time? What educational things do you find entertaining?
2. Second, you have to feel like you own the process. You have to feel like getting into the process was 100% your choice and it’s still 100% your choice to continue in that process.
If you feel like you’re doing something because you have to or because of someone else’s fulfillment rather than your own, you’re going to feel like the process is 10 times harder than it actually is.
The process has to line up with the person you want to be. It may not be who you are now, but it has to line up with your ideal version of yourself.
3. Third, you have to carry gratitude into that activity. Each day has to be, “I get to do…” vs. “I have to do…” Is the process an obligation to you, or a priviledge?
If it’s a sport or some kind of physical activity, think about how lucky you are to have your physcial abilities and total control over your arms, fingers, legs, and toes. The musician has to be grateful for their ability to hear. The parent has to be grateful for their ability to have children in the first place.
Just realizing how lucky you are to be a human being in the billions and billions of organisms that were created, should be enough to love any process you take on in this life.
I don’t take one day for granted running a family business with my brother. I’m surrounded by incredible people and I get to help make them better versions of themselves every single day. This process of becoming a better leader, father, and coach is certainly a fulfilling one. One that I wake up excited every day to take on.
Life is too short to be committing to a process you can’t possibly love. If you go through the questions above and you still think there’s no way you can love the process and genuinely say “I get to do this” with gratitude, then it’s time for a change.
It won’t be hard to love the process when you find the right one.
Keep Living Superhuman,
2019 04 10