The Process Is The Prize

This week on a podcast I listen to regularly, I heard the guest say, "The process is the prize."

This resonated deeply with me. I kind of zoned out and didn't hear the next few phrases he said because I was still thinking about that phrase; the process is the prize.

I feel like we, and by we I mean the world, are in a place where we are collectively forgetting to enjoy the process. We are looking at when this election is over. We are dreaming of a time when Covid is over. We are concentrating on all of the things we will do two months from now, or next year or some abstract date when all of this is over.

When we are young we wish our lives away thinking about when we get our license, or when graduate, or when we get done with college. We get older and continue with this same unhealthy habit focusing on when we get our first real job, marry, buy a house, have children.

Oh sure there are moments when we get enlightened or amazed or overwhelmed or shocked into living in the moment. But generally speaking we don't direct our attention to how we get to the goal or the prize. We are too busy concentrating on the target or the destination.

I went for an ATV ride this weekend. It was overcast. The woods were a blaze of colors. The trail was bumpy in some places and smooth in others. I had the music turned up and I was singing along with the tunes and just loving life. I was following my boyfriend and the plan was to go out on a short ride, turn around and ride back to the campsite. When we stopped, he said I could lead. I had to stop and think if we had made any turns, and wondered if I was going to be able to get us back to the campsite. Incidentally I was able to get us back, mainly because we really didn't make any obscure turns.

What is my point? What am I trying to say?

It is this. We all should set our intentions not only on the goal, not only on the objective, but also on the journey.

I have so many examples. When we are growing up and thinking that it will be so great to have our own house, life, car and job and then we think how it would be so great to be young again with our parents taking care of us and living without a care in the world.

The times when you are getting close to doing some big thing in our lives, like getting married and we only focus our attentions on this one big day versus the life we will build together, and the one we are living as we make our plans.

When our babies are born and we think how great it will be when they walk and talk. When they walk and talk and have their own dreams and goals and then we wish we had those years back to just sit and hold them and talk to them and bask in their undivided attention.

Even at work, we have deadlines and objectives to meet, but do we ever stop to appreciate the steps, the lessons and the experiences we have along the way.

There is a quote by Robin Sharma which says, "Please don't live the same day seventy-five times and call it a life." Rachel Hollis, in her book says, "Every year you close a new chapter in your story. Please don't write the same one seventy-five times and call it a life." Frederick Tallsen is quoted as saying, "Feel the present. hold the vision. let go of resistance. enjoy the journey and trust the process."

The process is the only path to reach your goal, and it is necessary to keep the target or the reason you are doing what you do in mind. But, the process is where you learn. The process is where you grow. The process develops your character and enables you to find out who you are, and helps you mature and evolve into who you want to be.

If you learn to enjoy the process, the journey, and you surrender your need to control the results, you may find there is something even better waiting for you, being created for you or by you. You will discover there is joy in the journey. You will probably be more creative and even more happy as you reach the next landing place. And you will be even better equipped to take off from that jumping off point into the wonderful path you follow or rather create for the upcoming journeys.

As I think back on that ATV ride I mentioned, I believe I was completely lost in the process of the sometimes smooth, sometimes bumpy trail.

Isn't that really how we should travel through life? We can. All we have to do is choose to recognize the magic of those beautiful, fun moments in our sometimes bumpy, sometimes smooth life that take us to our destination.

We just have to realize and appreciate the process is the prize.

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