• lakshay khanna

Forget about Goals. Focus on the Processes instead.

It's often said if you want to achieve something big in life, you need to have ambitious and lofty goals and you need to work hard in order to achieve those.

The problem with this approach is that it's based solely on the outcomes. If you see any results, you're going well. But if you don't, you're doing it all wrong and you'll end nowhere. This "Goal-outcomes" based mentality is certainly not fully right. There are a few problems with the goals.

  • Goals don't define your chances of success.

There's no rocket science behind the fact that winners and losers share the same goals. In an Olympic event, each contestant wants gold, but there's only one who gets it.

We often end up concentrating on the people who actually achieved their desired results in the first place assuming that they had ambitious goals and overlook the people who had the same objectives but were unable to succeed. So if both winners and losers share the same goals, then there's something else that differentiates the two.

  • Achieving your goals is a momentary change.

Imagine that you've procrastinated your work for quite a while now. And it's a matter of days before you have to submit it. And finally, by God's grace, you summon up the energy to complete your pending tasks and end up minutes before the due date. And now what, you've achieved your goal but what's next? With the same habits of procrastination, you'll end up in a similar situation in no time and you'll be putting your tasks off until you find the next burst of motivation. In this case, you've successfully treated a symptom but without getting to know about the cause. Therefore, achieving your goals is meaningless, in terms, if it could not propel you further. Hence, There's something deep inside that holds more importance than goals.

  • Goals restrict happiness.

We often find ourselves affirming that once I achieve this, I'll be happy. Therefore, we link happiness with the end results that we desire. And we end up in a scenario, where if we achieve the desired results, we're happy and if we don't, we feel like that's the end of the world for us. Hence, we end up boxing ourselves in a narrow version of happiness.

Journey is the destination.

The above quote sums it all up. When we focus solely on the destination, we end up not enjoying the journey that leads to it and we feel incompetent when we achieve what we desire.

  • Goals are at odds with the long term.

Goals are nothing less than a short momentary desire. One may wish to win a game. But soon they do so, there's nothing left to motivate them to push their limits further as they know they're the elite. This is somewhat contrary to the definition of self-improvement.

Therefore, there's something else that matters more than the goals themselves.


Why processes matter more than goals

Processes are the procedures that people follow to achieve what they desire. They're more important than goals because they are actually responsible for the results we achieve. In a game of soccer, the goal is to score the maximum number of goals, but it'd be ridiculous to watch the scoreboard for ninety minutes straight. It's the training that leads a player to score more and more goals. Therefore, The "Systems" behind the goals matter more.

It's the "systems" that differentiate a winning Olympic player from the one who's losing. It's the "systems" that let you complete your work without any sort of procrastination. It's the "systems" that give you happiness each time you follow them. It's the "systems" that get you going and keeps you playing the game for long enough.

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