Process Vs Goal Oriented

First, what is a process and what is a goal?

A process is the act of doing something in a methodical manner. Following directions, cooking dinner, taking a shower and washing your clothes are all processes. There are certain steps to be followed and they must be carried out in a definite order so as to obtain the desired result. You would not want to add laundry soap to the wash machine after the machine has carried out its cycle. In life, we are taught that we carry out these processes in order to achieve some desired end, result, or goal.

These things called goals are made out to be destinations. This creates issues, since none of these desired outcomes are actually physical places. If we had a map, and we wanted to get to San Diego, we could do that. Getting to San Diego is the process, arriving in San Diego is the goal. Many things in life are not that cut and dry. First off, how are we to get to more abstract outcomes when we do not even know what they will feel like or how much joy they might bring? Why would we pursue such a thing? We pursue these ends because that is what we are told to do. Getting that job promotion, the raise, the bigger house that’s what we want. That is what will bring us happiness, no?

It is plain to see by observing western society that happiness is not derived from obtaining some goal. After all, the more that you do, the more you can do. So where should we aim? Let’s step back to the very first word in this articles title “process”. How often do we comprehend that maybe, the process is actually the point? Are we taught to enjoy the process? In an age plagued with technology, we now, more than ever, are seekers of instant gratification. Why would I travel to the store when I can order food on Amazon and have it delivered within the hour? No effort put forth and I can keep doing what it is that I’m doing.

Perhaps, it is sustained effort toward something that you find meaningful that true happiness and satisfaction arises from. Life will never be a bed of roses, but if we focus on being in the moment and taking great pride and enjoyment out of doing, instead of obtaining, perhaps we will arrive to our destination with greater style and with a greater degree of quality in our work. If your mind is completely focused on the task at hand and not distracted by past or future events, how could anything but an increase in quality of work happen? In that space there is no fear or anxiety, just peace and concentration. After all, if you don’t do something correctly the first time, will you have time to do it a second time?

This article is merely suggesting that life itself is a process. Ever since the day we were born our bodies have been undergoing constant change, both death and regeneration. Nothing is permanent, the only constant is in fact change. However, we have formed a society that is obsessed with goals and obtaining things. There is no one that is focused on death. That is a destination, in some way it could be a goal. We all know that it will come. So why then, do we fixate on all of these intermediary steps? It may behoove us to redirect our concentration and try to derive joy out of each and every moment, no matter the circumstances. You have two distinct choices in the moment. Either live in pain and suffering, or completely accept the circumstances and let go of what is not serving you. When you refocus on the means and not the end, this letting go becomes much easier and even in some ways natural the more it is practiced. 

Pete WilletteComment