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  • Writer's pictureKristen Herring-Asleson

Enjoy the Process; It's Not a Race to the Finish Line Always!

This past weekend our family gathered together to celebrate my 3-year-old grandson’s birthday. Planning a birthday party is hard work, no matter the age of the birthday boy or girl.

On this particular day, I thought I would take the opportunity to get a family picture because it is a rare day when all the kids are in one location.

Year-after-year I see pictures of smiling, perfectly coiffed, jolly families in matching pajama sets so I came to the gathering armed with matching pajamas for every member of the family.

The reaction of my older children was the eye-roll accompanied by “Are you serious right now?” They were having flashbacks to a decade ago when I made them each wear an M&M T-shirt of a different color.

But, I was prepared for the resilience, so I had a plan nailed down. These simple steps included:

  • Laying out the pajamas based on age of the family member

  • Knowing the bathroom each person could use to quickly change of clothes .

  • Knowing which door at Quarry Hill Nature Center would take us to a snow-filled backdrop, but yet we'd not be on display or interferring with visitors.

  • Knowing who would take the pictures and in what order, depending on the groupings

  • The reverse process to get them changed and back into civility quickly

By the end of the process and picture-taking, all the kids and adults were laughing and having a good time. Although they feigned disdain, they had fun with the process. The process created the memories that lead to the outcome – a family picture full of love, happiness and fun.

Does disdain for a certain process ring true for you? Most likely this dislike pertains to a process or procedure you must follow at work. While in the trenches of following steps of a process, we lose sight of the final outcome or objective. Sometimes, the steps and/or procedures get the best of us, creating anxiety and questions.

When this happens, step back and think about the “big picture.” If you learn to enjoy the process, you have won before you have even started. Keep the end goal in mind or what the finished project will be and it will turn out even better than you could imagine.

These tips from Maria Mooney, spell this out perfectly:

  • Stay rooted in the present, because it’s a marathon not a sprint. Don’t obsess with the finish line, pace yourself, slow down and be present in the moment.

  • Practice self-awareness and take some time to look within. Don’t let the goals become a way to avoid the moment.

  • Enjoy the process. The end goal remains, so take time to focus on each step. It’s the process that really matters.

  • Listen to your body. Whether it is personal or work related, do not turn away from it, ignore it or stuff it inside. If you have questions, ask. If you have better ideas, share. If you need help, say so.

The key to success and reaching goals is enjoying the process and remaining healthy – mind, body and spirit. It’s time to enjoy and learn from the processes that lead to success. This is a choice you have to make on your own, however.

Keep the passion, no matter what the project.

Steve Jobs once said, “People with passion can change the world.” Be those people.

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