Follow a process is good, but doing it well is better !
James Pollard Epsy before he became one of the pioneers of 19th century meteorology was unable to read and write until he was 18 years old. Epsy was attending a lecture by the famous speaker Henry Clay. At the end of his speech, Epsy went to meet his idol. He could not say the words to address him and one of his friends shouted in his place “He would like to be like you, even though he cannot read”. Clay took one of his posters with his name printed in large print. He looked at Epsy while pointing at a letter with his name on it, “See that, boy ? That’s an A, now you only have to learn 25 letters.” A year later Epsy was entering college. His gift was that he learned the process as a lesson.
If you are content with disorder and distractions then you are signing your death warrant. All you’ll care about is getting distracted. Follow a process is equivalent to being in control of your perceptions and actions. In short, it is order.
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However, it is possible to get lost in the process as when one wants to leave the competition behind with a revolutionary idea. If it’s too much work, you’re going to put it all off because you don’t want to go here or there.
The compromise came quickly :
- How many times have you realized that any change is impossible because it is too important ?
- How many people are paralyzed by their inspirations or ideas ?
- How many times have you compromised because you felt that the real solution was too ambitious because it was out of your reach ?
The consequences are that you can no longer move forward, get distracted and never progress again. In this context, even if you are brilliant in execution, you will not get to where you want to go.
Follow a process to achieve its objectives
Excellence is the pursuit of milestones. One step at a time. In the world of sports, the Saban method says :
“Take one step after another and keep one foot in the present so you don’t get distracted on something else, either by the audience, another team or the scoreboard”
Follow a process involves the notion of finishing. Finishing your tasks, your rehearsals. That is to say, to finish the smallest task and to finish it well.
When you see a master who in his practice seems extremely difficult, while giving the impression that it is easy for him, it is simply the result of a process. He is completely relaxed, he has no pressure, no effort is apparent and all his movements are fluid.
Getting trapped is just a position but not a fatality
You can always get out of it by eliminating every part of the position with small, deliberate actions. This requires trying and sometimes failing to try again.
Objectives are part of the process to give meaning to our actions. By knowing our next actions, the obstacles become smaller and more manageable. Conversely, they become too big and impossible to overcome. Your objectives will help you to deviate from the path and revalue the pitfalls.
If you are committed to your process and you get distracted or interested in something else, you will hear a small voice. Sometimes it will call you to order: “Stop, you’re worried about what’s going on elsewhere when you know your work, so get to work”.
Listen to that inner voice that wants you good
Like a sportsman thinking about his training and his next game. This process is about making you think about what you can do today, the task ahead of you.
Whether it’s surviving a difficult ordeal or reaching the pinnacle of success in your field. The process approach works. If you do each of your tasks really well, you’ll be reassured. Why is that? Because when you’re under its grip, you won’t panic and you’ll be able to tackle monstrous tasks simply by breaking them down into a series of smaller tasks.
This voice also asks you to take responsibility and ownership. It pushes you to act.
This way, you move forward step by step. You subordinate your forces to the process. Even if you are dependent on it, follow a process replaces your fear to give you confidence.
You’re going to make it !
To take the obstacle as a burden is to take it the wrong way
Steve Jobs paid special attention to the inside of his products. Even though the consumer would never see it, he made sure they were beautifully designed. It was his father who taught him to think like a craftsman. Whenever there was a design challenge, Jobs knew how to follow a process: respect the art of producing a beautiful object.
During his life, the artist worked on various works and received commissions. The most important thing is that he treats each of them as his priority. And it doesn’t matter whether the commission is the most remunerative or the most prestigious. It is the same for us. In life, we have to do many things, some more prestigious than others. Therefore, you can give them your full potential.
For every situation, life asks you a question and your actions become the answer. Our job is simply to answer them correctly.
Good deeds are dedicated, creative, generous and masterful
It is a way of finding meaning in life and turning an obstacle into an opportunity.
While the objective is important, so is each individual case. The way you do things is your way of being able to do everything.
Doing the job right is your superpower
Whatever your project is, you must respond in 3 ways :
- By working hard
- Helping others as best you can
- In all honesty
If you’re wondering, “What am I supposed to do now ?” You already know the answer : your job.
It doesn’t really matter whether you get paid for it, whether your project succeeds or is noticed. Whatever the obstacle, we can and must act with these 3 characteristics.
Even if you earn a lot of money, are threatened with bankruptcy or have to deal with disappointed and dissatisfied customers, every job demands the best from you. By doing your best, you will :
- to be proud of your choices
- to make sure your choices are right because you will have done your job anyway
When there is a lot at stake, one has to be prepared to do something crazy, to circumvent the rules or to despair. Even to the point of thumbing your nose at the authorities or flipping a finger at those who would trample on you and break the rules.
You can do the best with what you have but you will never find perfection.
You can think like a radical pragmatist :
- Always ambitious
- Being aggressive
- Being anchored
- Be guided by a practical sense of the possible
Don’t think small, but be careful to distinguish between the essential and the superfluous.
Think progress, not perfection !
With this kind of superpower, all your obstacles will fall apart. By bypassing them or making them meaningless, they no longer have any resistance to exert.
To go further…
Ryan Holiday In : The Obstacle is the Way: The ancient art of turning adversity into opportunity [Online] Paper book format available on : < https://amzn.to/3kZKVxj >