I used to be a self-help junkie hopping on every course or reading any article to improve my skills and unleash a better me. Having a subscription on Medium opens up a lifetime supply of articles under the self-help category.
After some time I got super bored with the topics as they all revolve around the same concepts and intersect together. Furthermore, I found out that nothing will teach you nor make you better except your own self-awareness applied to the course of your life. There is a quintessential theory for your mind and soul that would fit in your career or business and it is unfortunately seldom mentioned in the way my mind would better perceive it.
I started 2019 with a couple of concrete new resolutions that might've changed my life course. I structured my day very precisely with a knife and fork, I made every 20 minutes chunks per day count most and worked religiously a minimum of 12 hours a day. I had one great purpose, which is that my product ought to help millions of patients to straighten their teeth while saving the planet from the monstrous plastic consumption in the clear aligner field of orthodontics- where I am basically working in. I had a mindset of being open for a broad spectrum of possibilities without fixing hopes on a single end result. I wanted to do things in a lean and flexible way while accepting a diversity of outcomes. I learned to enjoy one thing above all, the process I took throughout the way to my purpose. Everything felt as if I am on the right track till one day after August 2019 it didn’t anymore, I felt lost with no purpose, no process enjoyment anymore. This was the time I received a hefty financial offer from a big company in my market to purchase the 4D technology behind my product I‘ve developed and patented over the last year and a half. They wanted to test the technology throughout a couple of months period. My focus changed. I wasn‘t anymore developing this technology for a greater purpose, it was just pure focus on the financial short term potential reward. Big mistake! I lost time which was wasted on making the big company‘s delegates happy and satisfied and going through so many technical details just to prove egoistically myself that I am great and my 4D technology is awesome!- it still is!
My purpose changed and consequently the process and I became focused on a narrow outcome for the technology. Instead of having a commitment to enjoy improving myself and my company, I was laser focused on the potential reward and outcome at the end!
Focus on 1 purpose and 1 process while diversify your outcomes and expectations. This is a key to happiness in business. You improve bit by bit while having a commitment to reach the grand and sole purpose. This is what makes you stand up again after falling off the cliff of failure, that‘s the true price of success!
This might sound a bit like a cliche but very few of us follow this path. We forget the main purpose throughout the process and find ourselves setting specific expectations. When these expectations don‘t happen we dive into depression and lost hope.
Here you go Kandil‘s business happiness formula:
Career happiness= (Purpose + Process)xFailure/Degree of Expectation
When purpose and process go hand in hand and face many failures on the way while accepting them and you keep moving forward that is when you reach happiness in your career whether as an entrepreneur or as being employed. Don‘t forget to keep the degree of expectations as low as possible but never reach zero, then the equation will yield zero happiness.
But why is it so difficult to keep the parameters in the formula under control to achieve perpetual happiness? It is because of how our brains are wired!
Our brains are wired by default to negative mental looping, it is laser-focused on what we don‘t have rather than what we do have. It is focused on end results rather than processes. I have a cool car, but yet I can’t wat to get a better one because I saw someone driving it and it felt just good to visualize myself in that position. I post on social media to show the world that I am having a grandiose time, and enjoying my success. Or, in my case I had an amazing product, instead of reflecting on the advantages this would bring to the community and enjoy developing it further, I visualized the end result of a financial reward and getting an early ticket for financial freedom. In all previous examples, I increased the degree of expectation so high by having one final outcome. This ruined my purpose and process and those ruined my potential happiness in business.
Everything around us is set to serve that mental negative loop. Take a look at your Instagram or Facebook feeds and you will see everyone is having a grand old time, people getting married, people achieved things and bragging about it, etc.. It pushes you to visualize an end result of these people and consequently yourself.
Back to my story, by the end of the year 2019, I started to realize that I am not happy anymore selling the technology behind my product. I was literally getting into depression mode and can‘t get out of it. I decided to back off and protect my secrete sauce while waving off the opportunity for now. The immense amount of relief was priceless, I am refining my process once again and rewiring my brain to one purpose and low degree of expectation to adjust my path back to happiness and the success I want to achieve not what others want me to achieve.
My personal story is just a simple reflection to how our society thinks and visualizes itself every moment. This is applicable to many facets of life. You being bombarded with Ads every couple of minutes while surfing the internet or social media. Everything around us forces us to visualize ourselves doing something or having something we don‘t have and driving us to buy it or go that pathway. Losing the main purpose of what you are doing and not diversifying your expectation of an end outcome could lead you down the path to depression and anxiety.
I love the words of Alan Watts an English writer addressing the issue
The desire for more positive experience is itself a negative experience. And, paradoxically, the acceptance of one‘s negative experience is itself a positive experience
He named it the backward law!
What the heck is that?! Well, did you notice before that the person who worked hard while least worried about achieving something reached it indeed eventually? Or when you start worrying about something and thought about it day and night it happened one day by itself at a different timing where you almost forgot about it?!
It is just that we are living in a society where there must be winners and losers, there are limited capabilities for all of us and we are in a continuous motion of push and pull in the same pot. You will in many times reach results you might not have wanted because they are unfair or it wasn‘t your fault. It is ok to accept these and keep going on!
I recall 3 of the best success stories of my life came by a sheer focus on the process I loved doing, I did it very well and didn’t care much about the end result or outcome. I just did the best I could and bam!! One day I nailed it, but more important was that I was happy throughout the whole journey.
In other words, I didn‘t give a damn about the adversity of results while facing my goals!
People who don‘t care about the adversity of your results, failure, feeling embarrassed or taking longer to achieve something are the ones who actually do make it! It is a very simple recipe but it goes unnoticed by many. Enjoy the process more than the end goal! Put the process in front of you when you start working on a project and let the end goal come within a broad spectrum of possibilities you define. I enjoy solving problems and coping with bad news and misfortunate faiths rather than crying about them.
It is still some sort of appreciating gratification at many levels, isn‘t it?
Enjoy the process, enjoy your business and career!