Success Is In the Process, Not the Prize
Your definition of success can define your whole experience.
When we use the words success or successful, we’re often referring to the tangible results of some effort made or task completed.
We get hyped about the big payoff at the end of whatever journey we’re on.
A car, a house, a vacation, or a new outfit, equals success, right?
It may take hours, days, weeks, months, or years to get to achieve success when you only see value in the prize at the end.
I say our idea of success all wrong.
Why This Definition of Success Is Messed Up
Does the reward only come at the end of a journey, right? If this is true, I’d argue that the time spent between start and finish was a complete waste.
Why? Because the price paid along the way was way too high.
Think about it like this…
If you work for years and the only value you get out of it is…
- Something that could break at any time.
- Something that won’t last as long as you will.
- Something that will tickle your fancy today and likely work your last nerve tomorrow.
The kind of success you signed up for won’t last, and you can never get your time back.
So where’s the value?
Am I saying screw goals and forget about accomplishments?
I am saying screw your conventional, one-sided, and small way of defining accomplishment.
I am saying that your definition of success needs an overhaul. (Much like that shiny new car you loved day one and began to loathe with each car payment and a trip to the repair shop.)
Success Is In the Process, Not the Prize
The hours, days, weeks, months, and years you invest working on “your thing” is where you’ll find real success. It’s in the knowledge you gain, the mistakes you learn from, and the challenges you overcome.
In a word, EXPERIENCE is the real success.
It’s the only thing in your journey that can’t be broken, stolen, or destroyed. Whatever you gain on your journey is yours forever.
Experience can help you replace whatever tangible things you may loose. It’s what will enable you to rebuild even stronger the next time around.
The Cost of Success
If you want success, you must be able to recognize what it is. There are three main components of success. Know what they are and what they mean so you can emulate them, and in time, embody them. They are the price you pay for success.
Here’s what it will cost you.
I know the price of success: dedication, hard work, and an unremitting devotion to the things you want to see happen. - Frank Lloyd Wright
I’m going to cover Frank’s success currency in the order of importance (according to me).
I ranked them this way because…
- Devotion is the fire you must keep lit.
- Hard work is the dirt you have to dig into.
- Dedication is the growth you have to maintain.
If you want success, you’ve got to be “Coo-coo for Cocoa Puffs” about your dreams and goals!
Do they even make Cocoa Puffs anymore?
I know I’m dating myself with that reference, so in modern terms, you need a “Can’t nobody tell me nothing” attitude.
You’ve got to be so into it that no discouragement from your friends, neighbors, or family will stop you.
Please believe that plenty of doubters and naysayers will come into your path. Negativity can smell a hint of devotion in the air.
The less energy you spend on negativity, the better. Any time you waste defending your dream is the time you could spend building your dream.
Don’t get distracted! Let success be your validation.
Dreams always look pretty. They tend to come in the night surrounded by twinkling stars. They float in midday and rest on a pillow-like cloud.
Is it pretty?
Does it look, soft and comforting?
But before you get to it, there’s a brick wall you must chop through with your bare hands.
Reality check…you are no Bruce Lee! There can be only one.
There goes another twentieth-century reference. You can Google that one!
Remember, Bruce Lee wasn’t always Bruce Lee either. He was sixteen years old Lee Jun-fan when he began. He trained daily to become the Bruce Lee we know as a legend and icon today.
There’s no reason you can’t do the same thing.
There’s hard work involved in preparing yourself to break through obstacles on the path to your dreams. The only question is if you are willing to build the muscle and condition yourself to do it?
Your daily practice is how you put in the work and get stronger.
What’s your level of commitment? Are you good for a day? A week? A year? Or are you good for as long as it takes?
Dedication is a jewel you pick up on the road to success. It keeps you moving forward when things get hard or look bleak.
If you move forward even when nothing seems to be happening, something finally will!
Keep Your Eyes on the Process
You’ve heard that old saying, “Keep Your Eyes on the Prize”, right? Well, I don’t agree with that.
It’s fine to have a prize in mind to look forward to. But too much focus on it can be distracting and even discouraging. Especially if you’re prize is going to take a lot of hard work, dedication, and devotion to achieve.
Prizes are a bi-product of success. Even when you get one, it’s fleeting. But the process is always there with you no matter what stage of the journey you’ve reached. And it will get better over time!
Keeping your eyes on the process is a better approach. When the devotion, hard work, and dedication become your prize, you’re always winning.
Based on his quote, I think Frank Lloyd Wright would agree.