Not so long ago, I made a live video called “Falling in love with the process“. It had been inspired by a conversation I had with a client, along with an audiobook I was listening to for the 4th time: The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck, by Mark Manson. (Great read which I highly recommend, by the way.)
In this video, I shared how it became clear to me that falling in love with the process is necessary if we are to create anything of real value. Too often we focus on the goal, which is the idea of the result we wish to create, and we forget that by doing so we create a gap between where we are and where we wish to be. This gap can be the source of a powerful disarray and sense of helplessness.
Falling in love with the process is the wise thing to do, and more important than that, it is the only thing we will ever have. Reaching the goal is nothing more than a snapshot in time. The goal lives in the future until we reach it, and then suddenly it belongs to the past. The present moment of ‘reaching the goal’ is one of the most ephemeral experiences I know. It is a moment which lasts at best a few seconds, and then it’s gone again.
But the process… The process is where we live day by day. The process never ends. The process is our everlasting present; it is our Life, literally. Hence falling in love with it seems to be the wiser thing to do.
This does not mean it is easy, though. Sometimes, the process can look really tough, challenging, difficult, even cruel. All around us, we see others who may have created something similar to what we aspire to, and they seem to be soaring by up there while we are down here, struggling, sweating, hustling… This is maybe the hardest thing to witness.
Of course, the truth is that we don’t know what is going on for them. We ignore the fact that they are also involved in a process of their own towards something else, and that they might very well feel the same in their own life. But this is not relevant to us in that moment, the moment where we are doing our best to make ends meet. The moment where we don’t know what else to do. The moment where we don’t know who to turn to, or where else to go. The moment where the only way out is through.
This is why I love what I do for a living. I don’t think coaching is about goals, whether setting them or reaching them. Maybe this is what is being presented upfront to attract people who want results. But really, underlying it all, I believe coaching is much more about falling in love with the process. Because when you do, your experience of life shifts. When you do, results happen all by themselves.
I struggle with the process sometimes. There are moments when I don’t know what to do. There are times when I don’t know where to go. In these moments, my challenge is to fall in love again. This can be really hard, but I know I don’t have a choice. I love what I do too much to contemplate anything else. So when I catch myself in this dangerous place, I remember that I am simply not feeling the love anymore; I remember that I am trapped in my head, instead of connecting with my heart.
I remember that the only way out is through. And I focus on falling in love with the process again.