In his book Mastery, Robert Greene has an incredible line that goes like this:
“It is a miraculous sensation, and practice will lead you to that point, no matter the talent level you are born with. The only real impediment to this is yourself and your emotions — boredom, panic, frustration, insecurity. You cannot suppress such emotions — they are normal to the process and are experienced by everyone, including Masters. What you can do is have faith in the process”.
I love that quote so much. Why? It teaches you to have faith in the process, so you can use it as your guiding light to accomplish pretty much anything you desire.
Over the past few years, I’ve learned that focusing on the process can enable you to reach your goals much faster. Here are several ways you can start:
Learn from people you admire.
If you want to become extremely successful, consider studying the habits of people you respect. Learn from them, and try to emulate their mindset. If you do that, slowly but surely, you’ll begin to think in similar ways. Quoting the Greek philosopher, Epictetus:
“The key is to keep company only with people who uplift you, whose presence calls forth your best.”
It’s no secret that reaching out to other people is incredibly empowering. Change starts with you. Find ways to improve your current self. Become more involved in society.
Learning from people I respect has improved my personal satisfaction, lowered my stress levels, and has created a sense of fulfillment in life. This is because my friends and family act as a moral compass that helps to guide my daily actions.
Think about doing the same. Practice kindness and compassion whenever you get an opportunity. The impact it could have on your ability to learn could be profound.
Let go of your desire to avoid mistakes.
Mistakes allow you to identify what you’ve been doing wrong in the past so you can improve your actions in the future. Yet, for some reason, we often try to avoid them as much as possible due to a desire to be perfect.
According to Psychology Today, “The cure for perfectionism is simple enough–it’s imperfection. It’s getting things wrong and learning how each stage of a project yields actionable information. Each step of the process can enlighten next steps or, at worst, eliminate a dead-end course of action”.
I make mistakes all the time. Then again, so does everyone. But once I know what I’m doing wrong, it’s much easier to change my behavior so that I can plan better outcomes for the future.
If you want to focus more intentionally on the process, embrace mistakes and let go of your desire to be perfect. Implementing this strategy enabled me to improve my mindset and productivity. Hopefully, it will do the same for you, as well.
Focus on daily progress.
Trusting the process is something that will (probably) take time to perfect. After all, meaningful change rarely happens overnight. Therefore, I like to think of progress as a journey. If you put one foot in front of the other, you’ll eventually reach your desired destination.
According to Amy M. Charland at Mayo Clinic: “It can be empowering to look back and see the progress you’ve made in spite of challenges you’ve faced. When the going gets tough, you can draw on your past successes to propel you forward. Reflecting on your progress can also reinforce the belief that you have the ability to change — that your goals are within your reach. This belief in yourself fuels your motivation and can sustain you during challenging times.”
I’ve started eating natural foods to improve my health. I didn’t expect much of a difference from this approach at first. Despite these issues, I have found that being able to exercise this habit has helped me to minimize my overall body weight and thus better manage my overall health.
Consider breaking your big goals down into daily habits. Because when you focus on those, you’ll find it much easier to make tangible progress each day.
Optimize your work environment.
Clearing your workspace will allow you to focus more intentionally on your work each day. After all, research shows that a tidy workspace is strongly correlated with higher levels of productivity.
While it is preferable to use natural light in the room for increased focus, it is also nice to open windows to feel more at ease and enjoy the surrounding air to help with your focus.
According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, people working in natural light stayed on-task for 15 minutes longer than candidates working in environments that had artificial light.
I used to have a cluttered desk filled with lots of paper and junk. But since I started cleaning my workspace, I’ve found it much easier to complete all of my tasks. I still aim to let some natural light in through the windows because I find that working in a nice atmosphere makes me more efficient.
If you want to optimize your work environment, remember that clearing your desk and adding some natural light are certainly good ways to start.
Although the above strategies might seem basic, the impact they could have on your productivity is profound.
Take advantage of compound interest. Try to make minor improvements every day. It’s important to remember that meaningful change won’t happen overnight. But if you continually focus on the process, the outcome will be incredible.
I’m going to leave you with a beautiful quote from Darren Hardy, who perfectly sums up what I’m saying: