And then there is everybody else...
I am not a result-oriented person...because I don't believe we could make results. You could only INVITE results to happen.
When I was a chubby kid, I never had a goal to lose weight. Yes, I knew I was fat and I wasn't happy about it. I definitely wasn't happy with all the names the kids were calling me in school. But weight loss was never my goal. Instead, I saw an exercise program on T.V. that I just, for some unknown reason, decided to do. The first time I exercised to this program, I enjoyed it and was immediately hooked.
While I was in school, I would program my VCR (some of you probably vaguely remember a VCR) to record this show (yeah, recording something while you were gone was our form of DVR back then). When I was at home, I would watch the show and exercise to it.
Within two years, I dropped all of my weight! Now everybody was calling me skinny.
My focus was on doing something that I enjoyed, and as a result, I dropped weight. Now, had it been the other way around where I was focused on losing weight, then I may not have lost any weight.
You see, I didn't make myself lose weight. Only my body gets to decide if it wants to lose weight. All I did was INVITE the results. In other words, I did all the right activities and I enjoyed doing them. Those activities would attract (but not guarantee) the results of weight loss.
In my life, I've noticed that I accomplish things by not having focusing on results. Instead, I have a general vision of what I want my life to look like and would make choices to support that vision. Whatever results I get from my activities would naturally happen.
In other words, focus on ACTIVITY, not RESULTS. Results, no matter what they are, would naturally happen no matter what you do.
Have you ever gone on a road trip and were simply focused on the destination? I bet that was one LONG road trip, huh? It was long because all you were focused on was getting to the end. This is why I don't like interstates: they are long and boring, having no scenery.
When my family and I went to Buffalo recently, it was definitely a LONG trip! But when we came back to Raleigh from Buffalo, the trip didn't seem so bad. Why? Because on the way back to Raleigh, I took a bunch of back roads. There was so much to see and so much change of scenery.
The time it took to get to Buffalo and to Raleigh were the same, believe it or not. The difference is that I was more concerned with the route on our way back to Raleigh, whereas on our way to Buffalo, I was concerned about the destination.
You will get somewhere or something in this life. The question is what route would you take. If you're more concerned with results, you would most likely take the most tedious route. If you're more concerned with the activity, then you're most likely to choose the most enjoyable AND productive route.
- Instead of focusing on losing 100 lbs in one year (results), focus on doing things that would support a healthy lifestyle (activity).
- Instead of focusing on writing a complete novel in six months (results), focus on arranging your daily schedule so that you could have time to write on your novel (activity).
- Instead of focusing on being financially independent within 5 years (results), focus on making daily decisions that would get you closer and closer to financial independence (activity).
- Instead of focusing on learning a new language in one year (results), focus on engaging in conversations to help you better learn a new language (activity).
Doing any activity would get you somewhere, so you really don't need to focus on results. Results will happen naturally. So choose an activity that you enjoy doing.
The physique that I have now didn't come because I wanted it. I have this physique because I engaged in activity that I truly enjoy (ZUMBA is one of them). Plus, I like working hard in those activities. Working hard in physical activities that I enjoyed has given me a nice physique. I had NO results in mind.
While I was a P.E. teacher, I was able to show the kids how strong and fast I was. I did crazy stuff such as...
- Having a 200-lbs kid stand on my abs
- Do sit-ups with 160 lbs of cinder blocks on my chest
- Sprint after every kid who ran from me (as an activity)
- Push a pick-up truck in neutral
- Have middle school kids punch my gut as hard as they could
- Arm wrestle with all the middle and high school kids
The list goes on. I was able to do these things because I was engaged in physical activity that I enjoyed doing -- not because I had goals to accomplish these things.
Right now, I have twelve budding cantaloupes growing in my garden. My goal wasn't to grow 12 cantaloupes. I just focused on taking care of my plants -- and the results just happen on their own.
Have a broad vision of what you'd like your life to look like, and then choose activities that would support that vision. Instead of making goals for the sole purpose of getting results, focus on drawing a full portrait of what your life could look like. Then ask yourself what are some things you could do to support that lifestyle.
When you're focused on results, you're focused on getting something NOW. You would pick activities that would get you to your destination as quickly as possible. But when you're focused on activity, then you'd have more opportunities presented to you that would help you support your overall vision in life. You'd be much happier doing activities that you enjoy that would support your vision than you would by living everyday with nothing but results to achieve.
Sometimes, out of practicality, you need to focus on specific results. Get your kids to bed by 9 pm. Save up $100 to purchase an item. Finish a school project by tomorrow. But in general, if you focus more on WHAT YOU DO, life would be more enjoyable and more productive than if you focus on WHAT YOU GET.