Winning the game. Making the presentation. Finishing the paper. Putting the furniture back in a room you just painted. Results make us feel proud. When they are viewed from the finish line they seem very, very obvious to us.
We feel perfectly aligned when we look back from the point in time we accomplished something. There is a confidence in our voice that supports our claim that we knew what to do.
Where we struggle is when we define a result we want, either in a goal or through a story, and then put our efforts in gear to achieve that result. Looking from the starting line, instead of the finish line, is much more difficult because there is no certainty that the result we defined can be achieved.
Do we have the skill or talent to do it? Will we be smart enough to recognize that we don’t and will work to find ways to acquire them? Do we understand how much effort will be needed to get the result and are we willing to sacrifice our free time to make sure that we get there?
How many times have we been so consumed in our efforts that we lose track of the result we set out to achieve? This comes across as more of an excuse as we can tell a great story of everything we have done to achieve something and never stop to think why the result has yet to appear. Over time, we even lose sight of what we were trying to achieve.
Even though we are lazy at times, we like stories about our effort. We always feel we are giving 100% in our life all of the time. This blinds us to the drifting that can occur by letting time pass away, always being busy but having little to show for it. I myself have drifted and been caught in the comfort of effort without considering the lack of substantive results I was achieving.
Focusing on results is an objective way to view our progress. It can be cold-hearted for it cares little about effort or emotion. But seeing where we want to go and understanding that our efforts are not yielding what we would like to achieve is a powerful first step to making adjustments and becoming more agile to accomplish more than you first thought along your life’s journey.