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Measure the Method, Not the Outcome

Over the course of the next few weeks, I'm providing 10 free lessons on helping you achieve your dream life. Click through the lessons below to follow along:
For most of my life I've finished second best.

Over summer break one year I hiked 100 miles in a week. But my brother hiked 1,000 in a month.

I felt great about learning how to play the piano. But my sister could play five different instruments, dance, and act.

And finally when I felt like I had a real breakthrough in graduating college, I landed a job in a field completely different than my major.

I don’t know about you, but sometimes it just feels like I’m a second-rate version of what I could be. So how do you break this thought process and go on to believe in yourself?

Lesson 5: Measure the Method

I have a confession. Sometimes I measure success by how well I do when stacked up against the competition. I am naturally a competitive person.

Recently I started to wonder if there was a better way to achieve success. There had to be more than just reaching the finish line first and crashing to recover. I finally came to this realization.

Reaching a goal is not enough. You have to honor the process of becoming something.

And what should you become? Well that’s entirely up to you. But whatever you do, be yourself.

“Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second rate version of somebody else,” said Judy Garland.
Reaching a goal is not enough. You have to honor the process of becoming something.
If your entire purpose of perfecting your craft is to be better than someone else you will never really be happy with what you achieve.

If you want to be happy, find joy in the process of perfecting your craft.

You can’t control what others do. You can only control your own mindset and effort. And once you reach your final destination, unless you are able to realize your growth in the journey it will mean nothing to you.

In short, measure the method, not the results.

Enjoying the challenge today

You can set big goals and have big dreams, and in fact you should. But unless you can break big problems into small daily steps you will likely give up somewhere in the middle.

We like challenges that push us to do better, but not impossible tasks that could crush us.

Say you set a goal to travel to Japan. You could work your tail off to fly there, spend a day or two in a hotel, and fly back. Or you could learn how to set a budget, a few key phrases in Japanese, and dive into the history and culture of Japan.

By breaking a big goal into smaller steps you can find joy in daily doing something to become a better person. Neglecting the method is like taking a trip to a foreign country but never leaving the hotel.

How you achieve success will always matter more than what you actually achieve.

People take time to develop.

What are you doing today to reach your dreams? What small action can you take to tackle a giant problem?

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