You know that saying, “Enjoy the process!” Well, how exactly do you do that?
Have you ever felt drained from doing something you don't want to do? Or wondered how some people can continually execute on their goals with enthusiasm?
There are certain areas in my life, like fitness, where I can execute all day. I love being at the gym. Then there are areas like nutrition, where all the goal setting and action systems in the world won’t save me from falling off the boat.
The third scenario is an area like business, where I’m making apparent progress, but it doesn’t feel that way. That fulfillment factor is missing.
Think about that feeling you get as soon as you hit a PR… A few minutes later, you’re already trying or looking towards the next PR.
This completely changed the way I look at goal setting and systems overall. The reason we fall flat on our face at times is because we don’t have a deep rooted “why”. A sense of purpose that drives us. It’s not always on the tip of our tongues.
Well, how do you find that?
If I was to ask you what is important to you, there’s a tendency to slip into social idealisms. You might say something that sounds good, feels like it should be important, or something very surface level. The following process is going to help you objectively see where your priorities are at. It’s absolutely different for everyone. But the idea is once we have a clear understanding of what our top 5 values/priorities are — action becomes easy.
It becomes authentic. It becomes very clear what we should spend our energy and attention on. Now this is an exercise that you’re going to want to get a pen and paper out for. Sit back, relax, and don’t rush it.
The 13 questions I’m going to share with you are straight from Dr. John Demartini’s book. You have to list 3 examples for each question. By the end, we’ll have a total of 39 answers that we’re going to filter down based on frequency. You’re going to have quite a few answers that repeat, which is totally fine.
What you now want to do is list all of these answers and tally up how many times each of them repeat. You can also group certain answers together to make it more cohesive as you find fit. In order, list the top 5 answers that repeated most often. For me personally, my answers showed up:
The next step is to filter once again based off these questions.
How does that look? Does that order sit well with you? Adjust it once again as necessary.
These are not set in stone. Every 3 months, you should revisit the exercise to check in. At certain periods, you’ll notice the 5 values shifting around in terms of order, depending on what’s most relevant to you.
Here’s the thing. The more you can find ways to link an action to your 5 values, the more motivated and fulfilled you will be.
Let me lay out my personal hierarchy as an example:
I’ll illustrate a few action items to show you how they’d fit into the hierarchy. First, let’s take something I absolutely HATE doing at times, which is answering emails. How do I link this action that I dread into my hierarchy of values?
Well, if we think about it:
Now let’s look at something I KNOW I love doing already, which is having conversations on a podcast.
Podcasting is something that is a part of my essence. I experience the same flow state that someone competing at the Games might feel. Why is it that I find such fulfillment in this action?
If you can zoom out and find the links, you’ll notice:
To stay happy while you “enjoy the process” and find fulfillment throughout the journey to any goal — fitness related or not, you must find ways to feed this hierarchy.
Do something actionable everyday that fulfills each of those points. We run into trouble when we compare our hierarchy to someone else’s. Or when we try to force our hierarchy on someone else. This is literally just scratching the surface. If you actually sat down to perform this exercise, I’m sure you may have had some light bulb moments.
I highly encourage you to go read the full book by Dr. John Demartini. His work is something I wish I could share with every person in the world. The book dives deeper into how you can apply this with your health, work, relationships, day to day life, you name it.
Now you have an operating system that is unique to you and only you, like it should be. Your journey will have bumps along the way and won’t always be purely enjoyable. But if you can find ways to link your actions back to your hierarchy — you won’t just get from point A to point B. You’ll be much happier and fulfilled along the way.
This is a guest post from Misbah Haque, founder of theairbornemind.com. He is a coach that helps athletes of all levels find sustainable, fun and balanced training through individualized program design and group programs. His biggest passion lies in broadcasting conversations as the host of a podcast called The Airborne Mind Show. Follow his journey through iTunes, Instagram, and theairbornemind.com. For a free consultation and a 3 day sample program, shoot him a personal email: firstname.lastname@example.org