Why you should enjoy the process ~ IsleofAtlas
“It’s what gets you there, that sustains you.”
Why You Should Enjoy The Process
Let’s get straight into this one.
“The reward you get for overcoming your last challenge is your next challenge.” – TD Jakes
I heard this quote a couple of months ago watching a clip of a TD Jakes sermon. It’s not one I understood at the time, and it’s only as of recent I’ve been able to grasp what it means for me.
On this journey of self-discovery, I’ve learnt a lot about myself. The first lesson which stuck with me was that I wasn’t like anyone else I’ve known and shouldn’t overly compare myself to others. There is only one version of myself for a reason. When I allowed this revelation to take root, it wasn’t long after until I saw the fruits of knowing sprout up across my understanding of self.
I don’t live like other people.
I don’t think exactly like other people (despite the British educational system’s best attempts to indoctrinate a lot of processes).
I didn’t have the same experiences as other people.
And that is all okay.
I also realised along the way, unlike many people, I wasn’t comfortable with staying in one place. Having nothing to look forward to. For me it wasn’t enough to know who I was – I had to live in that reality every day.
Going back to the previous quote, this is where I really started to understand what kind of person was growing to be. I’m not the kind of person to celebrate small wins – not in a conventional manner. I recognise them for what they are – small victories for which signify growth in the right direction – but I understand the race is far from over. I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve slowed down the celebrate a run before I’ve hit my PB and lost out on that ultimate victory because of it. So, I don’t just stop to celebrate my victories. Rather I celebrate by taking on another challenge. Now, this doesn’t mean I neglect rest, rather I’ve come to understand rest as an essential component of the growth process. Rest is as important as working when it comes to long term consistency and shouldn’t be treated as a reward for success and productivity – that’s how burnouts happen.
I can imagine this sounds strange. But, I’m always thankful to find enjoyment in what I do, and what I’m looking toward, and the challenges I proceed to take on. Why would anyone wish to step away from that lifestyle for even a second?
“I’m trying to leave life EMPTY.”
I’ll never forget the words of Paul in his letter to the Corinthians. Being a hub of vibrant talent but lacking integrity and character is a very depressing combo to witness, and even more so to be unknowingly committed to.
Paul, whilst some might describe his rebukes as harsh, never forgot to remind the Corinthians of their identity and what this meant for how they should approach life. For a section of the letter, Paul focusses on the importance of discipline and integrity – important character traits for the gifted. In Paul’s mind, it wasn’t enough to show others the way and inspire others through idle work and conversation. The very lifestyle they were to live had to be one worthy of the quality of ability and natural skill they were granted and practised in.
“What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?”
A question I’m beginning to consider a lot more recently.
As a Christian, I spend a lot of time relating to God about what it is he wants me to achieve with my time on Earth. Now, I’ve been told a lot of strange, exciting stuff and yet I didn’t always see what I was shown in these lens. Not so long ago, I feared the potential residing in me, and the certainty of what comes next as I consistently live worthy of the call. It could be said I lived afraid of true personal success. It was a lot for a kid who was well adjusted to parental advice of a quiet, affluent job in the big city.
But I soon had to rise above those concerns. If people were to have heard the 10-year plan I have listened down, they shake. Or laugh. And both reactions are distractions I can’t afford in this journey of mine. Because the life I’ve chosen to live isn’t one just for me, but for the people. So, I must live worthy of the call. I learnt this is where I will be most effective.
“It’s what gets you there, that sustains you.”
Being a person obsessed with growth is the only way you can guarantee success (the keyword being GUARANTEE). What you commit to will succeed. Now growth doesn’t mean you have to see significant continuous growth spurts within overlapping short spaces of time – we are our own worst critics after all. It doesn’t even mean always exceeding your PB every time you step up to the plate. The real challenge is consistency above all else. In the rain. In the sun. When you feel like you didn’t do your best today. When you feel like you couldn’t do any better. In all such circumstances, you discipline your mind to persevere above emotions and excuses.
Finding enjoyment in progressive processes is how you can ensure that you won’t lose yourself when success physically manifests. Because whilst things around you change, your focus on the challenges ahead and the sustenance of continuous structures are the one thing that shouldn’t differ. And life is really what we make it to be – an accumulation of habits and processes we commit to.
Knowing this, what will you choose to commit to today?