You own your actions, but not your results. Whether you’re building a business or finding a soulmate, you can take action toward the goal, but you can’t insist on a specific result. You can’t make someone hire you or fall in love with you. Some results require timing, luck or just some divine intervention, all of which are outside of your control.
So, what do you do with the discomfort between the time you set your heart on the goal and the final result? What moves you from the beginning to the end? Trusting the process.
The Philidelphia 76ers popularized the phrase “Trust the Process” in support of the commitment Sam Hinkie’s, 76ers former general manager, brought with his plan to rebuild the team. Like the 76ers, you can develop your plan toward a goal and commit to its execution.
Trusting the process means finding contentment in doing your part of the creation. You’re working your network, sending resumes and practicing your elevator pitch to land the job you want. That’s in your control. Trusting the process creates contentment as you work toward your goal, and makes your success more likely.
What does trusting the process look like? Here are some steps:
First, What Process?
Before you can trust the process, you have to identify your process – your individual path to your goal. A process requires tactical steps toward your desired goal. Here’s how you can develop yours:
- Do your research. What steps have other people taken to reach your goal? Thanks to the magic of the internet, you can find someone on the planet who has accomplished your goal, and learn how they did it. It’s ok to copy their process. Actually, copying someone else’s path to success is a great idea.
- Choose the process that best fits your lifestyle and personality. If you are not a morning person, the 5:00 a.m. gym commitment is unlikely to be a winning strategy. But, could you try a lunch time work out? That seems like a better fit. Choose a process that makes sense for you.
- Write it down. There’s magic in the commitment of a plan to paper. Just the physical act of writing down your process lets your brain know that this is real and it’s happening.
- Gather your resources. What resources do you already have or you could get that will help you? If you want to improve your diet, do you know anyone who is skilled in creating meal plans? Hit them up for ideas.
- Trust the process. It’s your process, and it’s your goal. Trust.
For me, taking action is the foundation for trusting the process. If you’ve had some academic or professional success by putting in the hours and doing the work, you already understand the value of action toward a result. Taking physical action – like putting on your running shoes, creating the dating profile, or submitting the job application – are signals to yourself (and it you’re so inclined, to the universe) that you are pulling your goal into existence. Your physical action, no matter how small, pulls the result toward you. Creation requires your participation.
In his book The Miracle Habits, Mitch Horowitz identifies habits that steer us toward our desired results. A student of Neville Goddard, Horowitz explores law of attraction concepts, including how our intentions impact our reality and our progress toward a desired result.
Although Horowitz firmly believes in the universal force that interacts with our intention, he recommends an approach that combines intention and action. That is, hold the intention of your desired result, but do the physical work. According to Horowitz, “Things do arrive through established channels,” and I think he’s right. His recommendation accounts for the mysteries of divine timing, but also recognizes that we have some practical control over our destiny. We help choreograph our personal dance with the universe through our action in the direction of our dreams.
Appreciate the Process
No matter your current situation, there is a blessing in your circumstances. If you hate your job, you could appreciate the paycheck that arrives on schedule. If you are in a health crisis, you can appreciate the support you receive from family or friends or even your own strength under unexpected circumstances. There is always a blessing in the process.
Each challenge brings new data and new perspectives that would not have occurred without the challenge. Appreciation sweetens the process of bringing about the change you seek and allows you to trust the path you’re on. Action toward your goal becomes easier when you appreciate the blessing in the process
With a solid plan, committed action and some appreciation, you can trust the process and your goal becomes inevitable.