I want to share an observation that I made and have wanted to put into words for a while. A lot of times we talk about starting something, going for our dreams, never quitting or (eventually) quitting without paying attention to the process of executing. I think in-between start and result, process is something that needs a lot of thought, especially the means to create a long streak of consistent results or action.

One argument for why I think process takes a back seat in success conversations is that it’s often tough, if not downright boring, to suggest a routine that absolulety puts order into chaos; it’s almost as if everyone’s journey to getting there is different (it is) and each person has to strike out on their own to find their unique path. Whilst that sentiment is true of course, I believe there are higher principles we can instead focus on without taking away enjoyment from the process of creating something bigger; the goal of most creative pursuits. For the right process to be discovered, there’s need for grit and resilience too, and patience, which sound a tad boring. It’s easy for everyone to assume it’s innate and not focus on how to create or nurture it. I think coding falls into that bracket of creative undertaking whose process is hard to standardize besides the adage, write more code (!) so we look past simple rules to achieving success that apply everywhere else. As an engineer I sometimes get bored when things are set, when my behaviour is controlled - my happy defense is, creativity strikes when it does - no need to expect me to work typical 9-5 job when at 7pm I can have a lightbulb moment whilst putting my daughter to sleep, then I have to wait until tomorrow to try and recall that.

However from a high view, process really comes down to habits; a repetition of behavior. One of the things I have discovered is that a great finish guarantees an easy start! To be committed to finishing well (even some things that seem inconsequential to your main goal), requires one to think long-term and be willing to put in the work to get better even at those other things that seem tangential to the main goal. Examples of finishing well:

As small as these tasks may seem, I think they are a microcosm into how serious someone takes themselves, and their personal mission. I’d go so far as to say how one finishes tells a lot about their attitude and if they can maintain success. If one is half devoted to their job, just watch the finish. It’s hard to imagine Messi or Ronaldo finishing training in a rush, and calling it a day without care of where they have put their boots. Actually sport is a great revealer, a lot of times the top players stay behind even after winning and perfect the mistakes made during a game. (I don’t mean to imply all A-players do this, there are some with natural talents who can create moments of magic and take it for granted; those are the exceptions not the standard at the highest levels). That may not be the best example but generally after a task, the ability for some introspection shows great commitment and I have no doubt improves future performances.

In conclusion, rather than being sheep, we should take time to think about how we work and see it as a series of events that tells a story. Is your story coherent?

Thank you for reading.