Process, not product

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“We shape our buildings, then our buildings shape us.”
—Winston Churchill

For about ten years I had a piece of paper thumbtacked at eye level on my office wall. It said:

Process, not product.

I needed that piece of paper in plain view to remind me as I worked on projects that, ultimately, the process I use to achieve my goals is more important than the end-result.

No, I’m not saying that the products of my work aren’t important; far from it. Rather, if I concentrate on my end-goals to the extent that my awareness of the process I am using to obtain them suffers, then:

  1. My end results will be inferior to what I could have achieved; and
  2. I’ll be living a miserable life.

It took me ten years before I removed that piece of paper, ten years to be able to reliably remember not to plunge into achievement at the expense of mindful action.

Which is more important for you? Process or product?

Image attribution: Flickr user sixmilliondollardan