Journey Vs Outcome
In almost every Reality TV show I hear the word journey. One of the most overused words of the last decade or so, it’s so overused it has become cliche. There is a tendency to focus on the journey rather than the outcome. By and large I agree with that proposition as it keeps me grounded in the present and stops me from reducing the now to a stepping stone on the way to an outcome. What about when the outcome matters more than the journey? What then; do the means justify the end? It is easy to be tempted to sell out on our values to get the outcome we want when there is a lot at stake. The answer to these questions lies in where and how you put the emphasis.
The ‘R word’
Everything has a price associated with it. What price are you willing to pay? This comes down to your values, how you play the game and your personal integrity. We are talking about Personal Responsibility: The R word! Has become somewhat of a dirty word ‘no-one’ is responsible anymore. It’s always someone else fault. We no longer have to be responsible. We are ‘robbed’ of the consequences of our own actions, especially if someone else is willing to pick up the pieces for us.
The common denominator
We blame our childhood, our circumstances, justifying anything and everything. Truth be told, the buck always stops with you. If you want to get a different result it starts with taking responsibility for how you got where you are in the first instance. If it is happening to you, especially if it is a recurrent theme, then you being the common denominator probably have something to do with it, therefore the trajectory of the current outcome also has something to do with you. The good news is, a willingness to be responsible for your life means there is a possibility for influencing the outcome in a direction that is desired.
When we deny the story it defines us. When we own the story we can write a brave new ending.
Values driven behaviour and outcomes
The other side of the Responsibility coin is Personal Accountability; you are accountable to yourself first and foremost. Being clear on and living by your values is a wonderful thing, a lot of your decisions are made for you by virtue of them being based on your values. I do not have to deliberate about what is the right or the wrong thing for me to do or what course of action to take if I allow my values to be both the yard stick and the compass. It is a far simpler way to live and it takes less energy. On one level it might be simpler but that does not mean it is necessarily any easier.
Staying grounded in the now while keeping my eye on the prize
Let’s face it, we all have things we want to do and outcomes that we want to accomplish. Sometimes we are faced with a choice in the moment that conflicts with our desired outcomes. Other times the path is smoother and everything falls into place. The best analogy I ever heard for staying grounded in the now while at the same time keeping my goals in mind was to liken it to a drive where the horizon is in view. There is always an outcome up ahead and the horizon keeps changing and there is always something to strive; a goal to be achieved. For me, the how is as important as the what. How I play the game matters to me much more than the game I am playing. There is usually a way to honour the outcome and have the journey be at least fulling if not also be enjoyable as well.