How You Get There Is As Important As Getting There

Habit Change

I have a thing for color.

In fact, I have painted every apartment I have rented in the last 10 years.

I am motivated to paint because I can’t think straight with plain white walls.

But even with all of this painting practice, I’m still not a good painter.

Here is my approach:

Throw down a plastic tarp if I remember. Throw on some tape. Open lid. Begin painting like a mad-woman on a mission.

Here is a different approach:

Clean and repair the walls, tape off edges carefully, move and cover furniture, blah, blah, blah, and then paint in some systematic fashion.

I can’t stand all the prep.

I am far too impatient for change. I want to feel better now so I rush into it and hope it works out for the best.

Hmmm. Maybe I am talking about more than painting here.

In this example, I am left with walls that meet my expectations. But my approach has gypped me out of something far more important than a pretty red bathroom.

I have reinforced the belief that the destination is more important than the journey.

One of my clients said it best. When discussing her goals for our work together she said, “I am realizing that how I get there is just as important as getting there.

This stopped me short.

Her yearning is common among my clients – to learn a way of accomplishing, a way of shifting habits, a way of ‘being productive’ that actually honors the ‘being’ more than the ‘productive’.

I knew the practical and mindfulness-based systems we would integrate into her life would help her with this transformation.

But I also realized that I needed to take a look at my life and consider how my impatience for change – for rushing to get to the destination – was preventing me from appreciating and enjoying the journey – and being productive in the way that I want to be.

A Shift In Perspective

The funny thing is that I used to be far more impatient than I am now. One thing that has helped me tremendously is shifting my perspective from all-at-once to day-by-day.

True transformation comes not from that one amazing epiphany but rather by integrating insights into action repeatedly, consistently, and patiently.

Clearly this shift is still a work in progress for me, but I am committed to continually bringing myself back to the day-by-day mindset each time I realize I have shifted back into my must-accomplish-as-much-and-as-quickly-as-possible way of being.

What would be possible if you embraced the process of change? If you enjoyed the preparation, the momentum, the ups and downs and the truth that it never really ends?

How might you change your approach to creating change? To being productive?

Share your thoughts below. I’d love to hear them.

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