Progress and the Process

Business & Strategy

Everybody everywhere is looking for a shortcut. That one silver bullet that finally takes off.

In my experience, there are three kinds of people in the world when it comes to achievement.

  1. The Sharpshooter — this person believes that success can truly be achieved at random. It’s entirely dumb luck that something works out for someone. And if the opportunity doesn’t fall into their lap, it will never happen for them.
  2. The Dreamcatcher — this person knows that he must put in the work and take action, and that success can be achieved with enough at-bats. Keep on swinging and eventually, a home run will obtain.
  3. The Iterator — this person is the rarest of the bunch. She realizes she is on a journey and there is no such thing as waste. Everything she learns in the process helps her progress to new levels of understanding and success.

Most people are sharpshooters. There is no concept of the hard work it takes to grow a business, master a skill, or reap the rewards of a lifetime’s commitment to a particular goal.

The dreamcatcher is further up the wisdom ladder. At least they know that hard work is necessary to the process. They’re aware of the process. They understand that there’s no such thing as an overnight success.

The iterators are rare. They have access to a particular understanding of the world most don’t. They understand that not only is the process necessary, but it is also valuable. It’s not about going through the motions of the process to get the result. It’s that without progressing through the process, the result can never be.

When you come to this realization, you become very powerful. It makes the process an intrinsic motivator. This means you don’t have to beg willpower to rear its ugly head. You don’t have to wait around for the Muse.

You just do.

And eventually, when you have done, and done, and done, you see something like the initial result you had in mind. The sharpshooter, provided this point ever arrives, says, “See! I knew it!” The dreamcatcher says, “Shew, finally. That took forever.” The iterator says, “Cool, what’s next?”

And this isn’t because the iterator is morally superior. This is simply because the iterator is dealing with reality. The reality is you never arrive.

If you chase arrival, you will be forever disappointed. If you chase progress, you will be forever rewarded, because you’ve been living in the reality of the goal the whole time.

Be the iterator.

Dec 22, 2023

About Me

Hey, I'm Steve — a Christian, entrepreneur, thinker, and creator. Thanks for stopping by!

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