“I’ll feel so much better once I lose the weight”
“Once I can do 10 pull-ups I’ll feel strong”
“When I achieve_____ (result), I’ll feel_____ (positive emotion/validation)”
Translation: Where I am right now is not good enough, but it will be good enough once I reach this result.
We never put much focus on the middle – the process. But we are laser-focussed on the end result we’re aiming for.
Alan Watts makes this point so eloquently:
“But we missed the point the whole way along. It was a musical thing, and you were supposed to sing or to dance while the music was being played.”
He makes an analogy between life and music: that the physical universe is basically playful. There is no necessity for it at all, it isn’t going anywhere and doesn’t have a destination to arrive at. Just like music – the whole point of music is the playing of the music, not the arriving at the finale. If it was all about the final result then people would go to concerts just to hear the crackling chord right at the end.
OK, what I’m trying to say is that we put a lot of emphasis on the results. The number on the scale, how many pull-ups we can do, whether we win the trophy, thinking that THAT’S the value of our efforts. But actually the result was never the point. The point was to enjoy the process on the way.
Does that make sense?
Look, if we’re trying to get somewhere, ultimately that place is the same for each and every one of us.
NOBODY IS GETTING OUT OF HERE ALIVE. That’s the final result.
But what you do with your time while you are here is completely up to you. If you really want to lose weight because you believe that it will make you feel better about yourself, but in that process you deprive yourself, compare yourself with others, think about all the things you can’t eat, wished your body was different – then that’s how you’ll feel even if you reach your desired outcome. Perhaps feeling even more inadequate and depleted than before.
But the process, if you approached the process differently…
If you set out to lose weight because you’re curious about why you’re carrying the weight to begin with, if you’re interested to learn more about yourself because heck – you’re such an interesting person, if you wanted to learn about what movements made you come alive, if you wanted to learn how to nourish yourself with food, love, the company of others – then I can assure you, that you will feel amazing at the end even if you didn’t lose a pound.
Remember, nobody is getting out of here alive. The only thing that matters is what we choose to do in the middle. How we approach our goals, how we feel during the process, is what determines how we will feel once we get there.
Enjoy the process my friends, it was never about the result.