Stop Playing The Outcome Game – Here’s Why
The art of prioritizing process over paychecks
Want to find meaningful work that you’ll never have to retire from?
Stop chasing outcomes.
The biggest mistake I made during my tour of 19 jobs and early self-employment years?
Focusing too much on the outcome, and not enough on the journey.
The outcome? That was the paycheck.
Sure, paychecks were a lifeline when I was young and needed the cash to survive and not be a loser. But as time wore on? The paycheck alone just wasn't cutting it.
Each day felt like a constant drip from a leaky faucet—slowly eroding my patience and gnawing at my soul.
Drip, drip, DRIP, DRIIIIIIP… and another freaking DRIP...
The present? Couldn't stand it.
I was just doin’ my time during the week, living for the weekend.
Come Monday? Rinse and repeat.
Putting all your chips on outcomes, like I did with that paycheck? That’s a road to nowhere.
And oh, the pitfalls that come with it.
Downside Of Chasing Outcomes
I could go on and on about the downsides of chasing outcomes, but I won’t.
I’ll let the bot do it instead.
Check out what ChatGPT found when I ask about all of the downsides of chasing outcomes:
While aiming for goals is great, finding a balance between the journey and the destination. That's the secret sauce.
Side note: Isn't tech wild? Ask a question, and bam—a deep dive with references in seconds.
Retirement? It's an outcome. Not a journey.
But here's the kicker: if you're always pushing what you love to "someday" in the distant future, you're playing a dangerous game.
Imagine hitting retirement and realizing:
A. That endless weekend you dreamed of? Not all it's cracked up to be. You need a purpose.
B. Seriously, what was I waiting for? Why not start this joyride way earlier?
Living with regret? That sucks.
What To Focus On Instead
The trick? Start valuing work that feels like a reward in itself.
Sink into the journey, and immerse yourself in the art of your craft.
Stephen King? He didn’t churn out hits by just gunning for bestsellers. No, he thrived because he loves writing and bettering his craft daily.
Michael Jordan? It wasn't all about the championship rings. He succeeded because he reveled in the game, improving day in and day out.
Prince? It wasn't about cranking out hits. It was his love for music and honing that unique Prince sound, every single day.
The bonus? Any cash or acclaim you get from doing what you love is just the cherry on top.
To unlock what that dream gig might be, ask:
When am I so engrossed that time just stops?
What's that thing I can't help but want to master?
Drawing a blank? Try this Ikigai exercise I've laid out in this post.
Embrace The Journey
At the end of the day, it's not about the destination—it's the ride that counts.
Whether you're penning the next great novel, shooting hoops, or crafting melodies, remember that it's the desire, the daily grind, the little moments of triumph, and even the stumbles that make the journey worthwhile.
So why wait for "someday" when today is begging you to dive in?
Find that thing that gets you out of bed every morning, chase it, and let the outcomes be the unexpected surprises along the way.
After all, a life well-lived isn't measured by the finish line but by the adventures you had getting there.
Ok, I know, I shared this in another post, but it fits so perfectly with the theme of this post I had to share it again.
Here’s my song, “Why Wait.”
It’s about the talk I had with “the voice inside” my head.
It’s crazy to think that I wrote and recorded that in 2012 while I was still employed.
And now, here I am, 11 years later, doing exactly what I set out to do.
If some ’80s dirtball who partied too much and couldn’t keep a job can do it, so can you.
See you over there!
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