Great insight from the book ‘The Obstacle is the way’ by Ryan Holiday:
Imagine you’re part of a long-term project, and however persistently you act, it seems that the obstacles just keep on coming. What should you do? Instead of thinking about the goal, you should focus on each moment and the overall process.
Because this allows us to deal with the tasks at hand as effectively as we can, which will increase our chances of long-term success.
Let’s look at two highly successful companies that were both formed in incredibly difficult economic times.
The Walt Disney Company was formed eleven months prior to the market crash of 1929. And the IT company, Hewlett-Packard, was formed during the Great Depression in 1935. Both these companies succeeded because they didn’t let the problems in the wider economy derail their thinking about day-to-day activities. Instead of concentrating on the overwhelming goal of becoming successful in times of economic crisis, they kept focused on the moment at hand, not the obstacles surrounding them. And step by step, they grew into the famous companies we know today.
Another way of looking at this is to see each moment as part of the larger process that leads toward the goal. Professional sport coaches use this paradigm to transform what might look like the impossible effort to climb a mountain into the single, regular steps necessary to reach to the top.
For example, Nick Saban, head coach of the University of Alabama American football team, teaches his players to follow the process. Saban tells his players not to focus on the goal of winning the championship, but rather on performing well in each game, and each play in the games. Breaking down the road to the goal in this way allows his players to invest their energy in the task at hand without worrying about all the “obstacles” such as defeats or possible injuries.
Correct action depends upon focusing on the entire process and living within each moment of that process.