At the starting blocks of life’s race, we often see only the finish line, believing it to be the ultimate goal. In this mirage, we become blind to the journey itself, the process that forms the essence of the race. “The illusion is that the finish line is the destination. That act itself is the destination,” said Phil Knight in the movie ‘AIR’, shedding light on a truth that many overlook. The reality is this, there is so much more to be gained in process-based decisions over outcome-based ones.

Imagine shifting your gaze from the finish line to the path right in front of you. What if, instead of obsessing over the outcome, you commit to the process? By doing so, you may find that the outcome takes care of itself. This approach forms the core of process-based decision making, a powerful and intuitive decision-making model.

Our world is fixated on success stories, often discarding the trials and tribulations that pave the way to that success. But what if we celebrated the entire journey, acknowledging that failure is a crucial stepping stone on the path to success? In this paradigm shift, we start to appreciate process stories over success stories, a cornerstone of the creative decision-making model.

Shift from destination

This shift from outcome to process is a call to focus on ‘being’ rather than ‘doing.’ It’s about being present in each moment and fully engaging with each task at hand, as opposed to mindlessly ticking off tasks on a to-do list. It’s about fully immersing yourself in the steps of the decision-making process, from gathering information to assessing alternatives, and finally making a choice.

Consider the story of Thomas Edison, the prolific inventor and innovator. Renowned for his dogged determination and tenacity, Edison’s success was rooted in his commitment to the process. His quest to invent the practical electric light bulb was not a smooth journey – it was marked by countless failures and repeated trials. But for Edison, each failure was simply another step in the process, a stepping stone leading towards his final success. The world marveled at the invention of the light bulb, an outcome of Edison’s relentless dedication to the process. This aligns seamlessly with the principle of process-based decision making, demonstrating its tangible impact in driving real-world achievements.

In the end, the shift from outcome-based decisions to process-based ones can be transformative. It requires us to reject false trade-offs and focus on the journey, not the destination. By doing so, we open ourselves up to a world of possibilities, where the act itself becomes the destination. Embrace this mindset, and you’ll find that the finish line is closer than you think.

Can you identify an area in your life where you've been too focused on the finish line and overlooked the journey? How can you shift your approach to value the process as much as the outcome?