Are Results-Oriented People Less Fulfilled?

Are results-oriented people less fulfilled? This question popped into my head as I was reading Changes that Heal by Dr. Henry Cloud. He states,

Learn to value process more than result. Internalize the substance of the task as well as the product. People who are only results oriented do not often enjoy their talents. Learn to enjoy them; you will be exercising them for a long time.
— Dr. Henry Cloud

That statement may not draw crowds of success-driven people wanting to hear more. But then we would need to ask, What is success? If success is merely results, I'm afraid we've missed something extremely valuable - the importance of paying attention to the process.

Words like journey and traveler are a big part of my vocabulary, especially when it comes to telling my story and navigating challenges like transition. This language helps me to connect with other fellow travelers, cultivate a learner’s approach, and see the big picture. In other words, it enables me to engage with process while aiming for results.

I'm not always successful (Darn, do I have to define success again?) at the above approach. I can't say that I always get the results I'm looking for. Sometimes I get sucked into projects and miss opportunities to connect with people, with God and His amazing creation along the way. This happens more often than I care to admit, especially in transition. My narrow focus on the end product walls me in and usurps the creative process which is so critical to a fulfilling result.

If you lean toward a results orientation, let me be the first to say that your world needs you. Your community needs you. Your family needs you. Your employer needs you. Your client needs you. Things, important things, get accomplished because you exist. But let me also encourage you to prioritize the process as well.

While holding onto a vision of tangible results is important, it should never be the only thing that motivates us.

What could it look like to fix our eyes less on the end result? For me, the list looks something like this:

  • Less grumbling and complaining.
  • Less rushing through and cutting corners.
  • Less offense given and less taken.
  • A myriad of other attitudes and approaches that fail to cultivate fulfillment.

What could it look like to lean into the process a little more?

  • Richer relationships?
  • Greater creativity?
  • More enjoyment in life?
  • Heightened self-awareness?
  • A closer walk with God?
  • And end result which serves myself and others well?

The possibilities are limitless when we engage with the process.

As we consider the relationship of process to end result, we might do well to ponder the following quotes.

We have an idea that God is leading us to a particular end, a desired goal; He is not. The question of getting to a particular end is a mere incident. What we call the process, God calls the end.
— Oswald Chambers
God is not working towards a particular finish; His end is the process—that I see Him walking on the waves, no shore in sight, no success, no goal, just the absolute certainty that it is all right because I see Him walking on the sea. It is the process, not the end, which is glorifying to God.
— Oswald Chambers

Once again, God turns my thinking upside down. What we call the process, God calls the end.

Back to getting results…

There is good news for us results-oriented folk: God is results-oriented, but not at the cost of a life changing and life transforming process.

“God saw all that he had made, and it was very good…”
— Genesis 1:31a NIV

Our Creator sets the example of a creative process culminating in satisfying, tangible results.

How are you benefiting from deeper engagement with the process?  I'd love to hear from you.

Achieve greater fulfillment by starting your coaching journey HERE.