Achieve Your Goals Easily by Focusing on the Process, Not the Goal
This week we’re uncovering the process behind what made Jerry Seinfeld one of the most successful comedians of our time and how that process can help you achieve your copywriting goals.
So far, we’ve revealed that the process is about not breaking the chain, knowing the difference between activity and action, and not worrying about getting it right, just getting it written.
Today, I’m going to tell you to forget about your goal.
That’s right, forget about your goal!
Let’s say your goal is to finish The Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Coypwriting, and you think about that goal every day. It can be daunting and overwhelming, given all the other things you may have going on in your life.
If Jerry Seinfeld only concentrated on being the next great comedian, it would overwhelm and discourage him … especially when he had a bad performance.
But, when Jerry just focused on writing a better joke than the one he wrote before, the emphasis wasn’t on the performance … instead, it was about “not breaking the chain.”
Jerry fell in love with the process and not the goal. Knowing that, if he focused on the process and did what he needed to do within the process, the outcome of the goal would take care of itself.
Focusing on goals reduces your happiness now. When you’re working toward a goal, you say, “I’m not good enough now, but I will be when I reach my goal.” Or, “Once I achieve my goal, then I’ll be a success, then I’ll be happy.”
These types of thoughts drain your energy and can be debilitating to your writing and creativity.
But, when you just focus on the process, you think about the one thing you can do now, instead of the goal of being a highly paid full-time copywriter – which can be overwhelming and paralyze you from taking action.
Let me give you some examples of a process within a goal …
I’m a runner. So, if my goal is to run a marathon, the process is my running schedule. I don’t have to focus on running the whole 26.2 miles, just the miles I have to run that day in the process.
I’m also a screenwriter. So, if my goal is to write a script – about 110 pages – my process might be to just write one good page a day. Then, in four short months, I’ll have a completed screenplay.
If you’re working on The Accelerated Program, it might be to copy one great sales letter by hand every day … and soon, you’ll have the “voices” of legendary copywriters in your mind, ready to use on paying projects.
By developing a process where you take action every day – no matter how small – and you complete that action, you start to build self-confidence. And, that will bring you closer every day to realizing your goal.
Here’s another amazing benefit to just focusing on the process instead of the goal – you enjoy the journey!
Life is a journey, not a destination. Enjoy the journey more, and you’ll love the destination more!
Are you enjoying your copywriting journey? I’d like to hear your comments. Let me know if today’s article shed some light on how you can enjoy the now, while still pursuing your writing goals.
I hope you’ll be with me tomorrow, when we finish up The Seinfeld Method …
I’m going to tie everything together and tell you how you can succeed, even when you break the chain.
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Bob, Thanks for the great series. I love- "…think about the one thing you can do now, instead of the goal of being a highly paid full-time copywriter…" Like practicing anything-the piano, for instance for me. Hardest thing to do is get my fanny on the piano bench-that puts me in the "Now." Then very soon it all becomes quite wonderful, even the exercises.
Same goes for writing: sit in that chair and begin. I have a little sign at my desk says
"I'm Happiest When I'm Writing." Best JD Bergin
JD Bergin –
I always focus on the process of writing and work on one task at a time. I know I'm working toward a larger goal, but I don't always think about it.
Right now I'm on exercise 15 of the Accelerated Program. It took me awhile to figure out what a promise was. However, after I started writing one promise, it was easier to come up with 20 promises. I wrote them out on plain lined paper first. I am now transferring each promise to the course worksheet.
This is one of my favorite articles because I resonated with the topic.
I'm a goal junkie because that's how I was raised, e.g., education and society.
I now know why I've been feeling wonky lately. It's because I am focused on the goal, the end result, and not the process. I want to get to the end in the quickest amount of time possible because I was taught that accomplishing is the main event.
Perhaps it's time for me to lighten on my goals and focus on the process. I'll let the universe take it's course. It's time I go with the flow!
Guest (Amandah) –
I used to take my wife and daughter mountain walking / climbing. The going got hard, naturally.
I taught them both not to look at the mountain, but to look at the path we were on, one step at a time. It worked, and still works. The idea can also be applied to any major task. It's the same as the 'Seinfeld' theories we've been following this week.
Guest (David) –
This article was very beneficial to me! Thank you. I want to start enjoying the journey and see where my daily actions take me in the future.
Thanks so much for this article, Bob.
You have just given me an important reminder. Working towards a goal really is about the journey, not the destination. I know that when my focus is on that journey, I definitely enjoy myself more. Nothing gets me down more than the "I'm only successful when I reach my goal", which implies I'm not good enough in this moment.
I have been taking action everyday, but still have some trouble giving myself kudos for it.
Thanks for the encouragement.
Guest (Bridget Stoll) –
Focusing on the destination is overwhelming, but as long as I map out the necessary steps and discipline myself to move forward every day I will get to my destination!
Thanks for the reminder.
Guest (Cindy) –
The writer`s life is an enjoyable life. All those that ever mastered copy writing, took the challenge to first master the process of copy writing. This is the principle that they used to succeed. Mastering the process is the greatest secret. Hence, it makes sense to focus on the process rather than the goals, because it is the process that determines the outcome of the goals. The key priority of every copy writer must be to master the process. Mastery of the process is the key to success.
Loved the Seinfeld metaphor here. Instantly "clicks"!
Thanks for the share Bob.
Guest (Pooja) –
I love this article. I love it because you gave examples as to how to do the process. Now I really get it and I now know how I can accomplish what I want to accomplish. I kept looking at the entire project rather than breaking it down into small steps. Just as Anne Lamont says, Bird By Bird. You have just made it achievable for me. Thanks so very, super much.
Guest (Lois) –
this is so logical, forget the goal and focus on the process that leads to the goal,the goal could appear as a burden and a work task,but the process could be enjoyable,just like the humble journey that leads to a destination.
i think Seinfeld theory really works out has a principle,and i would like to adopt it.
thanks a million