Christmas was my day to binge watch basketball. Predictably, the same commercials kept repeating, and while most of them whizzed by, the Red Bull commercial featuring Blake Griffin of the LA Clippers caught my attention. He casually mentions at the end that his college coach encouraged him, “Fall in love with the process of becoming great.” I thought it was a great match for January’s series, Fresh.
Too often we laser focus on intention setting in January but have a hard time admitting that we’re really in love with the end result. We start with great ideas and then expect to experience the fabulous ending before February comes. I think this is why Blake’s story was so interesting to me. His coach encouraged him to fall in love with the process. The coach understood that getting Blake to love the process could diminish resentment about tedious hours practicing free throws or working out. Ideally the fundamentals he mastered would produce the perfect result: being the best professional athlete possible.
Years ago Tiki Barber filmed a car commercial where he talked about playing football for the New York Giants. Much to his chagrin, he spent most of his early career suited up but watching from the bench. Week after week, the entire game passed without a single play…until one Sunday. One of the running backs got hurt, and the coach finally called for Tiki. He went in, but he did more than substitute. He performed well enough that he played every Sunday after that. He not only played, he started.
It’s easy to get distracted by Tiki’s meteoric rise to the starting team and emphasize the fame and money that followed. However, it’s a perfect illustration about falling in love with the process. Tiki was physically prepared to start. He knew the Giants’ playbook. And he could fit in with everyone already playing. The process of preparing week after week, even though he wasn’t playing, helped make Tiki ready once the opportunity finally presented itself. Ultimately, getting a chance to play was only part of the story.
Many of us are the opposite. We concentrate on the golden door flying open, not our preparedness. Think of Publisher’s Clearing House ringing your doorbell with a multi-million dollar sweepstakes prize. When you see that camera crew filming your big moment, do you want to be ready for your fabulous close-up or will they find you in your bathrobe with bedhead asking them to come back later?
This week, give a second thought to your own process. Can you introduce a new habit in 2014? Do you need to change your mind and be open to doing things a different way? Could simply having a new attitude make things fresh? On your way to achieving your goals, fall in love with the process of becoming great, not just the outcome. As famed UCLA basketball coach John Wooden once said, “It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.”