I recently came across the following tweet on Twitter.
— Steve Burns (@SJosephBurns) August 7, 2015
Although it’s written with financial traders in mind, I believe it’s valid for all of life, personal and professional.
Basically, it shows that outcomes are the factor of processes within your control and variables outside of your control. Just because the outcome is positive doesn’t mean that your process was right, and just because the outcome is negative doesn’t mean that your process was wrong. Rather than focus on the outcome, it’s better to evaluate your performance based on the process you followed.
Your goal should be to document the processes you apply to different types of problems you encounter, reflect on the results which emerge, and learn from what worked well and what didn’t among your processes. You should then revise your processes in order to make it more likely that you’ll reach a positive outcome by following them in the future.
It takes a lot of training and discipline to evaluate your performance based on the processes you follow rather than the outcomes you achieve. I know that it’s going to be a lifelong journey for me. But the more you do it, the more likely you are to accurately identify the dynamics which govern a particular problem. And once you’ve identified these dynamics, the problem becomes much easier to solve.
The training and discipline are well worth it.