Don’t use the “enjoy the process” mantra to justify slogging along even more slowly and watching your goals die. It’s a huge limiting belief to assume that going faster means you’re doing something wrong and creating too much stress.
Making goals happen faster is often a LOT more fun. Fast tempo is HOW you enjoy the process. And some goals cannot be achieved slowly at all, so in many cases faster means success while slower means failure.
If going faster makes the process of achieving your goals less enjoyable for you, you’ve probably chosen the wrong goals to begin with. If you don’t want them sooner, you probably don’t want them.
On my first attempt at college, I tried going at the normal student pacing towards graduation. I found my classes boring and uninspiring. The goal of graduating in four years seemed distant and too much out of my control. The whole experience was pretty depressing, despite the fact that I was attending the #1 school in the nation for my major at the time. I did my best to enjoy the process by having more fun outside of class — getting drunk twice a week, shoplifting like crazy, and playing a lot of poker. That helped — I certainly enjoyed the process more, but it didn’t help me on my path towards graduation. After three semesters I was expelled, and rightly so.
I took a year off, then tried again. This time I tweaked the goal to make it more fun and inspiring — to start over as a freshman and earn my 4-year computer science degree in 1.5 years. All I really needed to tweak was the speed. That brought many other inspiring elements to the table — the full engagement of my mind, motivation, focus, curiosity, different ways of thinking about education, a sense of control over the process, higher self-esteem, access to deeper resourcefulness, a powerful vision of myself as being more productive than ever, and so on. This was the inspired path. The energy I felt upon considering a serious speed increase was a clear sign that I was onto something.
It also worked. Speed made the goal fun and meaningful. It brought interesting challenges. I revelled in the time management aspect. Finally I had a goal that felt worthy of me, not the mind-numbing snail’s pace of my first attempt at a college education. After all, if 15 semester units equates to 15 hours per week of classroom work (the average for a full-time student), then where is all the extra time going? A serious full-time student can invest a lot more than 15 hours a week in classes. Homework alone isn’t enough to fill in all the other hours of a week.
Instead of making the goal more terrifying and stressful, the faster pacing made the goal so much more fun. I loved the experience!
What I love about speed is that it pushes me not just to achieve the goal but also to become a better person along the way. In order to achieve a goal faster, I have to change myself. I have to release more limiting beliefs. I have to become more organized. I have to focus better. I have let go of more fluff. I have to cultivate new relationships with like-minded achievers. I have to get better at avoiding distractions. Since I love personal growth, goals that challenge me in this way are so much more fun than goals that don’t. The speed aspect is what helps me enjoy the process. Without sufficient speed the enjoyment just isn’t there.
Imagine playing your favorite game at 1/10th the speed. Does that help you enjoy the game more or less? For some, maybe it does help. Chess can be enjoyable at a very slow pacing. I’m not suggesting that all goals need to be sped up.
Just don’t rule out speed as being negatively stressful. Not all stress is bad. A fast tempo can create a lot of eustress — positive, beneficial stress. It can also mean the difference between achieving a goal and failing to achieve it.