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Celebrate the Process!

by Beth on August 24th, 2011

I was impressed when I heard about 61-year-old swimmer Diana Nyad’s attempt to become the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida without a shark cage. It was really sad when she was forced by shoulder pain and asthma to give up her swim after 29 hours. But I have been inspired by the interviews she has since given.

Obviously Diana expressed extreme disappointment in having to abandon her swim. But she also said “I can hold my head up high … I was the best person I could be … that’s the message. I dug down, I dug deep … Whatever you’re doing, do your job well.”

Sometimes we put so much stock in reaching our final goal that we don’t appreciate the process. We won’t always achieve our goals and that’s OK. What matters is what we get out of the process. It is giving 100% to something, knowing we have done our very best, that fills us with a sense of growth and accomplishment.

The Buddhist principle of non-attachment reminds us that we have complete control over our actions, but we do not control the results of our actions. Becoming too emotionally attached to the outcome can result in unhappiness if things don’t turn out the way we want. Diana understands this. She said, “my physical and mental preparation is the only thing I have control over. I can’t beat the weather, the tides, the currents, the sharks, the governments. But I can get ready.”

Although she failed to achieve her goal, Diana is proud of the fact that she is living her life with passion and is showing other people that life isn’t over when you turn 60. She knows “the pride, the certainty, that comes with going through with my pre-organized workout.” Appreciating the process has given her the resilience to overcome her disappointment with the outcome.

Make sure to celebrate the process. Think about what have you achieved so far. What have you learned? How will it help you with a similar goal in the future?


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  1. Perseverance Pays Off! | Cabrera Insights

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