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Learning to Love the Process

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A few weeks ago, I wrote about how I’ve realized that I’m my own worst enemy when it comes to creating anything–writing, music, even cooking!

(Read more about that HERE.)

And I’d love to tell you that since I’ve had that realization/mini-epiphany, I’ve managed to relax into the “messiness” of creating something new. I’d love to tell you that I no longer resist the process. That I’ve conquered my self-destructive habit of stopping something before I’ve even started.


The truth is: I’ve got a long way to go!


Instead of looking exclusively at the RESULTS, I’ve become better at noticing other people’s process–and it’s really cool!

I had the great pleasure of hanging out with my young niece and nephew this past week while I was visiting family in Pittsburgh. And you know what I learned?


For example: I watched my niece drawing a picture. She was deep in concentration. Really paying attention to every detail. She was totally engaged in what she was doing for a full 15 minutes–which is long time considering most folks can’t sit still for 15 minutes without a commercial break! And as soon as the piece was “done” she stopped. I watched how she casually placed this piece of art beside her and began to work on something new.

She didn’t flinch when her younger brother came over to the table with a full glass of some kind of kid-friendly beverage and sat down beside her. (If you knew my nephew, you’d be familiar with the phrase, “Please hold that cup with BOTH hands!” There’s reason wekeep lots of towels ready!)

And… when she was called away to help get ready for dinner, she just took the completed drawings and put them away. She didn’t treat them like they were religious items. She didn’t file them away for a later time.

It wasn’t about the FINISHED drawing. It was about the PROCESS OF CREATING IT.

(In fact, I think she might have just thrown them away–can you believe it?!)

It was all about the journey and NOT about the destination.

I loved it.

Kids are valuable teachers, for sure!

Am I ready to just dive in and embrace the messy (and wonderful?) world of process? Well…

I’m getting braver.

Baby steps. Baby steps.

4 Responses to “Learning to Love the Process”

  1. rahree says:

    love this. just went back into the practice room today in my attempt at placing process over product. baby steps, indeed!

  2. Jason Poole says:

    @ Rahree: YAY FOR GETTING BACK INTO THE PRACTICE ROOM! Right on! You are doing the hardest part: taking the first steps. At first we walk and then we run. Go get ‘em! (and PLEASE keep me posted! I need to read how you’re doing–it encourages me!)

  3. Amanda says:

    thanks for posting this! i will remember to help annie continue to enjoy the process…she too can get caught up in the “perfect” outcome.

  4. Jason Poole says:

    @ Amanda: Itʻs ALL process when you think about it, right? I’m glad you’ll be there to encourage her. We all need cheerleaders!