Process vs Result

I was going through 2D’s blog one of these days and came across a pretty interesting post as to what is more important, process or result. The views were pretty interesting, favoring result and many people are expected to have this kind of a view in this cut-throat professional age (my previous post gives a pretty good example). However, according to me, the whole thinking should be situation dependant.

Let’s compare the following cases

Case 1: You haven’t tried as much and not really put in the necessary amount of efforts. The results obtained are dismal

Case 2: You obtain the necessary results without going through the right process and doing the necessary hard work. In short, you succeed by fluke.

Case 3: You work hard and smart, plan things well and still fall short of your targets, possibly due to some small flaw in your course of action.

Case 4: You follow the right process and get the right results.

From the above, Case 1 and 4 seem to be fair outcomes. Case 2 and 3 seem to defy conventional correlations. Given a choice between the two cases, a result oriented guy would go for the 2nd and a process oriented for the 3rd. What would I go for? Well, it depends upon the gravity of the result desired. If it’s something on which one’s life depends on, then I don’t think any practical person would opt for Case 3. However, the possibility of such situations arising are rare (except when may be you are a terrorist). Hence considering a normal situation, I would opt for Case 3. This is because even if you don’t succeed, the learning experience you gather while working hard towards your goal can be immense. Hence, you can still learn from your mistakes and make sure you don’t repeat them again. And these things would help in various other areas of one’s life as well, paving the way for eventual all-round success. Focusing on process may not give the desired results initially, but when they start paying, they do so big-time.

P.S: I am open to more thoughts regarding this.


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~ by rastapopulus on June 2, 2008.

6 Responses to “Process vs Result”

  1. I have never mentioned about the time u take and lets not talk exceptions..How many times have you seen a person achieving everything desired without efforts? The crux of my post was just one should not reason out his/her failure because mostly it is a fault in the process you chose to achieve it….

    PS : thnx for the pingback

  2. Although that seems to be a nice categorization of different possibilities in the context, I will agree with Zubin that the post is in no way related to what zubin was pointing to.

    Your post assumes that a person knows what he wants to achieve and then he thinks and chooses from one of the 4 above mentioned ways. Which is not what generally happens. In fact if you think about it, the only thing that is in your hand is the process. You can choose to work hard or you can choose to leave it on fate. The result is totally out of picture at this stage. it’s only when you are close enough to achieving your goal, you can think about the question “what’s important, process or result”.

  3. @ ankit goyal: I completely agree with what you are saying but I am not sure if that is what zubin meant. If you see his post carefully, you will see this line”even if i failed i enjoyed the process”. According to him, this is a line for losers. I simply don’t feel the same way.

  4. what about those who are practically process oriented?
    it sounds arbit but well yeah, life’s like that only 😉

    what about a case where the person really doesn’t care about the process but is hard to get the results end up liking the process and discarding the result?
    can’t a person flip his mind or does he have to stick to one rule??

    one way to answer this process-result-orientation bullshit is –
    I am process oriented when I am happy and satisfied with it
    I am result oriented when I am happy and satisfied with it
    I am in middle of process and result oriented when I am happy and satisfied with both.

    what if you dislike both the process and result ??
    it’s just waste of time 😉

    ~$udhi 🙂

  5. yeah..practically process oriented in the attitude to have in order to achieve consistent success…that is basically case 3…

  6. Also, I would like to correct one more small thing. If you properly go and survey different types of people like I did when I wrote the post, you will find there are much more process-oriented people than the result-oriented cut throat professionals you pointed to.

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