Friday, April 26, 2024

Intentions or Results: Which deserves your attention?

I should start calling these the Control Freak Chronicles.  If you’re anything like me, you think ten steps ahead before you even take step one.  Not only with personal situations, but in work as well.

Before starting an assignment, I have roadmap in my head of the steps it’ll take to get it done.  I take pride in everything that I do, so my intention is always to do the best job I can.  There are a lot of factors outside of my control that might derail my best laid plans.  But even when the circumstances are perfect, I can make a mistake regardless.  I’m the first one to admit that I fumble often.

I can sit here and say that mistakes happen to everyone and they aren’t the end of the world.  However, I don’t walk my talk.  If I make a mistake, I’m hard on myself.  I tie my identity to the mistake I’ve made, which gives it way too much power.

What’s helped me in those situations is distinguishing between which is worth my attention: my intentions or the results.  If I mess up, I think back to my intentions.  Did I try my best?  Was my goal to do the right thing?  Did I have honest intentions?

When you mess up, it can feel embarrassing, frustrating, and like you can’t do anything right.  However, regardless of the result, you did three things right.  You tried your best, you tried to do the right thing, and you acted with honest intentions.  Those things do not lose value just because of a bad outcome.  It doesn’t excuse your responsibility, because at the end of the day it was still your screw up.  It does,  however, encourage moving forward rather than wallowing.