Outcomes are empty. Each goal is simply a mile marker of life. Bringing only a moment of reward as you approach it in anticipation. Its reward quickly fades as you drive past and move on to the next thing. Goals, outcomes, and objectives serve a single purpose, to provide direction. That is their only utility.

Fixating on outcomes forces you to be a passenger on this road trip of life. A passenger forced into the trunk. All of your enjoyment is postponed until you arrive at the destination. And what a terrible and uncomfortable ride it would be. Learning is much the same. Outcome-based learning imposes suffering as you expend your willpower and grit through the trials. Until that faithful day that you’ve acquired the skills you seek.

But you’re never really done learning are you? Skills can always improve and there is always more to learn. You’re playing an infinite game as if it were a finite game. Learn to enjoy the process instead of the outcome. Find work that in and of itself is the reward. To find such work, pause on your climb to who you want to be. And ask “Who am I?”, dig deep enough that the reply is met with your own disbelief. Then build evidence of that version of you.

“When you fall in love with the process rather than the product, you don’t have to wait to give yourself permission to be happy. You can be satisfied anytime your system is running.” ― James Clear, Atomic Habits