The other day, I was sitting on my couch and looking for cool new articles.
After a few minutes of scrolling, one caught my eye.
Sexy, I know.
The paper went on to make the argument that the more prestigious the scientific journal (in terms of journal rank), the shoddier the research.
This pattern isn’t limited to the scientific world. You can see a similar dynamic at play in many areas of life.
And I think that the main cause is quite simple: improper intentions.
Prestige, fame, status—when we’re focused on these things, we stop paying full attention to the creative process.
Think back to when you were in school. Which class did you do best in?
It was probably the course you were *actually* interested in. You read the required readings with relish. You wrote your papers with curiosity and care.
Yes, you got an A—but it was a byproduct of your passion for the material.
Now, think about another course that you took just to pad your GPA. You know what type of course I’m talking about: the “easy A”.
I bet you struggled. You probably had a hard time sitting down to study. You probably skipped more classes than you should’ve. You might have even gotten an A- instead of your expected A+.
It all comes down to intention. When your intentions are extrinsic, you’re not going to operate at your full capacity. When you’re only focused on a tangible goal, you’re not going to get into that ever-so-wonderful flow state that we’ve all experienced (and loved).
When you’re not focused on the process, you’re not going to perform at your full capacity.
And your audience is going to know.
We all can spot goal-focused people from a mile away. It’s why we hate those smarmy networkers, and those “friends” we think are using us for their own selfish aims.
So, please, whatever you do–do it with your full attention. Pay attention to the journey. Don’t just focus on the finish line. Your friends, family, and customers will thank you.
PS: I’ve created a Facebook group for people who want to get more regular (and unhinged) updates from me.
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