Sunday, December 09, 2007

Curious about Process: Do You Have a Process in Place for Your Life and Your Business Systems?

Definition of Process: The act of proceeding; continued forward movement; procedure; progress; advance. A series of actions, motions, or occurrences; progressive act or transaction; continuous operation; normal or actual course or procedure; regular proceeding; as, the process of vegetation or decomposition; a chemical process; processes of nature.

Life is a process of working out what's not working for you and disentangling yourself from it and trying then not walk into the same thing again. Watching your patterns and correcting them if you can.” - Siobhan Fahey, British musician

I was recently listening to a CD of a presentation highlighting process given by leadership guru, Orrin Woodward. We don’t seem to talk as much about process as system and focus, and yet all three are tied together and are equally important.

I found so many, many quotations – all instructive – that I am going to load this blog with them.

Let’s start with the process of learning:
  • The older I get the more wisdom I find in the ancient rule of taking first things first. A process which often reduces the most complex human problem to a manageable proportion.” - Dwight D. Eisenhower, American President
  • This life is a process of learning.” - Lauryn Hill, American musician
  • The important thing is to learn a lesson every time you lose. Life is a learning process and you have to try to learn what's best for you. Let me tell you, life is not fun when you're banging your head against a brick wall all the time.” - John McEnroe, American athlete
  • We now accept the fact that learning is a lifelong process of keeping abreast of change. And the most pressing task is to teach people how to learn.” - Peter Drucker, American businessman

And then, there is life, language and failure:

  • Language is a process of free creation; its laws and principles are fixed, but the manner in which the principles of generation are used is free and infinitely varied. Even the interpretation and use of words involves a process of free creation.” - Noam Chomsky, American activist
  • The person interested in success has to learn to view failure as a healthy, inevitable part of the process of getting to the top.” - Joyce Brothers, American psychologist
  • My advice to people today is as follows: If you take the game of life seriously, if you take your nervous system seriously, if you take your sense organs seriously, if you take the energy process seriously, you must turn on, tune in, and drop out.” - Timothy Leary, American educator
  • We might possess every technological resource... but if our language is inadequate, our vision remains formless, our thinking and feeling are still running in the old cycles, our process may be ‘revolutionary’ but not transformative.” - Adrienne Rich, American poet

A few with a different twist:

  • It is art that makes life, makes interest, makes importance... and I know of no substitute whatever for the force and beauty of its process.” - Henry James, American writer
  • Thought is a process of exaggeration. The refusal to exaggerate is not infrequently an alibi for the disinclination to think or praise.” - Eric Hoffer, American writer
  • One very important aspect of motivation is the willingness to stop and to look at things that no one else has bothered to look at. This simple process of focusing on things that are normally taken for granted is a powerful source of creativity.” - Edward de Bono, English psychologist
  • I love the early process of asking questions about a story and deciding which questions matter most.” - Diane Sawyer, American journalist

Here are the three that I am going to work on as habits to form:

  • I don't think you ever stop giving. I really don't. I think it's an on-going process. And it's not just about being able to write a check. It's being able to touch somebody's life.” - Oprah Winfrey, American entertainer
  • The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, the process is its own reward.” - Amelia Earhart, American aviator
  • Giving is better than receiving because giving starts the receiving process.” - Jim Rohn, American businessman

How do you process? What processes are working or not working for you? I would love to hear from you.