Respect the process of achieving a goal and you'll notice how everything you do takes you one step closer.
I’m a barbecue fanatic. I love the method, the art and especially the final product. A well smoked, melt in your mouth brisket is my idea of not just a perfect meal but a perfect end to the hours long process of bringing that meal into being. A beef brisket is a tough chunk of meat; producing a tender and juicy final product involves what barbecue enthusiasts call “low and slow” cooking.
A properly smoked brisket can take up to 14 hours to produce. The key is to let the heat and smoke do their work; the pit-master’s chief job is to constantly monitor the temperature and provide just enough wood to the fire to keep that temperature as stable as possible. It can be a tough job, but with a bit of hard work to go along with the ambitious goal of a perfect brisket, the result is both delicious and satisfying.
The low and slow formula is basically this:
Hard Work + Goals + Ambition = Satisfaction
The pitmaster’s goal to produce the perfect piece of meat is brought to fruition through ambition and hard work over many hours. If he cooks it too quickly, the meat will toughen up. Low and slow is the only way to produce the desired outcome.
The same is true for everything in life. To reach our goals we must respect the process and take things one day at a time. When you feel like each day brings you incrementally closer to your goal, you can feel excited about the day itself. It’s true that most jobs are uninspiring on their own. But if each day in that job takes you a bit closer to your goal, doesn’t that make it worth waking up and going to work in the morning? The minimum wage job will lead to something slightly better which will serve as the next stepping stone toward your goal. The goal is the target. Your ambition and your work ethic make up the fuel that takes you there.
It applies everywhere
Raising a family involves more hard work than anything I’ve ever done. For me, the goal fueled by ambition is to hold my family close to me and raise children that grow into happy and generous adults. That is a satisfying end for me. Each step along the way takes my family and me a bit closer to the goal. Each minute spent fishing with my sons. Each chore I teach them to accomplish without complaint and every talk or I love you I offer to my daughters takes us a bit closer. But the formula applies to much more; building a business enterprise, growing a career, crafting a piece of art or any other process oriented effort. You’re limited by the loftiness of your goal and the amount of work and ambition you put into achieving it.
Remember to take it one day at a time, low and slow. The perfect brisket isn’t crafted on a 500 degree skillet. It’s made in a 250 degree smoker, one minute at a time, hour after hour. As problems arise and the temperature rises and falls, make the necessary adjustments but take heart in the fact that you’re a little bit closer to an end that’s personally invigorating for you. Press forward. You got this.