As the natural pressure of the financial cycle builds, it is natural to look for shortcuts. To be blunt; shortcuts often deliver immediate results. One can reduce staff without consideration for who are the real contributors. The immediate goal is realized. One can respond without consideration for sustainability. The response is tailored to the request; it likely did not contain a requirement that things would continue as they were. The ends are more important than the means.
Philosophers across time have noted that choices can be divided into two categories. One focus on the ends – it is the outcome that matters, nothing else. The other centers on the means – how we get there is more important than where we arrive. In the spirit of full disclosure, I have a strong bias towards the latter. The way we make a choice is important. The methods we employ to get to a goal are critical. The old warning still applies; “Take particular care in picking out your building materials. Eventually there is going to be an inspection. If you use cheap or inferior materials, you’ll be found out.” (1 Corinthians 3.12)
Today’s demands pull and push me towards the ends. That is all anyone seems to care about! They want the visuals. They are asking for the outcomes. While there are exceptions, it is all about the immediate.
From the journey, life reminds me that it is never about the immediate. It was not then. It is not now. Life is about the process, the journey and steps we take. One may not have answers, but one has the moment at hand. In it, one can do her/his best. They can take the outcomes, reflect, learn, and then reach for more and better. It is an imperfect process. It is also a process filled with people, relationships, and the heart of living.
I wake and realize that I have the means to make a difference. Freedom rests within. Life is whispering, encouraging, teaching, and guiding. You and I hold an invitation to a role in making a difference.