I just learned this new concept from my coach – there are two types of results.
We have accomplished results that we have achieved and we have working results that we’re still working on. Those are the only two results you can possibly have.
An accomplished result is any result you currently have. For instance, you could have a result of optioning your screenplay or you can have a result of your screenplay being rejected. You could lose 25 pounds or gain 25 pounds. Those are accomplished results, although some people might perceive the results as positive or negative. But when we take the drama out of the story, they are all just neutral accomplished results.
If you were writing a screenplay and you spent six months doing it, and the result was that it didn’t sell, some writers would say that was a bad result and a waste of time.
Another writer would say it was the perfect result because in the process of writing that screenplay, they gained skills that will make it possible to write a future screenplay; they made connections that will help them in the future to sell or get hired eventually as a writer on a project.
The point is that the result itself was neutral. It is what the writer attached to it that made it positive or negative – it was a choice.
The first writer will use the accomplishment of finishing that screenplay against himself because in the end, he didn’t accomplish his big goal. Even though he is so much closer to the big goal that he wants, much closer than before he wrote the screenplay, he decides it was a waste of time because it did not accomplish his ultimate goal of selling it. He decides to make it mean all sorts of crappy things about himself and he gives up.
This is where the danger sets in because now you are training your brain to discredit any result that is not the result you want.
As creatives, we really need to break out of this mentality if we are going to move our projects forward, finish them, and get them out into the world. You have to start taking responsibility for every result you get and use all of the results for you and never against you.
Working results are from when you first start out on a project until you accomplish the finished result. It’s the space in between. It’s the work.
You have to be okay with being there in the in-between. I did a podcast last year called The Space in Between where I talk all about this, so you can check that out if you want to learn more about that in-between space that often feels kind of awkward and uncomfortable.
When you shift how you think about results, it’s going to inspire your work, give you more energy, and reinforce your commitment to your projects. You now know that every result is a result that you created and is going to move you closer to the finish line.
Even if you can’t see the finish line, you can trust that every result, working or accomplished, is getting you closer to the finish line if you look at it through the lens of achievement instead of good versus bad. Trust it no matter how many times you fall down or fail.
When you accept responsibility for your results and look at each one through a neutral lens, you can start asking yourself, “How did I create that result? What decision did I make that got me to that result? What have I done or not done? What do I need to do differently that will fuel the next result?”
Even if you accomplished nothing today, that is still a result, not a failure or a loss. It’s just a result to be looked at and you get to choose how you think about that result and use it to move you forward. I think this concept is pretty powerful.
I think is why a lot of people give up. They just look at any result that is less than the big result they wanted and chalk it up as a failure, and then continue to process every result as a failure or less than until they finally throw in the towel, believing that they have no power over their results.
Seriously embrace and celebrate every result achieved, even if it’s zero sum, and be open to the in-progress working results – the in-between of where you are now and your big goal.
How can you not succeed when you have that much agency over your creative process?
As a creator, you will spend pretty much all of your time in unaccomplished results, which is the work, and a very small amount of time with the accomplished results. This is okay; this is the life of a creator. We create, we create, we create; we accomplish; we create, we create, we create; we create until we accomplish. Rinse and repeat.
This was a very tiny Tiny Talk but I wanted to keep it to the point so you can really digest this concept. I think it is quite possibly the most valuable concept I’ve learned this week. I’m choosing to marinate in it for the rest of the month and I hope you will join me. We can hang out together in the hot tub of working results until we get an accomplished result, which we are going to use as movement toward our big goal. Sound good?