Last week the NFL honoured a small group of individuals by being selected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, which means they received their ‘beige jackets’.
Yes, I am a football fan, and this post does apply to you.
Two of the players honoured led contentious careers, which were marked by soundbites against their bosses, the media, and how people viewed their play. They each had statistics that humbled the competition but their words and attitudes kept them from long term play with any one team. Looking back over their histories, hearing the stories and remembering the plays, I considered how this applies to how we judge our work in so many other areas of life.
Outcomes or occurrences, by which do you operate?
You shoot for, develop into, gauge and watch for trends. These are measurables you actually set out to accomplish and can check off your list. Using the example of the 2 players I mentioned, they had outcomes that stood out because they knew what they were on the field to do.
Catch you by surprise, upset the waters, may cause you to reevaluate, and you rarely set direction according to them. But they can also be very good things, and make for great stories. Again going back to the Hall of Fame players, their occurrences occasionally outweighed their outcomes. There were plenty of good ones, but there were also some that I am sure they would like to erase from the record.
Outcomes do not always honour the process, and this is where occurrences are good to review as part of evaluating our work. You may not set the course going forward based on the few occurrences you experienced, which really rocked your boat, but they are something to remember. For many of us, we also need to place higher value on our outcomes, and not make occurrences our guiding light for judging what we do.
Just like a good game of football, our lives are filled with a combination of outcomes and occurrences, and we are wise to appreciate the value of both.