To Succeed, Don’t Focus on the Outcome

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Don’t focus on the outcome? We share a story from an actor, whose shift in mindset from the outcome, helped him become a star.

On The BIGG Success Show, we discuss what you should focus on, rather than the outcome to succeed BIGG. Here’s a summary of that discussion…

The story we are sharing today comes from the autobiography “A Life in Parts.*” by Bryan Cranston, an actor best known for his roles in Malcolm in the Middle and Breaking Bad.

He talks about how, early in his career, he would hustle to do lots of auditions for commercials, guest-starring roles, etc. Cranston says he was always waiting for the phone to ring, and if it didn’t, he would be very disappointed. He spent a lot of time thinking about what he could have done differently.

A self-help coach suggested that he focus on process rather than outcome. So, don’t go to the audition to get something (the job), go there to give something (a great performance).

Cranston says that shift in mindset empowered him to go to auditions focusing on the character and how to be interesting and compelling. It gave him the freedom to be creative and have fun. It led to him winning the role of Hal in the sitcom Malcolm in the Middle.

Our Take…

First, this is an amazing story. Actors are very entrepreneurial. They are always chasing their next project. Building a business – or for that matter, building a life, can be thought of as a series of projects.
Don’t’ Hustle?

Cranston hustled to do lots of auditions so he could win roles and be successful, but that strategy didn’t work. So, should we not hustle?

Not quite. Just remember: Hustle helps IF it moves you forward.

If you have that vision of where you want to go, and this is moving you towards that vision, then hustle like crazy. But until you’ve got that vision, all the hustle in the world is just going to make you more tired.

We are a goal-driven society. But if you don’t understand the “Why?” behind your goal, it’s pretty meaningless because you achieve your goal, but you still don’t feel fulfilled.

Don’t be Disappointed?

Cranston would wallow in disappointment and second-guess himself when he didn’t get the role he auditioned for. Does this mean we shouldn’t be disappointed when we don’t get something we wanted, and isn’t there something to learn from our failures?

Disappointed – sure. Until tomorrow. Lick your wounds. And yes – learn from your failures. Extract every lesson possible. Then press on. Start fresh tomorrow.

We all face disappointment from time to time. But if you live in a constant state of disappointment, something needs to change. At some point, you must try something different. That is exactly what Bryan Cranston did. So, if you are perpetually disappointed, try something different.

But the other side of this is (and it’s important to understand): It’s okay to be disappointed. Today. Until tomorrow. Take away the lessons you need to and enter tomorrow full of strength, ready to go. Double down on how hard you try.

How Can You Detach from the Outcome?

Cranston changed his mindset and did not focus on the outcome… but how can you set a goal if there is no outcome attached to it?

This is an example of the entrepreneurial mindset at work. It’s not labeled that way in his autobiography. But entrepreneurs often don’t have outcome goals. They set activity goals. Then they track the activity to the outcome, so they know how much of what activity gets them what they want.

Say you get on the phone and call ten people about your service. Two agree to a longer meeting. One buys. Now you can start calculating how much of that kind of activity it takes to get the outcome you want.

Something else Cranston says in the book, is that when he shifted his focus to the process, he didn’t always get the job, but that was no longer his intent. What was important was he always left that room knowing he did everything he could do.

Enjoy the process and keep your focus on what you need to do next. Focusing on the process gives you the freedom to tap into your unique skillset and that leads to BIGG Success!

Here’s to your BIGG success!

signatures: George & Mary-Lynn
George “The Professor” & Mary-Lynn
Co-Founders, BIGG Success

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