I’d like to continue this series by examining Digitize.AI’s third value statement: “We will trust the process, controlling the items we can control and not worrying about what we can’t.”(For my posts discussing our first and second value statements, see here and here).
What does it mean to “trust the process”? I think this statement is heavily influenced by my years of playing sports, including baseball and basketball. For the most part, in team sports you very rarely have control over the outcome of the game. There are too many variables, from other teammates, to your competitors, to the conditions of the game itself.
I see this play out when I watch my seven-year-old son play baseball. (Quick father brag: he’s 11 for 15 on the year, for a .733 batting average!) He may go 3 for 3 in a game, but if his team loses, that loss is the only thing he is focused on after the game.
In a way, this is a good thing because baseball is a team sport and the team result is way more important than any individual stats. But on the other hand, knowing that you can’t control the outcome of the game and even your individual performance in the game is subject to immense variation given the variables mentioned earlier, what you can control is your preparation and practice before the game.
And that’s what you should focus on and pour your energy into.
In the same way, the values we want to grow at Digitize include controlling the items we can control (preparation, hard work, intellectual curiosity, kindness, etc.) and not focus as much on the outcomes. If you focus on outcomes you can get false positives or even great short-term results (think Ponzi schemes) but it doesn’t lead to a lasting and sustainable business that scales.
If we focus on the inputs and make sure we maximize our efforts around those items that we can, let the chips fall where they may. I’m confident that this approach is one of the ways a company is built to last as opposed to a flash in the pan.
Finally, what does it mean to “not worry about what we can’t” control? Quite simply, I believe it means that if we focus on maximizing our inputs then we can sleep peacefully at night.
I personally need this value as I struggle with an overactive mind and anxiety as I mentally game out the infinite number of scenarios and outcomes. But as one of the wisest philosophers asked, “Which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?”
Put another way:
“Some things you can control. Some things you can’t . . . What happens, happens. Ain’t no spell or no bag of juju gonna change that”
- Coach Taylor, Friday Night Lights