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Process or outcome, which one helps you grow?

There's the process, and there's the outcome. In our daily lives, we're often focused on the latter. While the process may seem necessary, it's also a means to an end. We need to go through and endure it to reach the desired outcome. So, it must be optimised, streamlined, or outsourced.

 

But where does our opportunity to grow lie - in the process or in the outcome? In an interview (paywall), German author and podcaster Sascha Lobo said he'd be fine with AI penning his books. In fact, he envisions that AI may eventually outperform him as a writer. He said he wasn't concerned about AI putting him out of work because of his personal brand, which will always be necessary to convey AI-generated content.

 

If an author is outsourcing his work to AI, can they still grow? As an author, as an expert, but also as a human being? Can you grow when you give away the process?

 

When I write, I grow. After all, I'm casting my thoughts into words, and, to do that, I'm forced to order and sort my ideas before I type them into my computer. Something changes in me in the process. Ideas grow. But it's not just that; these ideas connect with all my life experiences, my present feelings, my thoughts about the future, my worries, and my hopes. Writing isn't just about entering words into a machine. That's what an outsider may be seeing. But there's a lot more happening internally, some parts consciously and others unconsciously.

 

At the end of that process stands the outcome. An article. A post. Content in today's parlance. Something I can take and put on my blog. And on LinkedIn, hoping that some virtual passers-by have a like to spare. Or even a comment if my words really resonate with them. That's the outcome. But that's not where I feel I'm growing. The outcome may make the number of my followers grow, the amount of virtual praise grow, my ego grow, or, if people get lured in by my articles and start working with me, my business grow.

 

AI is great when it takes over processes where the process doesn't matter. But I have a feeling that processes matter a lot more often than we think. And here's another question: Where do you get your satisfaction and happiness from? The process or the outcome? The process of running 50 miles or the outcome of being handed a medal for reaching the finish line? If AI had written this article instead of me, would I experience the same feeling of satisfaction when I finally put it on my blog?

 

Outcomes sure can feel gratifying. They can make us proud. But even that pride is often rooted in the process rather than the outcome. If your book makes the bestseller list, but you didn't have to go through the writing process, will you feel the same sense of accomplishment? If I get 500 likes on an article I didn't write, I may be happy about the exposure it creates. But will it be something I'm proud of?

 

I appreciate that this has turned into somewhat of a loosey-goosey article with loads of questions raised and few, if any, answers given (kudos to you for making it all the way through to the end). Maybe that's because I don't have a final opinion on the matter yet. But I do have a strong feeling that if we're giving away the process too readily, we may lose something far greater than the efficiency we gain. 

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