Experience + Outcome = Flourishing

My husband and I started playing platform tennis last winter. It’s a fun Winter sport. (I think you have to be from the north for that statement to make sense haha.) I played yesterday morning with women and he played last night with guys. I was thinking about the different ways we answer the question “How was paddle?” My response is usually some variation of “It was fun.” or “I finally got my backhand figured out.” His response is a tally of the scores, and it was good if he won more than he lost.

It would be a generalization to say that women are focused on fun and men are focused on scores. I think that the feminine side of our personality is focused on the experience and the male side of our personality is focused on the outcome. This is similar to the idea that the male personality is action based and the female personality is intuition based. When you blend action and intuition, you become unstoppable.

Improve your experience and the outcome and create flourishing in your life. If we are only focused on outcome; winning games, profit and loss statements, the size of our home or brand of our car, we lose sight of the actual day to day experience of our life. That said, if we focus only on the experience; only having fun, not saving or taking care of the what if’s of life, our outcome is decreased.

Staying mindful is a way to increase flourishing. Experience + outcome = flourishing. My daughter has a heavy semester load and she has said to me a few times “Monday and Wednesday are going to be tough. I’m in class 9-5:15.” I reminded her to stop looking at it solely that way (outcome) and to stay present and enjoy each of those hours in and of themselves (experience). This will make the time actually go faster and the outcome of a full day of classes will be complete with positive experiences.

Going back to the tennis analogy. I stay focused on each shot and have fun without paying attention to the score (except when I’m serving 😉 ) and lo and behold each game I win more. Experience + outcome = Flourishing. When we love what we do or we find joy in what we have to do, it becomes a more successful venture. There are lots of things I have to do that I don’t want to or enjoy doing. If I focus on that feeling, it’s a long task of unpleasantness. If instead I focus on the experience surrounding the unpleasant task, putting on some good music while I clean for example, the outcome becomes a more thorough job and the experience becomes more enjoyable.  I have a choice to go in to my life with an eye towards outcome or experience. I choose both so I can flourish.

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