The Thing About “Trusting the Process”


There is a lot of talk these days on the need to “Trust the Process”. Of course the sentence in its current construction has most likely been used several times in the past. Its current popularity is however attributable to Sam Hinkie, former General Manager of the 76ers, an NBA team. Sam interviewed for the GM position in 2013 armed with a philosophy that was premised on what you could call extreme deferred gratification.

Basically, Sam told the board that to become a dominant NBA team, the 76ers had to tank, an NBA term that refers to intentionally losing games so as to get high draft picks. So over a period of 4 years, the 76ers descended to the ebbs of professional sports, fast gaining notoriety of being one of the worst professional sports teams in the USA.

It is 2017 and the fruits of that process is yet to be plucked. But the 76ers arguably has one of the brightest futures in the NBA. They have had the luxury of 7 first round picks since 2013 and that is a goldmine in the NBA. Their 2017 roster might feature two number one picks and two other recent number 3 picks. That is what every NBA team coming out of a rebuilding process wish it looked like.

The 76ers Process has not been easy to trust. It has been so tough, in 2016, Sam Hinkie was forced to resign as GM after their regular season ended on a 10-72 record (the third worst ever in NBA history). The 76ers are going into the 2017 season full of trust about their process but they are fully aware of how shaky the process is. Two of their last three draft picks have experienced season ending injuries and the third one recently picked up an injury.

Putting “Trust in the Process” is something we all unconsciously believe in. It is a mantra that is very much in line with the oft-repeated “Never Give Up” aphorism. But you do not just trust any process. You do not wake up in the morning and arbitrarily proceed on any process. The process you trust needs to be one you carefully thought out. It needs to have been planned out just like Sam Hinkie did. You need to know what the end game is, the possible setbacks to the process and how to assuage the effects of these setbacks.

A couple of years ago, I would not have worried myself about retweeting everything that popped up on my timeline about trusting the process. I would have scoffed at it. But a year after graduation and I take so much joy in retweeting every “Trust the Process” hashtag. Because repeating a mantra over and over again has some psychological effect on a mindset that I cannot enunciate yet due to my limited understanding of Psychology. But my understanding of my present mindset tells me all I need to know about why sharing the message of #TrustTheProcess is important.

I have at certain moments in my post-undergrad life found myself confused about the direction my life is heading towards. It is not because I find myself in destitution or any horrible situation. But because I have not fully comprehended that what I am going through is a process. And like every process, it takes time. But while the clock ticks, you need to feed into the process. You need to know what it takes to get the process completed. And you also need to know that every process might face setbacks. But setbacks don’t derail the process. They only pause it momentarily. You the individual have the keys to refresh the processing.

Like the 76ers, you might/will come to the realization that the process does not promise instant returns. It might even promise just hope. You will probably get your four transcendent players on the court but you might never get your trophy at the end of the season. What you however will have is the fact that you gave it your all. That you stuck through it all. That you did indeed Trust the Process and the outcome of the process does not necessarily defeat the trusting of the process. Because remember, the process you proceeded on was not just any process. It was a process you decided on after a well thought out consideration.

You owe it to yourself to #TrustTheProcess!!!

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