Is it me or does it feel as if the more we obsess about our goals, the more they seem to frustratingly not happen?
We are often told that if we want to be successful in life, we need to have motivation, desire, ambition and commitment, but as I’ve realized recently, there is another very important ingredient that many seem reluctant to talk about.
And since I’m not a reluctant person, but mostly because I want to share this information with you, I’ll let you in on the most secretive ingredient since KFC’s 7 herbs and spices.
The ingredient is ‘detachment’.
Yes, you read that correctly!
Now I can almost hear you murmuring, ‘what does detachment have to do with being successful?” cue confused face.
The term ‘detachment’ usually brings up thoughts of being indifferent, apathetic or dissociative, however, in truth, these are all erroneous assumptions.
“One can be loving, happy, helpful and energetic, and at the same time be detached. I mean detached from worries, fears, negative emotions and the negative emotions of other people,” says Remez Sasson, author of Emotional Detachment for Happier Life.
The skill of being emotionally and mentally detached is the art of choosing to remain calm and happy even when things in your life suck, because you have learnt how to remove the expectation of results unfolding in any specific way.
In short you have learnt to make peace with the fact that life is an unfolding saga of uncertainty and that’s ok, because you realize you never had that kind of directive cosmic control to begin with, thus the more you fight for something, the more it’s likely to not happen.
“I call it the ‘backwards law.’ When you try to stay on the surface of the water, you sink; but when you try to sink, you float. When you hold your breath, you lose it — which immediately calls to mind an ancient and much neglected saying, ‘Whosoever would save his soul shall lose it,” writes Alan Watts in the 1951 book, The Wisdom of Insecurity.
Many of us, in our search for betterment and to draw positive abundance to ourselves know that while success is inevitable, there is much to be said for understanding that the world we live in is not one to be controlled in our fashion, rather it requires us to keep our energies up and to have faith that everything is working out in our best favour.
This is one of the reasons many experts in the field of energy, mindset and even psychology encourages their clients and followers to not become attached and stressed by the process of succeeding, rather to focus on the outcome and the emotional response it elicits.
Tania Kotsos, contributor for Mind Your Reality, notes, “Once you accept the truth about your thought power and that you are one with the One Universal Mind, you will be able to release any need to control the process. Instructing the all-knowing Universe “how” you want things to come about is telling Omniscience that you know better.”
And this is one of the many reasons it is beyond ok to stop obsessing about your goals and getting impatient for them to manifest.
The simple truth is that becoming overly attached erodes at the power you actually have and opens you for even more frustrations, stressful situations and adversely affects your health.
Marla Tabaka, a small business adviser, notes on INC, “Desperately wanting, or needing a specific outcome in any given circumstance–to the point of stressing out about it–is harmful to your health and happiness. Literally.”
So why is being overly attached so health harming?
It’s because this behavior will lead to such physical symptoms as stress headaches, anxiety, upset stomach and shortness of breath.
To be overly attached to your idea of success, whatever it might be ( promotion, new car, more money, etc) will keep you trapped in fear and a ‘ continuous state of unhealthy desire and lack’, especially when you throw someone else’s actions and opinions of you into the mix.
Tabaka, explains that there is a power and a resilience to those who are able to want an outcome, and detach themselves from the significance of it.
“People who can successfully detach from the outcome will not be affected or daunted by obstacles or failures; they always bounce back and try again,” she notes.
“Those who are overly focused on getting exactly what they want and how they want it to happen fall into patterns of self-pity and concern about failure and missed opportunities.
The person who manages healthy detachment is always innovating and moving forward. A state of healthy detachment helps to redefine failure and shifts the focus to positive, solution-based thinking,” she continued.
So you can see being detached from the outcome of your goal is actually a very useful and healthy practice, because it allows you to think more clearly, stay balanced and it is unlikely you will become agitated in response to what others say or think about you.
Remez Sasson, author of Emotional Detachment for Healthier Life, notes that true detachment, “…helps you control your moods and states of mind, and therefore, enjoy inner balance, harmony and peace. It also helps you handle more efficiently your daily affairs of life, as well difficult situations or emergencies.”
He too contends that the state of detachment comes from a place of inner strength and peace, coexisting with self control, self discipline and a focused mind.
It, according to Sasson, brings inner calmness and tranquility that external circumstances cannot disturb or upset.
If there is one skill that we all need, it’s the ability to understand that yes, we want this outcome and then to release the ‘how, when, where’ to the Universe to figure out.
How many times have you obsessed over getting something specific, and not receive it, decide you’re just going to let it be and then as soon as you’re about to forget about it, it shows up?
That’s the point of detachment.
Not only does it allow your goal outcome to manifest at the best time, it also allows you freedom and space to enjoy life while you work on it, without incurring such fleeting but destructive emotions as self-pity, doubt, failures and missed opportunities. “A state of inner detachment helps to forget failure and focus on the future and on success,” notes Sasson.
You made it to the end! Wooot!