The universe is trying to tell me something.
Yesterday – I was being guided through a meditation by the wonderful Cory Muscara, as the opening session to a 3-day online conference with Thought Leaders Business School.
Cory talked to us about the ‘subtle aggression of self-improvement’, the folly of being caught in a thinking trap that you will only be happy when….[insert whatever goal you’re striving for]. This thinking implies that right now, you are not good enough, or your life is not good enough, or your situation is not good enough. By letting go of an expectation that you’ll be happy when, and accepting what is, you allow yourself to experience joy in the now. Paradoxically, you are more likely to be more successful because you are in a positive mental and emotional state, which amplifies your capacity to think laterally and creatively about problems or see new possibilities.
To support your strategy creation process – get two things right.
Herein lies my quandary. I am a performance specialist and I spend my days working with business leaders and their teams to create visions, set goals and inspire people to achieve their full potential. I love working with people with big ambitions, big dreams, big ideals; who aren’t afraid to set challenging tasks and work fearlessly towards them.
But by encouraging big visions, ambitious goals and high expectations; am I contributing to the very pathology that creates dissonance, dysfunction and unhappiness? Am I creating the gaps that people must fill, adding to the stress and pressure that ultimately burns people out? Or, does this process that I guide business leaders and their teams on just allow more individuals within a team fulfil their own personal ambition for growth and participation in creating something more…
How do I reconcile this? What is my truth?
Perhaps the answer lies in letting go of our attachment to an outcome. Have a goal or vision, let it propel you forward, but do not get attached to what it will bring you. Let your goal propel you for as long as it is useful. Then let it go when it no longer serves. And that may end up being before you ‘reach’ it, because a greater priority or opportunity came your way. Instead focus on the system you adopt to achieve the goal, and the person you let yourself become through that process. Have a goal; but let go of your expectations.
Next week – I’m taking out a full week to achieve a long-held goal. I am setting out to write a book. It’s been challenging me for months…and Cory’s words struck me because I honestly felt like I would not be happy until it was done. But something switched for me listening to Cory speak. Instead of reaching for the book, I’m now looking forward to the process of writing; to organising my thoughts, capturing them succinctly and piecing them together. It will make me a better thinker. It will make me a better practitioner. It’ll help me add more value to all relationships.
By letting go of my attachment to the outcome of having a book, and instead focusing on the process of writing, I’m no longer delaying my happiness. I’m feeling joy about the opportunity to write.
If have a few attachments you could clear…ask yourself these questions:
Am I telling myself, I’ll be happy when…..
What outcomes am I attached to?
What outcomes do I need to let go of?
What is the process of change I can focus on instead? What will I gain through the process of change?
Who do I want to become through that process?
If the pain is in the resistance, what is the universe trying to tell me?