We all have real attachment to our decisions and outcomes we expect. You don’t have to look any further than your relationship to figure out where your attachments are and what you make things mean for yourself.
There is a quote that says “I am not who you think I am, you are who you think I am.”
Take a minute to ponder that.
What thoughts are you thinking about me as you read this right now?
What judgments are you making about me as a person? Leader? Father? Entrepreneur?
What lens are you viewing it through?
What can your observations about me enable you to realize in yourself?
We all hold on to our desired outcomes, but what if we didn't.
What if instead of the chef having an attachment to a perfectly prepared meal she simply focused on the process, trusting that her experience, emotions, values and desired outcomes would lead her to a perfectly prepared meal.
It’s not a matter of focusing on the outcomes, it’s simply a matter of focusing on the quality of our decisions.
Sure, know where you are going- and be steadfast resolute that you are moving in that direction. But don’t dwell on it, don’t allow it to become this sacred cow in your own life that can’t be untouched. Don’t allow your expectations and attachment to become the reason you don’t pursue something.
You don’t have to take my word for it, but when you remove your attachment to anything you will be much happier. There are only two steps for me in removing attachment and having the confidence to go through life with an attitude of gratitude;
First- know where you are going. Set unapologetically big goals. Be methodical in the way that you set challenges and roadmaps for your success. Rely on the lessons you have learned along the way and surround yourself with champions who are walking on the journey with you.
Second- Make the outcome specific so that you can clearly outline the steps that need to be done to make it happen. Write it down so that you can remain focused on it. Then simply choose to accept the outcome as it happens, knowing that you are in full control of the choices that you make and accepting responsibility for each of your actions.
Finally, celebrate- but celebrate always. Celebrate every day. Celebrate because you are on a divine journey that is already laid out for you in a perfect manner.
Celebrate because each day you are critical of you own actions and you take a single giant step in the correct direction every day.
Entrepreneurs are cut from a very similar cloth- high desire to win, willingness to take chances, aversion to losing, desire to make money, aspirations of something greater for ourselves and our family, or greater impact on the world around us. The other thing we ALL have in common is self doubt, is it not?
We hit hurdles in our life and business where we question whether or not it is all worth it. I have self doubt, often, and I’ll openly talk about it. I talk about it with you, I talk about it with executives on my team, I’ll talk about it with my family.
What differentiates me from others is I simply don’t stay there- I move through it and most importantly- I remove my attachment to any outcome. The single worst thing you can do as a CEO is have an attachment to any outcome.
Right this second, you are contemplating something in your life that you are sitting on the fence on- should I or shouldn’t I.
It shows up in your life through days long procrastination, or even self talk saying it just isn’t a priority, or worse saying things like now isn’t the right time.
What if now WAS the right time?
Has there ever been a time in your life where some external force pushed you to a decision you weren’t ready to make?
Maybe it was the loss of a loved on, maybe you got fired from a job, maybe a business partner ran off with you money. I promise you, though you don’t have to take my word for it, when you can erase your attachment to any outcome you will be able to experience true freedom.
How do you feel when you reach a goal or a milestone? How about when you don’t?
As you’ll soon find out, It’s not a matter of reaching your goals, its about taking the single largest step towards your goal time and time again.
When you can remove the attachment to an outcome, you are making a choice to simply commit to the best possible outcome you can achieve by working methodically through a process you already know works.
Ask, with no expectations, and the road will be laid ahead for you.
Have you ever been so overcome by options and choices that you make no choice at all? Or, have you ever made a choice to not pursue something you know to be a great opportunity because of what it might cost you, or what you COULD lose?
You might already know the sensation I describing because you feel it currently and out an opportunity you are currently facing and it has already become paralyzing.
We get stuck because we get attached to an outcome- we make it mean something for us whether or not we get it. The absolute best thing in the world to get through any of this is simply a deadline.
An airplane has a deadline imposed by the amount of fuel in the tank.
A boxer has a deadline imposed by the number of rounds left.
A farmer has a deadline by the number of days remaining until first frost.
As a student pilot there was a graduation scheduled for my class that I would either be at or wouldn’t.
Why as entrepreneurs do we struggle so often with making decisions to move the BIG things forward. Simple- our attachment to the outcome. It’s what we have made it mean for ourselves.
If I do this now, I can’t do the other things I am already doing.
If I do this now and fail, I may risk the current comfort I already have.
If I do this now and fail, there is a potential my health or my relationships may suffer
As a student pilot I assigned all KINDS of meanings about my performance. If I failed it would mean I wasn’t good enough to “make it”, that my parents would be disappointed, that I would have to tell my college buddies I had failed.
What I am telling you to do right now is to release the attachment?
Stop telling yourself what may or may not happen- frankly you may or may not even be around to see it happen, so why attach any meaning to it. Notice that I am not even telling you to attach positive meaning to it, why? Because that likely is only going to keep your outcomes and desires small enough you can easily reach them or to set you up for failure when you don’t reach them.
When I released the outcome about what failing might mean as a pilot, I could then focus on the next thing I needed to do. I could envision myself walking across the stage to get the silver wings, but I assigned no meaning to it, no attachment. Then, the only thing that mattered was waking up the next morning and flying one more sorties- one more big giant step towards that future version of me.
What are you currently holding on to that you need to let go of?
This is your accountability check, writing it down in the comments is the first step to holding yourself accountable to removing your attachment.