One of my favorite books is Deepak Chopra’s “The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success.” I have purchased this book many times. I know every time I buy a new copy that I will soon give it away. I enjoy talking to others about the peaceful mindset this book teaches.
In chapter six, Chopra discusses “The Law of Detachment”. This law maintains that it is possible to emotionally detach yourself from the result of a decision or action. The law states, “Today I will factor in uncertainty as an essential ingredient of my experience. In my willingness to accept uncertainty, solutions will spontaneously emerge out of the problem, out of the confusion, disorder, and chaos. The more uncertain things seem to be, the more secure I will feel, because uncertainty is my path to freedom. Through the wisdom of uncertainty, I will find my security.”
This means that we can learn to accept that our hard work can have many outcomes and that we are not in control of them. Furthermore, it is not in our own best interest to be so tangled in an outcome that it consumes our thinking or hurts us. It is possible to be fully committed to a purpose without being caught up in waiting for the outcome.
When someone is emotionally attached to an outcome or result, judgment can be clouded, tempers can flare, or maybe stress is added to your life. For example, consider waiting for the decision on a job application. The preparation work is complete and the required documents sent in. Once submitted, the decision is out of your hands. Worrying about the outcome only causes additional stress or lost sleep. There is no advantage to worrying about the decision.
I recently watched a team that was overly attached to a very specific outcome. Their behavior became so fiery. Through their efforts, they actually caused sympathy for their opponent. Not only did the team fall short of their goal, they actually harmed other teams by drawing resources and energy away from them as well.
To work tirelessly toward a goal but not allow your future, self-esteem or sense of worth hinge on the outcome is a special mindset. When detached we enjoy living and think clearly. Detachment doesn’t mean anyone is less committed. Detachment means your judgment is clear. The sun will still rise in the morning and set in the evening. The world has opened the door to something new by saying “no” to another.