Commitment vs Attachment

Committed to a goal but haven’t yet taken action.

Sound familiar? That good ol’ commitment to the goal until action is required. Mmm hmm. Just ask me about my efforts to get to the gym. Lots of factors can keep us from moving forward, and one of the sneakiest is our habit of conflating our initial commitment with attachment to what could ensue.

Without realizing it, our attachment to the outcome trips us up before we even get started. Our dragons sneak up behind us, whispering the danger of making a change or taking a risk. It might not work, those dragons warn. You might waste your time. You may not receive recognition. You might get hurt. Are our dragons giving us the objective lowdown? Of course not. They’re dragons. They love drama, and they want us to stay in the coziness or our caves, curled up with our procrastination.

But when have caves ever been cozy?

Our dragons need reminders that attention to the outcome keeps us hovering in inertia, convincing us that we’re comfortable while we curl up with a reptile on a stone floor. I know that when I start focusing, even sub-consciously, on results that are beyond my control (and they are beyond control!), it can lock me into a state of near-paralysis, binding my feet and making it difficult to walk forward into the sunshine. Immobility disguises itself as safety. Meanwhile Hope packs up the car Commitwith Dreams and threatens to drive away. Sound familiar? It’s a bit extreme, but let’s face it: if we seek liveliness, we must keep our hopes and dreams alive, and that means committing to a goal and taking action. Our progress requires carefully designed strategies that abandon our habitual investment in the outcome. Committing to our goals while abandoning our attachments gives us the power to continually fine-tune our strategy, pick ourselves up when we make mistakes, and gather the momentum to keep moving forward. And let’s face it, dragons love power and momentum.

Completely counter-intuitive, I know. But the next time we get stuck, or even embark on a new journey or face a decision, let’s remind ourselves to distinguish between commitment and attachment. Maintain the faith that our hearts, energy, intellects, knowledge, and communities have the power to move us forward into the unknown. Acknowledge the results we desire, and then let them go. Our dragons will thank us.

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