Letting Go of Outcomes

I don’t know about you, but, I suck at letting go of outcomes.

I’m used to a system where the harder you work at inputs, the more outputs you get. As you get older, though, you realize that often is not the case.

When I was young, the more hours I put into school work, the better I did. At my early jobs, the more hours I spent at the office, the better I did.

There’s an illusion that can happen, as a result: You actually think you’re in control.

I’m at the age now where I realize that input doesn’t always equal output. I’ve met many hard-working entrepreneurs whose companies crash. I have friends who are now very, very ill, through no fault of their own.

This weekend, I finally went to Kripalu for a retreat. So many friends recommended it, and I at long last went.

I really enjoyed it. I picked my weekend mostly based on schedules and gave very little thought as to which course I would take. I ended up taking Stephen Cope’s “The Great Work of Your Life” (link to his book here).

He talked at length about finding one’s mission and purpose in life. A key point he made was the importance of letting go of outcomes, to do the work because you’re in “flow” and enjoy it.

I struggle with that. I want things to go the way I want them to go, particularly if I’ve given a lot of time into something.

It’s relevant, also, because I came home yesterday in time to watch the Super Bowl. I’m thinking of a certain quarterback, who passed for a record 505 yards. And, when the offense came off the field, the defense took over.

And, they really couldn’t make any stops.

So, as the GOAT QB, you’re on the sidelines, helpless. You can have the ball for hundreds of yards, have a 115 passer rating and throw for three TDs.

And, it may all come crashing down.

It’s easy to ignore outputs when things work out. It is very hard, at least for me, to be detached from outcomes.

I’m getting better at it, slowly.

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