One of the very first philosophies of yoga that really rang true for me all those years ago when I first started practicing Ashtanga in San Diego, was the idea of non-attachment. Not simply non-attachment to material/physical things, but non-attachment to outcomes. Find a way to be present in your life, in a yoga pose, in a particular situation, without clinging to a result. Without needing it all to go a certain way.
As a lifelong builder of businesses, that’s sheer madness. I live to deliver results. I’m really upset when I don’t. And it’s a little funky to think about in every day life, too. How to go about your day, your interactions, your workout, your work, your chosen competitive sport, without placing expectations on outcomes?
This concept of non-attachment is mentioned in the Bhagavad Gita: “Let your concern be with the action alone, and never with the fruits of the action.” It all sounds lovely until you realize that we are wired to do a set amount of actions to get a specific result. Do the work, get the reward. Make the plans, watch them pay off.
As I navigate some tricky bits in life these past many months and find myself frustrated that the outcomes I’m attached to aren’t happening, I’ve been reminded of this tenant of yoga again and again. I know the way through is to surrender my attachments. Surrender, surrender, surrender and simply focus on doing the “action” as well as I can and leave the rest alone. (Ah, but so much easier said than done!)