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Are you attached to outcomes?

31st Jan 20176m45s

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  • I want to talk about attachment to outcomes. We always talk about how it's attachment to people, attachment to things that make us want those things, that bring us misery when we don't get those things. But, I wanna talk about attachment at a deep level, attachment to outcomes, attachment to situations. If I'm attached to somebody, then actually I'm attached to either the way that person makes me feel, or the idea I have in my mind of who I think that person is. Or both together. If I'm attached to a thing, it's again, the way the thing makes me feel. And actually, the way the things makes me feel, is based on the idea I have in my mind about that thing in the first place. So, it's a mental concept that I'm attached to. If you think about something that you won, say a trophy, and you won it in a competition. It's made of metal, it's just a piece of metal. To somebody else who doesn't understand that it's a trophy, like a kid, it's not gonna mean anything, it's just metal. But to you, it's not only metal, it's not only just a trophy, it's your trophy, right? It has significance. It represents an event, an event where you felt good and you succeeded at something. And, so, you're attached to it. So, it's the concept that you have in your mind around the trophy, that builds the attachment you have towards it. And at a deeper level, we're attached to our ideas. Not just things and people, we're attached to ideas. So, we have ideas in our minds about what life is, or the difficulties of life, or what matters in life, or what we should be doing with our lives, or what other people should be doing, how other people should be treating us. And we're attached to those ideas, and we feed in to those attachments, we make them part of our identity. So, when someone does something or they behave in a certain way, or they're just being themselves, and the way they're behaving doesn't resonate, or doesn't align with what we're expecting, we're not happy. And if we're really attached to our idea, then we think that we're right. And then we blame the other person. And we take it out on them because a lot of us are more interested in feeling good than we are in being correct. We all like to feel good. We all like to win the argument. We all like to know that our understanding of the world, our understanding of topics is correct, because it feels good. We're attached to that feeling, we're attached to the idea of being correct, of being smart, right? Of knowing a bit more than other people. Maybe we feel it's out of kindness, we wanna help other people, but we like that feeling. And, so, we're attached to that. We're attached to that situation, that state of being knowledgeable, that state of being the person who knows what they're talking about. And we rarely, rarely want to not be in that state. It's very difficult when we're presented with information which conflicts with what we think is true. Because it requires us to reexamine our beliefs and our thoughts about something. And most importantly, admit that we need to change our thoughts, and that we might be wrong. And it's hard to do that because our egos really don't want to do that. You think about it, you go to school, you go to college, you get a job, you buy this, you buy that, you move up, you're moving up in life, and you're hitting all these milestones, you don't wanna fall back. You never wanna fall back, you always wanna keep progressing, you always wanna keep progressing. 'Cause you say life is short, and you don't get to relive a certain time again, right? Time keeps ticking forward. You don't want to ever fall back. Obviously you do at times, because that's how life works, but you don't really want to. You're attached to that idea of always progressing. So, that's another reason why it's hard to admit when we're wrong. It's hard to have to take a step back and reexamine our thoughts. But, actually, taking that step back, allows us to be even better in the future. Because when we correct ourselves and we correct our baseline understanding, then it means we're less likely to make a mistake in that area later on. But, if we refuse to accept reality, and by the way, reality is the ultimate arbitrary truth. There's what you believe and then there's reality. If what you believe conflicts with reality, then you're in the wrong, and you're going to lose. You're going to lose that battle. You know, if Donald Trump says his inauguration crowd size is massive, but the photographic evidence shows it's not, then he's losing the argument. Because he's arguing against reality. Assuming that that's reality. Likewise, if a terrorist attack's being committed by radical Islamists, and people keep claiming no, it's not Islamists who are doing it, it's people who claim to be Muslim, but aren't really, well okay, I know it's a subjective definition, who's an Islamist and who's a Muslim, but my point is if the reality is that it's being committed by radical Islamists, then people who are argue against that are losing that argument. So, the approach to take is to accept reality for what it is, and to try to see reality for what it really is. And that means being willing to be wrong, often. And being very willing to change your mindset, to change your beliefs, to change your ideas about what is true? If you can keep recalibrating yourself, like that, then you actually will be correct. You actually will be correct. And it requires curbing your ego to not want to, 'cause even if you start doing this, you might end up still thinking oh, I wanna be right, I wanna be right, because you wanna feel good. You wanna feel good. But, you have to try and control that. You have to accept it. Rather than feeling good in the short-term, in the moment, I wanna feel correct. I wanna feel the truth. So, aim towards reality and be willing to accept when you're wrong, and be willing to recalibrate your thoughts, and you're more likely to be right most of the time. And most importantly, that's gonna help you make better decisions with your life.