Often times we move through life with this intense focus on our goals, moving from one thing to the next. We make portfolios and resumes highlighting our accomplishments based upon the things we have done. We measure our worth by the results of our actions.
But that is not the only way. Nor is it the most important thing.
What if you took a step back, and instead of focusing on the results of your actions, you shifted your focus to your way of being, your attitude, as you work towards those goals? How might this change how you feel?
Instead of focusing on what you are doing, shift your focus to how you are being.
Sometimes we work so hard towards something, that we lose ourselves or the reason we are doing it along the way. By shifting your focus on how you want to be, you can more healthily work towards achieving something. Focusing on being may allow you to be more in tune with what you need at this moment, instead of constantly pushing to reach a final goal. This helps develop a stronger awareness of yourself in relationship to your accomplishments, and ways to take care of yourself along the way.
When I have a goal, I work hard towards it until it is accomplished. But often, I will push myself more than is healthy. By letting go of my attachment to the final product, I can better detach myself personally from the end result. I can bring awareness to what is healthy for me in this moment, which is often taking a step back.
Often times my body is my guide with these things. Right now, my muscles are screaming at me for overworking them. Mentally, I did not think I was doing this. But my body tells me something else, and often time my body is smarter than my mind. I love being active and running. My goal is to be healthy. And I have allowed that to be embodied by moving and physically challenging myself regularly. But right now, in order to be healthy, I have to step back and rest. I have to let go of my desire to be in control, working hard, and moving towards something all the time. I have to alleviate the stress and take rest. I want to be calmer, accepting of where I am at, and kinder to myself as I work towards goals. It is a constant practice.
Having goals to work towards is important, but how you carry yourself every step of the way as you work towards those things is more impactful. Ultimately, no matter how hard we try, we cannot control the end results. But we can control how we carry ourselves as we work towards them.
When shifting our focus to being, we are able to work hard and let go of attachment to the outcome. By letting go we are able to recognize that we do not own the products of our actions. They are for all. While it seems contradictory to the notions of private property that are so valued in the Western world, surrendering the impact of your work to others can alleviate stress. It allows as to be more focused on the present moment and to recognize that you are supported, it is not all on you. The work that you do is a part of the collective. It was never yours, to begin with, so surrender your desire to control it.
Be where you are right now. Let go of attachment to the results. Let go of all the things you want to do and achieve and shift your focus on how you want to be. What do you think might happen?
Ways to practice being:
- Notice what it feels like to be with your breath, your body, in this moment right now. Let go of trying to do anything at all. Don’t try to control the breath, let it flow through you. Notice simply what it feels like to be where you are right now. Bring your attention to how you want to be in this moment and embody that. Take moments to pause and come back to this being breath throughout your day.
- Step onto your mat, and instead of focusing on what postures you want to do, focus on how you want to be. Make that your point of focus as you move with every breath. Pause in between to reconnect and be. Instead of moving in a way that you have seen before, move in a way that embodies your way of being.
- To be or not to be
- As you make your daily to-do list, put a mark of how you want to be as you accomplish that task. Take a step back and check in with that as you accomplish these things throughout your day.
My current interpretation of the Bhagavad Gita, 2.47-2.48: Be dedicated to your actions without attachment to the results. Offer the results of your actions to one another.