I was having a chat over lunch with my longtime Aussie pal Amir Zoghi about surrender. We were discussing the importance of letting go of attachment especially when we really desire something. Amir dropped this truth bomb:
“The best way to get what you want is to NOT want it.”
There is such wisdom in that simple statement. The more we want something, the more attached we are to getting it and attachment is something that usually leads to an expectation hangover.
Why does attachment lead to disappointment?
When we are attached to getting a specific result we put far more pressure on ourselves, another person, or a situation. Instead of being in the flow of life, we put our desires in a pressure cooker and project way too far into the future. For example, you have an idea for a business and you begin to set specific goals that you want to hit. As soon as you believe that hitting those goals is going to make you successful, happy, or whatever it is that you want to feel, you are attached. Or let’s say you are longing for a relationship and someone comes along who has potential. The second you want it to turn into anything more than it is right in that very moment creates attachment.
When we become attached to the outcome of how we want something to turn out, we miss out on a lot of things. We miss out on clearly hearing the voice of our intuition because we are future focused and intuition resides in the present moment. We miss out on the preciousness of the moment. We get so caught up in an end result that we skip the learning that comes with being right here, right now. We also miss out on guidance from the Universe or possible red flags because we are so tunnel vision focused on what we want.
So does this mean that we should not want things? Or does it mean we should not set goals?
Well first of all I would not dare to “should” all over you but I will offer you my point of view on this that comes from a LOT of life experience of setting goals and wanting things . . . and consequently expectation hangovers!
Desire is not bad or wrong. It is an important feeling to have because it is a compass. Yet we often misunderstand desire. We think we desire a form or result but we truly desire is the feeling that we believe that form or result will give us. Going back to the examples from above, if you have a career goal it is actually not the goal your mind came up with that is driving you. You are really chasing the feeling you think achieving that goal will give you. Will achieving a goal make you feel successful, proud, and financially secure? If so, generate those feelings without having to hit any specific goal and allow your plans to unfold. Similarly, if you want a relationship, you are really chasing the feeling you think being in a relationship will give you. Will being in a relationship make you feel loved, validated, and passionate? If so, generate those feelings without needing someone else there.
The way to let go of attachment AND still get what you desire is to cultivate the feelings you think what you want will give you without actually having to have it. @ChristinHassler (Click to Tweet!)
Are you willing to let go of your attachment to the belief that you need something external to make you feel a certain way?
Back to what Amir said, “The best way to get what you want is not to want it.” If you are currently cultivating the feelings you desire in the future, you would long for nothing because your experience would be one of completeness. Nothing would feel like it was missing. And from this whole place, anything else that happens only enhances the experience you are already having.
You would be able to let go of the energy of attachment, which I assure you will create much more flow, joy and presence in your life. It also will not push away people or opportunities that feel the pressure cooker of your attachment energy.
I get that this is not an easy concept to comprehend, much less practice, because we live in a world where we are very conditioned to be believe our feelings are a result of results, but they are not. Our truest feelings and desires come from our inner truth and the more tapped in we are to the truth of who we are, the more we realize that we truly have everything we need and want.
P.S. I have a new podcast where I coach people LIVE on the air. Head over to Over it and On With It and listen in for inspiration and action steps.
Christine Hassler has broken down the complex and overwhelming experience of recovering from disappointment into a step-by-step treatment plan in her new book Expectation Hangover. This book reveals the formula for how to process disappointment on the emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual levels to immediately ease suffering. Instead of wallowing in regret, self-recrimination, or anger, we can see these experiences as catalysts for profound transformation and doorways that open to possibility. You can find more info on her website, and follow her on Twitter and FB.
Image courtesy of Gabriel Benois.