Be less attached to outcomes

Last summer, my husband John found a page that belonged to an old agenda – a gift I had given him years ago when we were living in Toronto, Canada. In the chunky agenda block, which also served as a paper weight, each day gave him an inspiring thought or quote. And, last summer, John came across the ripped agenda page, which had been tucked away in a book. It was dated Saturday, August 16 (see picture). As John reacquainted himself with the inspiring thought, to his delight, he took a magnet and stuck the page on our fridge as a daily reminder to everyone and anyone entering the kitchen.

This daily reminder, which has been on our fridge door for more than six months now, is a reminder to develop self-trust. The New Year is a time to set new goals and goal setting is a powerful and necessary task. However, many people, including me, can experience confusion between setting goals and being attached to outcomes.

As the quote says, set your goals, but allow things to unfold as they will. Don’t attach your happiness, your well-being or your self-worth to achieving your goals. As mentioned in a previous post, attaching happiness to outcomes causes anxiety and suffering. Instead, be attached to the process of pursuing your goal(s) and be happy in the moment. Goals are great and achieving them is fun, but happiness is right now.

How often do we find ourselves thinking that the next moment will be better than this moment? How often do we find ourselves trying to control things to achieve a single goal? As you embark on your journey to achieving your New Year’s goal(s), remember to rely on your inner qualities that make you feel good as a person. As the agenda page states, keep trying hard, care a great deal and put the odds in your favour. In other words, move forward in a non-attached way to the end result and take loving action to accomplish your goals. Trust yourself, love your neighbour and allow things to unfold. And, when your goal has been achieved, let it go!

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Julie Zimmer

Julie has extensive experience in nursing practice and education in a wide range of fields from intensive/coronary care, to medical-surgical to community and public health. Julie has Bachelor Degrees in Psychology and Nursing, and a Master’s Degree in Community Health Nursing Education. She has taught in faculties of nursing and in various communities in Toronto, Canada and in Geneva, Switzerland, and is a consultant to the International Council of Nurses (ICN). Julie also has years of experience teaching English as a foreign language (EFL) in addition to coordinating an English department in a Swiss private school.

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