tatjna (tatjna) wrote,

I want doesn't get

Yesterday I had coffee with a very good friend, and we were talking about emotional attachment. Not the romantic variety, but the kind where you are emotionally attached to the outcome of a situation.

So, um, what is emotional attachment? Well, I think it's the thing that affects your emotional balance, and possibly your judgement, in pursuit of a goal. And when, if the outcome is that you don't get what you want, it is likely to upset you a lot. I guess obsessing over things you want would be a sign that you're emotionally attached to the outcome.

Well, it also seems that the more emotionally attached you are to the outcome of a situation, the less likely you are to have the outcome you want. I'm not sure how or why this works, but I've observed this in action and I'm pretty sure it's the case. Maybe the attachment causes you to alter your behaviour in a way that's detrimental to your goal, maybe you give off cosmic vibes that repel your fortune, maybe *insert deity here* decides you need to learn something and deliberately stops you from getting what you want because you want it so much. *shrug* Don't know, don't care. I just know that trying to remain emotionally uninvolved when trying to achieve something is a good plan.

I don't mean just sitting there like a lump and doing nothing. Although I have no doubt the buddhists have a good argument for not wanting anything being a step towards enlightenment, and sitting there like a lump letting the world drift by would certainly help with that.

But for those of us who have wants and goals, it makes sense to take steps towards achieving them. Like, say you want a new job. If you sit there for long enough sending thoughts out to the universe, eventually one might come along. But it's far more likely that you'll be offered a new job if you read the paper as well, send out CVs, research and turn up for interviews, and practice your interview skills, yeah?

But if you want a new job so desperately that you'll DIE if you don't get it, it's going to affect your approach. You'll likely write a more fawning, less confident letter. Your interview will contain more nervousness and stuttering. You may sweat and get smelly while waiting. Etc etc blah blah you can see where this is going..

Same goes for lots of things. As soon as you think "If this doesn't happen the way I want it to, it's going to (upset me in some way)ruin my life" - the chances of the way it happens being in your favour are reduced.

So, what my friend and I were trying to get our heads around was how to reduce emotional attachment to outcome. Approaching things in a headspace where if you don't get what you want, it won't upset you or affect your life.

All we could come up with was being able to see the alternative as just as good.

Example. I've been offered the opportunity to go and spend three weeks in Kyrgyzstan, travelling the old Silk Road on horseback through the mountains. I would love to do this - it has horses! And well.. in terms of out-there adventures, it's up there. But, the cost is prohibitive and given my other commitments, I'd have to do some fast talking to get the time off work.

So what can I do? I can do everything in my power to find the money from somewhere. I have no doubt that I could arrange the time off (getting more time off than i've earned seems to be a superpower). And from there, I have two options - I can stress and worry about how I'm going to do it, and second-guess myself and probably also sabotage myself with too much emotional involvement. Or, I can rest easy in the knowledge that I've done all I can, that I've put it out there that I want this, and that if I don't get to do it this time, well.. Kyrgyzstan is not going anywhere, and one day I will be able to. Meanwhile, if I'm not there I already have a promise of a postcard with a horse on it, and a full and wonderful life here - and a whole lot of dollars more than I'd have if I went.

Either way, I win. And meanwhile, things have a tendency to fall out of the sky for me, so you never know. YOU might get a postcard from Kyrgyzstan with a horse on it. ;-)

While I'm at it, I need some fishing net. I'm putting it out there, after having lost an auction on TradeMe this morning. I only need about 5m x 5m and the mesh can be quite large. I'll keep surfing TradeMe, and check out the Warehouse too because it will probably never actually touch a fish, and the going rate for good ones is about $100 too much for me. And if anyone who reads this happens to know someone who has one in their shed that they don't want, or are prepared to loan to a careful artist for a week (it's going over the top of my art to stop the stuff inside blowing away), then please let me know.

Also, I blame ferrouswheel for this lovely weather. I am hoping that the clouds were able to find Whakamaru ok, because they were sure going fast when they went over here.
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