#268- Attaching to Outcomes and Goal-Setting are Different

People hear, “Don’t attach to outcomes” and think that means they can’t have goals. Not true. As with most things in life, it’s not that black and white. Setting goals is important to move you in the direction you want to go, but they need to be flexible. Fixating on exactly what you want to happen, with who and when, limits what’s possible. Perhaps the way you get to your goal is completely different from what you envision. Or maybe your goal morphs into something else completely. If you focus too much on a particular outcome, you may pass up all sorts of opportunities. Plus, what some people think is a goal is actually an outcome.

Let’s say your goal is to get married. You have to ask yourself why on a deeper level. If it’s because you want to be in a loving, lifetime partnership with someone, that’s really the goal. Marriage is just a possible outcome. What truly drives you? Is it internal (a loving partnership) or external (validation)? Holding onto the internal while letting go of the external is what it means to have goals without attaching to outcomes.

A goal provides a course of action; something that moves you forward. It brings a world of opportunities, as long as you do not see things as having to work out a certain way. It’s not something rigid to narrow your possibilities. When you get deeper with yourself and focus on the reasons for your goals, you may realize those reasons are your actual goals. Understanding your motivation will move in the direction of what you want without being attached to how or even IF you get there. When you assign meaning to your goals (i.e. what achieving it says about you), it’s likely an outcome. Goals are journeys, and they come from the inside.


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