(My new posting schedule is Tuesdays, Thursdays, and the occasional Saturdays. If any guest posts are in the queue, they will be posted on Saturdays.)
[This is a guest post from Mans who runs Pure Nootropics. He is an avid biohacker and self-tracker interested in optimizing the mind for the best decision making. You can find him on Twitter discussing meditation, smart drugs, and variety of other health principles.]
In a recent Vipassana meditation retreat, I was educated in the philosophy of freedom from attachment. Conceptually, it is hard to understand without first experiencing the grueling 10-day silent retreat that I endured. However, applied to leadership and personal growth, there are a wealth of examples that can improve your life and success.
Decision Making with Tunnel Vision
Having a burning desire to succeed is not wrong, but when hinging your existence on the failure or success in any endeavor is unhealthy and can undermine your efforts. Even though western culture and philosophies often praise hard work and dedication (rightfully so), they often forget to address how to accept failure with a balanced mind.
Any leader that is forced to make decisions needs to maintain the most balanced mind possible. If a leader is fearful of a certain outcome, for example going bankrupt with the business, then decisions will be made with that fear in mind. Suddenly the decision making process becomes altered and the leader’s love for his own company impairs his ability to maintain success in the long-term.
Depending on an outcome can be detrimental for leaders in any industry or walk of life. A mountain climber that is too attached to reaching the top may end up in dangerous or life threatening situations, while a balanced mind can help them to evaluate the terrain, take precautions, and find a different route to success.
Steps to Avoid Outcome Dependency
Step 1 – What’s the worst that can happen? No matter what you are doing, the “worse case” scenario isn’t all that bad. You can rebuild and remake whatever was lost and you typically have a larger pool of experiences (aka: lessons!) to learn from.
Step 2 – Notice your emotions. If you are feeling sad, scared, or angry about a certain outcome, notice the emotions. Do not try to suppress them, but just acknowledge their existence. Then avoid making decisions until they are cleared.
Devotion to a goal is a great way to achieve, but leaders must see attachment for what it is. Attachment is ego cleverly disguised. By taking clear steps to avoid becoming dependent on an outcome, you will feel more liberated and at peace with the world. This liberation and clear head is exactly what successful leaders need in order to make decisions.
There is no “right” decision to make in life or your business, only decisions made “rightly”. With a clear and balanced mind, you can make the best decision with the given facts and understanding of the world. If emotions and attachment enter the process, leaders are bound for failure.
Question: How do you maintain a balanced life and mind?