Detach Yourself and Get Excited

Dear Friends,

Just because something didn't work the way we expected does not mean we are failures.

And yet, many of us feel that way when we don't get it "right" the first time.

You see, failure is just learning.

And truth be told, success is just a matter of learning what works and what doesn't.

It’s all about learning and experimenting.

Did something work? Great, figure out why and do more of that.

Did something not work? Great, figure out why and do less of that.

Where things get sticky is that we so often attach ourselves to our results. But we are not the outcomes of the things we do in our lives.

We are our behaviors and our actions, not the results or outcomes

The distinction between behaviors and outcomes (or results) is wildly important and is a topic I’ve been particularly fond of lately.

Very rarely do we have 100% control over a specific outcome. There are too many variables.

What we can control, however, is our behaviors, our actions. The things we do day in and day out as we move toward a particular something.

Because when something doesn't work, we're not a failure. Rather, we're presented with the opportunity to keep playing and exploring.

It’s an opportunity to dig even deeper.

And when things don't work, it’s right around this point where I start to get excited.

By nature, I’m a problem solver.

The work I do as an analyst allows me to solve business and technical problems.

The work I do as a coach allows me to help others work through their own challenges and opportunities.

Problem-solving has become my life, both directly and indirectly.

So when things don’t work, I get excited because then I get to go to work.

I’ve learned that there isn't much fun getting something “right” the first time.

It took me a long time to embrace this mindset / way of thinking, but so far I’m finding it’s a fun place to be.

And the reason I think it took so long is that I used to always be so attached to the outcome. I always wanted the thing and rarely paid much attention to what would be needed to actually get that thing.

Now, and of course this is in hindsight, I’m really not all that surprised it played out that way. Growing up, so much of what we do is based on passing, failing, winning, and losing.

We’re rarely taught what to do after we pass/fail/win/lose.

If something passed, why?

If something failed, why?

If something won, why?

If something lost, why?

Why, why, why, why, why.

The result is not the answer…it’s the question.

And when we ask questions, we transition from a state of judgment to a state of curiosity.

Curiosity is fun, light, and exciting.

Curiosity allows us to focus more on our inputs (behaviors, actions, etc.) and the resulting outputs (outcomes) and less on just the outputs.

In my short time on this fine planet, curiosity is both the most exciting and interesting state of being I’ve found.

When we don’t think we already know the answer, our senses are heightened in it’s pursuit.

How do we embrace this state? We detach ourselves from the outcome, focus on the journey, and get really excited about what’s to come. 

With Love,


P.S. Thank you so much for reading. If you could, please share this with someone who you think could benefit from reading this as well. I’m sure it would mean the world to them and I know it would mean the world to me.

Evan CookComment