"Attachment to your goals does not allow the flexibility that living in present time demands." − Spotted Eagle
I ran across this quote the other day, and it really gave me pause. I'm realistic enough to know that objectives are necessary and that, without targets to drive a process, our endeavors tend to stagnate or go off track.
That said, goals are a tricky business. While they serve to focus our energy, what are we to do when striving to achieve our goals leads us to suffer? How do we know whether or not to keep going?
Human beings tend to create from a place of avoiding what we fear. When we have only the goal and the fear of not achieving it as our reason for staying the course, we must be willing to abandon our investment in the goal. We must then move with courage toward a new objective, one that is guided by essence, the feeling experience we intended the original goal to deliver.
When a goal delivers suffering, there is an alterative to dogged attachment, and that is to refocus on whatever essence qualities are missing from the material results. Essence words I tend to focus on are: peace, freedom and sustainability. I ask myself, "Is the effort to achieve this goal destroying my peace of mind? Do I feel free to express myself authentically and act from a will that is free of fear? Given the sacrifices required, can I sustain the effort? Do I have the time, energy and resources to do what I set out to do?"
These three essences―peace, freedom and sustainability―are sure to provide me with a litmus test for whether or not to proceed. Because essence defines a trajectory and not a goal, focus on essence is what affords me the needed flexibility that living in present time very often demands.