Don’t Let It Ruin Your Day
Is your child driving you nuts with their self-destructive behavior and refusal to listen to your hard-earned wisdom? (Alternatively, are your parents driving you nuts with their constant attempts to control and guilt-trip you?)
Is your client behaving badly? Not returning calls, not making decisions, refusing to face up to tough decisions, constantly back-sliding on your (excellent) advice?
Did one of your (ostensible) good friends diss you recently? Have they refused to apologize, and continue to evade the issue? Have you heard by the grapevine they said something more that appears to confirm their betrayal of you?
Well, I have your answer. Here it is. Don’t Let It Ruin Your Day.
Of Course, You Already Know This.
But that’s just the problem, see. You already ‘know’ it, so you think that therefore you’ve already extracted full value from the proposition. You think, ‘Yeah, yeah, you can’t control other people, it’s not me it’s them, serenity now yada yada, live in the moment – I got it.’
But you don’t ‘got it.’
If you did, you wouldn’t be living in a constant state of resentment, stress, and worry.
One of the dominant myths of our time is that if you cognitively understand something, you have mastered it. But the brain is a very weak weapon when up against the heart and the nervous system. Knowing something and a dollar may get you a cup of coffee. Eons of wisdom literature suggests there’s something more to it.
A closely related myth is that the answer lies in doing something. At least that gets one step beyond “understanding” – or so we think.
But the belief in action suffers the same defect. It assumes that there exists An Answer. You’re smart enough to know that The Answer is probably not going to be found in better analytics, Big Data, convincing arguments or brilliant aphorisms. So you look to the softer side – you get better at empathy, listening, vulnerability, open-ended questions and the like. Maybe The Answer lies in better behavior.
Nope, sorry. As long as you’re attached to the outcome, you’re still bound to your attachment – and the attendant resentment, stress and worry. (Medication has its place, of course, but medical-grade marijuana is just the latest non-solution).
At wits’ end, it’s tempting to think, “ah, chuck it all. I’ll just withdraw from the game, there’s no point, I’ll make friends with hopelessness. Maybe happiness lies in just giving up.”
Don’t Let It Ruin Your Day
The answer, it seems to me, is to marry the instinct for thought and action with the detachment from outcome. You should still talk to your kids (and your parents); you should still stay engaged with your clients; you should still strive to make your friendships rich and mutual.
Just don’t let it ruin your day.
The problem is not striving, and the answer is not withdrawal. The trick is to take the best of both: keep engaging – just detach from the outcome.
Note: this is not just happy talk for your spiritual side. It also has to do – profoundly – with sales. The answer to sales disappointment is not to “toughen up” and dial more sales calls; and obviously it’s not to stop selling.
The answer, in business development as in life, is to keep striving, for the betterment of your clients and customers. Just don’t let it ruin your day.
Take pride and pleasure in the process, keep putting out good effort for your clients. Just don’t be attached to the outcome. Don’t Always Be Closing: instead, Always Be Helping.
Keep on selling: and when it doesn’t work out, just don’t let it ruin your day.
Great post, Charlie – there’s something very Zen in dwelling in detachment from outcomes.