OPINION: Does detachment mean having no ambition? Breaking the myth

Why detachment is essential to empower your intentions

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“Just as an aimless task is futile so also is a task with which we get totally attached to.”

Let’s understand the importance of detachment and how it can help us become more aware and productive in our area of work.

Detachment to a task doesn’t take you away from focusing on it, rather it helps you function more effectively. Never take detachment as having no ambition. Our intentions give rise to desires and desires in turn produce ambition. Thus, intentions are the essence of any outcome in our life and they manifest results influencing our action.

Detachment is essential to empower our intentions. In order to create a meaningful outcome, we need to be free of all emotions. For example, a sense of fear or pleasure deludes us to either live in the past or imagine about the future outcome. In the outcome, we lose on the present moment thereby impacting the main task on hand.

Both these emotions of fear and pleasure while performing a task take us behind the real moment, as it exaggerates our thought on them and grabs our attention on magnifying them. Once the attention is gone to that thought of fear or pleasure it’s then like catching up with a moment that has already passed, but what is demanded of us is a constant race to keep pace with the present reality.  

Synchronizing our thoughts to present actions can materialize through detachment of the outcome, failing which, we are left with semi-finished work or half-hearted attempts; it happens because our attention was not in the present moment, it got left behind and stuck in a thought, which is either of past or future, but not relevant to that very moment. The outcome of this would be an ordinary result through our efforts.

Hence, we are never a hundred per cent with our task in hand. In order to use our full concentration in the task and to work with our inner spontaneity, we need to be completely in sync with time and be in the present moment. This process where our actions are completely in harmony with the present moment creates a flow which makes the task effortless and error-free. This seamless state of flow can only be achieved by remaining detached to unnecessary thoughts or emotions. 

Our inner spontaneity can blossom only when we are free from all the attachments pertaining to the outcome of the task in hand. Attachment to the outcome produces thoughts which break our concentration to stay in the present moment, and as long as attachment persists, it becomes impossible to ignite our spontaneity. That is the reason practice of detachment becomes all the more important.

How to practice detachment? We need two attributes to be completely detached from the outcome of our task in hand: Enhancing our concentration with a complete focus on the task and a calm mind with no distracting thoughts.

When these twin attributes, which result in detachment are achieved, these become a natural invitation for our spontaneity to take charge of the task.

We can increase our concentration and an ability to stay focused to the task with the help of activities like meditation, playing any sport which enhances our concentration, or by getting involved into any activity we are passionate about, that can help us get completely engrossed in the task by the sheer love for it. Such activities include reading, writing, music and art. These activities require a high level of focus and our passion makes it easier to practice concentration through them. Our second attribute—a calm and composed mind—can naturally be achieved, when we give our mind an object of engagement to focus on a task. Consciously giving our mind an object of engagement to focus keeps it busy; disturbing thoughts come only when we lack concentration and focus on the task.

Detachment puts us in a position where we are one with our task with complete focus on it. The end result is perfection, which leads to accomplishing our ambition or task by perfecting our actions. Let’s not take the word ‘detachment’ by its literal lexicon meaning. From a spiritual context, the word has the potential to bring some magical results in our life.

Kartikeya Vajpai is an MBA and a practising lawyer in the Supreme Court of India. He runs a YouTube Channel by the name ‘Your thoughts and You by Kartikeya Vajpai’ Where he shares ideas and thoughts on spirituality and positive thinking based on his upcoming book; a fiction book where he will use his experiences and exposure of spiritual practices; transcendental meditation, Buddhist Mahamudra meditation, Advaita Vedanta and Kriya Yoga to touch some deep questions on life pertaining to career, happiness, and purpose of life.

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