Be committed….

Be committed not attached.

I saw this on a good friend’s coaching site and have been obsessed with this idea ever since. What do these two things mean? Commitment and Attachment. Depending on how you look at things they can mean two completely different terms.

To me being committed is all about a higher cause, I don’t let other people thoughts enter my mind or influence me when I make decision because I know in myself what I am doing is right. If I am committed to my partner, my friends, my family my business they get the same respect and loyalty.

Commitment is the channel to flow (if I use the surfing terminology) it is the path that offers  the least resistance to accessing a flow state. I didn’t say it is easy, but being committed to anyone cause will put yourself in the mindset to access flow, quicker and what you would feel easier than any other state. This is because you won’t care about the frustration or the comedown. You will see them as challenges that aid you to getting what you want. as well as ways to replenish what you want. It means letting go (see fight club) and to acceptance, commitment allows you to move on to new prospects in the sales cycle without damaging relationships,

Attachment is funny, attachment is superficial and acts like a high. Attachment leads to expectation. You get a reward for pleasing others, doing things to keep other people happy, or doing things because you are concerned about what others will do or think. When you are attached to something like and idea or feeling and you do not get it, “it” leads to jealousy, anxiety, depression, neediness, and then the ugly side of potential abuse when you don’t get what you want.

These sensations encourages feeling of always trying to “fix” something – when usually the problem is just that – it is what it is and shouldn’t be fixed. When people are attached especially to an idea or in our case a particular state – the feedback loop they experience never compares to that original high they experience.

There are many studies and theories behind this (just google commitment vs. attachment) and you will see.

What my key take away is from my studies on commitment and attachment is this: If you can take a look at your life and realise what you are COMMITTED to and FOCUS on this you will be able to tap into FLOW a hell of a lot easier than if you can’t. More so if we look at the other way, and you REALLY have to be honest about this, take a look at what you are ATTACHED at the moment and ask yourself why. If you can take honest look at this attachment and remove yourself from this, ask yourself what would I do if I was not attached to this feeling/relationship/job.

COMMITMENT breads CONFIDENCE better yet it SPAWNS confidence because when you are committed to a cause or and action you do not recognise failure as a failure, you accept it for what it truly is (in my opinion anyway) FEEDBACK. It’s only failure if you give up.

Let’s again take surfing for example. When I paddle for a wave and I paddle with commitment I am focused, I am focused on the wave and the environment that I am in. If for whatever reason I fall off, I don’t have a tendency to beat myself up about it. I know that I took off with all of my ability and I got something wrong, if might have been I didn’t paddle hard enough, I didn’t get in the right spot, I took off incorrectly or all of the above, whatever it is, when I am committed to being a better surfer and being in FLOW, the frustration isn’t a frustration, it is a feedback system.

Now look at it from an attachment perspective. If I take off expecting that I am good enough to surf a wave or attached to the feeling of FLOW when I am surfing and I fuck up because I take off without commitment, it frustrates the hell outta of me and leads to a negative feedback loop. I didn’t make it because I’m not a good enough surfer, I suck, I’m shit, what the fuck am I doing out here anyway?

If we look at every failure as feedback and am committed to being better at whatever it is we are doing, attachment is removed. Frustration dissipates and success becomes easier and more tangible. to and remove this – you will be liberated to focus on only what truly matters. This is the CHANNEL to FLOW – FOCUS.

So now after my little rant, I bring it back to FLOW and looking at how we can channel this theory and energy into a work like state or belief. Well it’s pretty simple, ask yourself and your employee’s or staff:

Are you committed to this (and this could be anything…) if we take recruitment as an example again and we took my goal of this:

I want to be known as the expert recruitment consultant in Sydney for JavaScript developers

To do this I would have to be willing to put myself out there to develop my personal brand. Go where my candidates go, to meet up events, be constantly developing new business opportunities, pitch myself to business owners and hiring managers as an expert in my space.

Because being committed to being the best in any given business field will probably look like this:

Hard work, developing your skills on influence, negotiation, administration, pro-activity, being told no, learning how to say NO, persistence, handling rejection after rejection, facing multiple competition, developing your own personal style in communication, being a great writer, marketer, developing knowledge of social media, commanding presence, learning how to make uncomfortable people comfortable, becoming accustomed to having uncomfortable conversations, learning how to follow-up with out becoming an annoying stalker and also developing SUPERIOR listening skills.

All of these skills will allow you to tap into various degrees of FLOW while learning them. This happens when you focus in a given task, over come challenges to get to the tipping point of it and then doing this task. the cycle then repeats itself until the task is mastered and it

In a recent lecture given to the students of the university of Harvard Stephen Kotler explains the four stages of FLOW and how important it is not to become attached to any of the feelings of frustration that you encounter during the process of obtaining FLOW.

My theory through my own personal development and coaching is based on Brian Tracy’s idea of being committed and not attached. Which is, and I am paraphrasing in my own terminology here – if you are committed to something, free yourself of attachment and the negative connotations associated with this.

Remember this is the FLOW Cycle:


Kotler’s take is not to get attached to the frustration or the comedown phase…

My take is be committed to the cause, have faith in the process and FLOW WILL HAPPEN.

Till next time FLOWhackers….

*Photo credit goes to the AP

If you would like to read more about FLOW check out Steven Kotler’s  book Rise of Superman – to give you an understanding: CLICK HERERiseofsuperman

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