One way to stay true to your game (and to who you are as a person) is to understand Deepak Chopra’s Law of Detachment. Chopra states, “In order to get anything in the physical world, you have to detach from the outcome, and be in the process.”
Understanding the difference between detachment and attachment (Chopra, 2007):
Detachment comes from an inner knowingness that we are a pattern of behavior of a higher intelligence. When things don’t seem to go our way, we can let go of our idea of how things should be. We know that in our limited awareness, we cannot see the synchronistic, harmonious patterns of the universe of which we and our intentions are a part.
Attachment, on the other hand, implies doubt and distrust in nature’s intelligence and its infinite organizing power. Attachment is the melodrama of the ego, because it is based on fear and insecurity, and this comes from not realizing the power of the Self. The search for security is actually an attachment to certainty, to the known, and the known is the prison of our past conditioning.
Freedom from our past lies in the wisdom of uncertainty. Without uncertainty, life is just the repetition of outworn memories. There’s no evolution in that, and when there is no evolution, there is stagnation, entropy, and decay.
In ancient wisdom traditions, the solution to this dilemma lies in our willingness to detach from the known, step into the unknown, and surrender our desires to the creative mind that orchestrates the dance of the universe. The unknown is the field of all possibilities, ever fresh, ever new, always open to the creation of new manifestations. This field can orchestrate an infinity of space-time events to bring about the outcome intended. But when our intention gets locked into a rigid mindset, we lose the fluidity, flexibility, and creativity inherent in the field.
The Law of Detachment does not interfere with goal setting. We still have the intention of going in a certain direction, but between point A and point B there are infinite possibilities. With uncertainty factored in, we might change direction if we find a higher ideal, or if we find something more exciting. When we experience uncertainty, we’re on the right path, and it’s the fertile ground of pure creativity and freedom.
How I digest this:
The known, it’s the fixed path we create in our attempt to control, create security, and strive for success. I think of it as a scripted outcome like going from step “A”, to step “B”, to get to step “C”. Athletes will imagine and script their path to their expected outcome. It’s important to create this path to guide you along the way.
However, if you expect this to be the only way to get there, you start to attach your expectations to one perfect way of execution. And, when something doesn’t go as planned you can get caught up spending your time and energy trying to force your way back on to that one path. Unfortunately, the more you try to force it, the more you are likely to stray from that path and get suck, lost, and extremely frustrated. It’s like trying to force a square peg into a round hole.
This type of expectation leads to emotional chaos. It can start with an emotional reaction based on a failed attempt at achieving a successful outcome. Overtime, even the slightest mistake or setback will cause an emotional reaction that leads to an emotional implosion. This type of response can make an athlete want to avoid situations where they could fail, or continue to set more and more rigid expectations.
In sports this defined as:
Fear of failure, the persistent and irrational anxiety about failing to measure up to the standards and goals set by oneself or others.
Perfectionism is the tendency to demand of others or oneself and extremely high or even flawless level of performance, in excess of what is required by the situation.
*Defined by the American Psychological Association
It’s for these reasons that attachment and explicitly sticking to the KNOWN, in the moment, will make you rigid. When you are rigid or fixed to one way of thinking and doing things, there is no room for improvement, which leads to loss of motivation and inspiration to accomplish goals / desires.
On the other hand, the UNKNOWN to me is like listening to live music. When I listen to a band play live, they have their KNOWN, which are the songs they play. The songs have their set notes, melodies, lyrics, and timing for each member of the band to chime in. In the moment, if everyone is in sync, they start to rift, jam, and improvise. The members of the band just start playing off each other and creating a whole new song within the song. It’s the UNKNOWN that is unique to the moment and can’t be repeated.
Each moment has its unique UNKNOWNS that allow for creativity, inspiration, and experiencing the moment. If you make yourself open to the experience, it can seem magical and fun! It’s what Chopra refers to as “The dance of the universe.” Therefore, it’s important to have a KNOWN plan of action to guide you on your journey. However, in the moment, you need to be ready and willing to embrace the UNKNOWN and to just experience the moment.
Practicing detached involvement (Chopra, 2007):
Whenever you encounter a problem, stay grounded in the wisdom of uncertainty, while expectantly waiting for a solution to emerge.
If you remain detached, you won’t feel compelled to force solutions on problems. This enables you to stay alert to opportunities, and then what emerges is something powerful and exciting.
The state of alert preparedness in the present meets with your goals and intentions, and allows you to seize the opportunity within every problem you have in your life.
Every problem is the seed of an opportunity for some greater benefit. Once you have this perception, a whole range of possibilities opens up, and this keeps the wonder and the excitement alive.
Only by practicing detached involvement can you have joy and laughter.
Then wealth is created spontaneously and effortlessly.
Deepak Chopra's Commitment To Detachment
I will put the Law of Detachment into effect by making a commitment to take the following steps:
1. Today I will commit myself to detachment. I will allow myself and those around me the freedom to be as they are. I will not rigidly impose my idea of how things should be. I will not force solutions on problems, thereby creating new problems. I will participate in everything with detached involvement.
2. Today I will factor in uncertainty as an essential ingredient of my experience. In my willingness to accept uncertainty, solutions will spontaneously emerge out of the problem, out of the confusion, disorder, and chaos. The more uncertain things seem to be, the more secure I will feel, because uncertainty is my path to freedom. Through the wisdom of uncertainty, I will find my security.
3. I will step into the field of all possibilities and anticipate the excitement that can occur when I remain open to an infinity of choices. When I step into the field of all possibilities, I will experience all the fun, adventure, magic, and mystery of life.
Chopra.com, T. E., Brady, A., & McGinley, K. (2020, August 24). The Law of Detachment. Retrieved February 22, 2021, from https://chopra.com/articles/the-law-of-detachment
Deepak Chopra Explains The Law of Detachment. (2020, January 23). Retrieved February 22, 2021, from https://thejoywithin.org/authors/deepak-chopra/the-law-of-detachment
Meditation, Happiness, and Empowerment Training. (2020, December 03). Retrieved February 22, 2021, from https://thejoywithin.org/