Day 7 – Don’t be attached to the outcome.

Don’t be attached to the outcome.  

What do I mean by this?  When we are visualizing how we hope the recipient will respond to our act of kindness, we create an expectation in our minds that emotionally ties us to an outcome we desire.  

The key is recognizing the difference between what is and is not within our control.

When we are creating acts of kindness, we are usually interacting with other people, and once the kindness has been offered to another human being, the way it is received is not in our hands.  All we have control over is our personal thoughts and actions.  The recipient can choose to reject the offer, as often happens with simple compliments. For example, when a man tells his wife she looks beautiful, and she responds by saying “No, I’ll look good when I lose 15 pounds”.  She may honestly feel that way, but she’s missing the point, and she’s not recognizing the love he is extending to her, even with a simple “thank you”.  His hope is that she accepts his kind words and they make her feel good.  Perhaps even that she receives the compliment and recognizes his kindness with a smile or a kiss.   If we want something specific to happen, and then someone doesn’t react “according to plan”, we can feel discouraged and let down.  

The same disappointment could arise when I hold the door for someone, and they say nothing to recognize that I waited for them and went “out of my way”.

While we can extend a hand, help, influence, and inspire others, we can not make them feel or do anything.  The desired outcome is not guaranteed.  But if the reason for our actions is only to elicit a specific response, we are overlooking the importance of our own journey through this process.

With love and gratitude,

Natalie. xo

One Response to Day 7 – Don’t be attached to the outcome.
  1. Tom
    October 9, 2010 | 7:40 pm

    Natalie, you’ve really brought out clarity with this. Very nicely written. People sometimes miss the point, it’s so true.

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