Categories: Gettin The Mind Right

The Paradox of Pursuing Your Goals

Happy Monday!

My wife and I started Yoga Teacher Training this past weekend. For me, there’s been a growing pull towards the practice of yoga for a variety of mental, physical and spiritual reasons. Yet I couldn’t articulate the exact essence until I read something in The Bhagavad Gita that spoke to what I am searching for:

“Give up attachment to the results of what you do; that is, to give your best to every undertaking without insisting that the results work will out the way you want…you have the right to action, but not to the fruits of action: each of us has the obligation to act rightly, but no power to dictate what is to come of what we do.”
— A translation of The Bhagavad Gita by Eknath Easwaran

Giving up attachment means not to stress about getting the desired results you seek, as long as your motive is pure, your means are correct. The more I reflect on this idea, the more universal it appears to be for so many of us.


Mahatma Gandhi also speaks of the paradox of giving up attachments to results:

“He who, being thus equipped, is without desire for the result and is yet wholly engrossed in the due fulfillment of the task before him, is said to have renounced the fruits of his actions.”

Although Gandhi exhorts the renunciation of fruit (outcomes), he also made it clear that you should not be indifferent to the effort required to put yourself in the right position.


The Paradox of Strength with Surrender


The pursuit of both Strength and Surrender is endless, and to achieve both together seems a paradox. It means to charge hard, seek resistance, and accept the challenge to grow, while realizing that we ultimately have no control of outcomes and that sometimes the best action is sometimes inaction.

This is a hard pill for me to swallow as my tendency is to push and seek strength. I believe my “pull” towards yoga is my mind’s subconscious intervention to achieve greater balance.

Vigorously pursuing self-growth but not obsessing over the desired outcome requires real self-reflection.
Ask yourself:


  • Where do I stand on the Strength spectrum?
  • Where am I charging too hard?
  • Where can I benefit from Surrendering the illusion of control?
  • Where am I too passive and indifferent?
  • Where do I need to apply more action?


It is important to address these areas yet still be mindful of the paradox of action that the Gita, Gandhi and so many others spoke of: take the steps to put you in the right direction to achieve an outcome, but firmly renounce any sort of attachment to the outcome.

Find some time to reflect on these questions and see where it takes you!




ILLUSTRATION via: epicsf


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