“fruits” of your labor if that is how you are evaluated, promoted, paid and ensured that you will continue to be employed?
In Yoga practice, I get this. I let go of goals and judgments and let the Yoga do its thing. And it works every time. Like magic.
But in the workplace? This took a bit of contemplation…
For me, this passage has been a key component in changing the way I see my role in the workplace. At work, I had always been very tightly connected to the fruits of my every action—each conversation, each meeting, each proposal. I put such a high importance on the results of every action. Taking a closer look, I was really trying (and trying really hard and feeling a lot of stress about it) to control every result, and placing such high stakes on each result that I felt I had to control the outcome—things had to go the way I envisioned and planned they would. “Failure” to get the precise results I envisioned was not an option.
This passage tells a different story. First take a look at the actions. In the workplace the actions might be gathering the most helpful data and creating a compelling business proposition from that. Actions might be leading a sales meeting or making a sales pitch to the client. Letting go of attachment means focusing on the right action—a well-organized presentation or the creation of an innovative new product—that is right action. What happens after that is simply not in one’s control. At this point, one has to have faith that the action will set events in motion that will lead to the desired business results. Often, it is the ego that gets in the way. We focus not only on our actions, but also on getting others to agree with us so that we will be right. Yet, in the workplace, do we need really need to be right, or do we simply want the best results for the business? Often, the results that follow our right actions in the workplace take a different turn. A new idea or innovation, a change in management, or an evolution in strategy for example. If we are content to focus on our actions, and not on controlling the actions of others, we often get to a better place, a place of synergy, perhaps (to use a good office buzzword). If we can just let go of the needs of the ego—to be praised, congratulated, agreed with—we can often see a bigger more robust answer arise.
I nearly jumped to my feet. He was advocating the ultimate release of control in the workplace. I loved the idea. And returned to my office the next week and tried this incredible formula for success. And guess what? It worked. Like magic.
Lisa Feder is a Yoga Instructor, Personal Trainer and Corporate Wellness Consultant. Read more