It is easy to become attached . Too easy.
Online, in stores and everywhere in-between it is the outcome that sells. Here are three headlines from Health.com today:
- Get Toned in Half the Time
- Think Yourself Healthy!
- How to Treat (and Avoid!) Summer Skin Problems
It’s an article’s, or product’s, promise that causes you to click, read and buy. When you’re coping with an illness and looking for a solution to pain, fatigue and bloating promising outcomes deliver hope by raising expectations.
Maybe this will be the fix!?!
Of course, not all outcomes are guaranteed. And when, inevitably, something doesn’t deliver what was promised it is normal to get discouraged.
Rarely are changes, especially relating to health, effortless, quick and guaranteed. Real change takes commitment. All that discouragement is counterproductive.
Decide to go vegan? Want to lose weight? Starting a new exercise routine? Go into it with high action and low attachment.
In other words, let the outcome go.
In December of 2010 my nephrologist (kidney specialist) thought I had six months before I could apply to get onto the transplant list. I decided to become uber disciplined with my diet, exercise and attitude. I could do that for six months!
I focused all of my energy toward learning about diet, getting to the gym, meditating and reading inspirational books. While my efforts were aimed at improving my kidney function, I wasn’t attached to what the lab readings would show. I knew that wasn’t in my control. I could only control whether I made it to the gym and if I decided to eat pizza or a salad.
Becoming really clear about what actions to take (what was in my control) and what not to become attached to (what wasn’t in my control) made for stress-free habit adjustments.
The following June my doctor’s prediction was correct and I joined the transplant list. I found that when I focused on having high action and low attachment I was much more accepting of how things turned out because I wasn’t attached to the outcome.
The upside is that high action eventually creates results. Maybe not what was promised, but with continued effort things are bound to change.
I know that my healthy habits, while they haven’t reversed the damage in my kidney, they have significantly slowed the progression of this disease. In the process, they’ve made me calmer and able to handle the changes that are happening in my body.
Let the headlines suck you in, try the techniques offered, have high action, but let the outcome go. Low attachment is the secret to lasting healthy changes.