One of Buddhism principles state that life is never permanent.
Things always change, situations change, people change, everything changes and therefore this is the source of unhappiness.
So what does this mean?
It means that whenever you try to go after something, you attach your happiness to that particular outcome.
- If you didn’t own a ferrari, you wouldn’t be happy.
- If you didn’t own a big house, you wouldn’t be happy.
- If you didn’t have the big bank account, you wouldn’t be happy.
- If you didn’t have the relationship you want, you wouldn’t be happy.
- Therefore, unhappiness is self generated in the mind and the reason is because we are attached to the outcome.
If you compare some of your problems to someone else’s problems in a third world country such as Bangladesh or Africa, your problems would disappear.
Happiness is really a state of mind. Now I know this is becoming some new age thinking but hear me out.
One of the human needs is certainty.
We all want to feel certain about a particular outcome.
- A successful job with steady pay check
- A successful business
- A stable relationship
- The love and connection of friends and family.
- We need certainty.
However the problem with certainty is that its dangerous because if we were certain of everything in our lives, we would live a completely boring and meaningless life. Therefore in order to live a peaceful life, we must factor in uncertainty in our plans.
So how do we live a life of happiness, go after the things we want and still be happy if we don’t get it? By factoring in uncertainty and knowing that there are infinite possibilities towards your outcome.
How To Manage Your Stress
Mark Bouris, the CEO of Wizard Home Loans once said that it’s foolish to plan for long term for things always change, you may lose interest in that plan, you may get sick, you may run into financial problems, you may jump into a new venture and so forth.
You may notice this with your life as well.
Whenever you setup a plan and execute, you’ll find things pop up, suppliers change their mind, people are sending out emergency emails, key people have backed out from the plan due to so and so, unexpected interruptions and so forth.
To go from A to B, there is an infinite number of things that can happen and it’s important to factor that in. With that uncertainty between A and B, you can expect that your outcome may change and you can anticipate it.
Mark Bouris also said that we operate in a 3 dimensional world. Know that you are participating in that event and that event doesn’t define you. It’s important to approach life from a detached point of view. Looking down and breaking the problem into parts and solving them.
It’s like your looking down at the maze and you’re not the mouse frantically running around.
Approach Life Using The Law of Detachment
By approaching life from a detached point of view, the events that are occurring won’t affect you emotionally because you are viewing it from a subjective point of view. By viewing events from a subjective point of view, you can easily break down the problem and solve it logically instead of getting emotional about it and making it all about you.
So does this mean that you should not go after the things you want?
What the law of detachment is trying to say is that you still go after what it is you want but don’t be so attached to the outcome because it may change and be aware that uncertainty should be a factor in your calculations.
I started applying the law of detachment in my life and I’ve noticed that it’s reduced my stress levels significantly. I used to go through so much anxiety and panic every time something doesn’t go my way (which it always does whenever you go after something).
These days, I’m no longer so attached to getting everything perfect and completed. I’m expecting change and as I’m executing my projects, I saw change happening all the time which confirms my anticipation.
So if you’re finding yourself being depressed because of your outcomes, I highly recommend for you to practice the art of detachment. It takes time to practice this law but it’s highly worth it.