“The mechanism of surrender is a tool only. You can use it to remove the obstacles to making a million dollars, or you can use it to remove the obstacles to the development of spiritual awareness.”
I’ve started the goal setting practice outlined in Letting Go.
By no means is it a book “on success”. Rather, it’s a book on how to deal with your emotions. That’s why the chapter about the negative effects of desire seemed a strange place to include a goal setting practice.
Although we are constantly told that wanting something bad enough is the key to its attainment, remember that most people who dispense advice are successful first, probably due to uncounscious processes, and they then backwards-rationalise why they are successful.
So… just because something is said a lot, doesn’t make it true.
For me, simply “wanting something bad enough” hasn’t worked.
The Letting Go process of goal setting is a little different, and very counterintuitive:
- Write down the thing you want in extreme detail.
- Every time you think of it, let go of the desire to have it.
- Keep reminding yourself of it and hold it in mind.
- Holding something in mind makes it more likely to come about.
- Desire blocks its attainment.
The thing you want is already yours for the asking. There’s no such thing as “worthiness”, therefore you are already as worthy as anyone will ever be of anything you can dream of.
The energy of desire tells you otherwise. It tells you it’s not already yours, that in this moment (and the next, and the next, and for as long as you don’t surrender it) the object of your desire is beyond your reach.
Think of the business man who desperately needs a negotiation to go his way. Now think of his opponent who could take it or leave it. Who is more likely to get it?
Think of two young men who both want the same woman. One is desperate for her affection. The other has chosen her and calmly loves her, giving affection without demanding it in return. Which is more likely to win her over (all else being equal)?
It’s not to say it’s bad to want things. If you wanted nothing, then nothing would be on your goal list, after all.
No, it’s the energy of desire that weakens us. It’s the energy of cravingness, neediness, and desperation.
The goals you write down to let go are not things you must want more.
They are things you have chosen.
And if you have chosen them, the only thing left to do is to remove all emotional blockages and resistance to their attainment.