Let Go of the Outcome

By Luke Jones. Connect with him on TwitterFacebook or Instagram.

Let go of the outcome

Image by Heinitz

“We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.”

Joseph Campbell


We live in a world driven by outcomes.

Do your work to get this grade. Go to this meeting, to get this result for the business. Buy this product, to get this feeling. Write this blog post, to get this reaction.

Do action ‘A’, to get outcome ‘B’.

We all fall pray to the trap. We’re trained to from an early age.

We attach ourselves to a desired result. Something we expect to achieve. Sometimes it feels like the weight of the world is on our shoulders. We have to succeed. Our happiness depends on it.

But from my experience, being overly attached to an outcome sets us up for inevitable pain…

I’ve pitched guest posts for other blogs expecting success, and been disappointed when they don’t reply. I’ve gone to martial arts competitions with the aim of winning, and been disappointed when I get my butt kicked. I’ve set big goals, and been disappointed when I haven’t reached them. I’ve gone into meetings to get some specific result, and been disappointed when it doesn’t materialise.

All this disappointment and frustration, just because I was focussed on the results, rather than the journey or the process.

We can only do our best with what we have. We can be clear on our values and the general direction we wish to head. We can control our actions. We can even control how we choose to respond to any given situation. But rarely can we control the outcome.

The outcome is usually completely out of our hands. Just like the rain or the sunshine, or the results of a football game.

Life is so unpredictable and there are no guarantees how any situation will play out, no matter how much we obsess over it. The more we obsess, the more we stress. This reactive behaviour inevitably leads to dis-ease.

And whilst our heads are consumed with our desired outcome, we can easily miss other opportunities gifted to us by the universe. They casually float on by, right underneath our nose. We don’t even acknowledge them, as they’re not on our radar, blocked out by our tunnel vision.

We focus so much energy the particular outcome, we lose contact with authenticity and spontaneity. We try to force things, and try to simplify a journey that is inherently complex. The world is ever-changing, but we resist and try to stay rigid.

We then struggle when things don’t turn out the way we expected. We get stuck. We develop a mental block. We feel lost and uncertain.

I have a proposition…

Instead of fixating on outcomes, why not just do action ‘A’ because you feel like it? Because it resonates with you, regardless of outcome ‘B’?

Let go. Let go of the obsession with results. Of something you need to ‘win’. Of some predetermined outcome. Of some fantasy, a made up story that you tell yourself.

Instead, focus on the journey. Focus on enjoying the present moment, the only moment we have. Focus on being authentic and following your instincts and your passions. On going with the flow. On being dialled in, and ready to detect the signs and new opportunities that come your way.

If you let go of the outcome, you may not get exactly the result you were going for when you enter that meeting, or when you go for that job interview, or set that big goal –  but you may get something even better. Your new path may take you somewhere greater than you could ever imagine.

Letting go is not always easy, but try your best to be mindful and present. Practising being flexible, and accept that the direction of your path can change. Be proactive, and only control the things you can. Outcomes are not one of them.

Stop relying on some unpredictable, external factor for your happiness. Instead be happy from the inside and enjoy your story as it unravels.

Relish in unpredictability, and surrender to the power that’s much greater than us. Call it God, Alla, the Universe, whatever… Feel the weight being lifted off your shoulders.

Be free, let go of the outcome, and allow the chips fall where they will.

And don’t forget to have fun.


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Luke Jones

Luke Jones is a mover, blogger and wellness enthusiast. He spends his time exploring and sharing ideas in mindful movement, healthy living and adventure.

6 Responses to “Let Go of the Outcome

  • There is a saying in Bhagavad Gita, an ancient Hindu scripture, which has a similar saying. Lord Krishna tells Arjun ‘Karam Kar Phal Ki Iccha Na Kar’, which translates to: work, but don’t expect outcomes, and get disappointed when you do not get what you want.

    I personally believe that by letting go, you are able to concentrate better on the work, and grow as an individual. However, sometimes, without targets and expectations, the sense of achievement and the excitement that accompanies with it goes away.

    • Yes I agree – it’s definitely useful on times to have something to aim towards. But yeah, there is such a fine line between setting goals and being overly attached to outcomes.

      Also, I really like that quote – thank you for sharing!

  • I really love this concept. Letting go is so difficult an an art actually. I wrote this post a couple of months about letting go, http://everupward.org/2014/03/06/the-paradox-of-letting-go-5-things-we-continuously-hold-on-to/.

    Thank you for this post! Justine

  • Thank you so much for the follow. May you be bless more abundantly in the name of Jesus Christ.

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