Living a Stronger Life through Outcome Independence.
Looking at the above image (a sweet Popsicle) you understand it will eventually end, right? But the real question here is, are you really dependent on this fatality, this end, or you simply say to yourself that worst case scenario you can get another one if you really want to?
This the core message of this post; being fully INDEPENDENT of a specific outcome.
If one thing stands out when I observe humans in my day-to-day profession and life is the continuous vocality of people about certain outcomes and how they must happen. Not only in life, but I see the same thing in movies, magazines and other places.
Last weekend I watched a movie about a workaholic woman unable to let go of her phone and the job & promotion she wanted and expected so much - but to the point of breaking relationships, conversations and adventures... and that made me think I needed to talk about this in one of my next post...
This movie was one more example of mass media continuously pushing the idea that we NEED more things to be happy in life; once you have this or that, then you’ll be happy or content. Ads are some of the worst, they go further forcing the concept that you’re even missing a piece of your life if you don’t get this next thing, you won’t be beautiful, smart, etc.
Now don’t get me wrong, I do live my life based on certain outcomes, but the main difference I see between myself and others is that my decisions aren’t fully based on certain outcomes, but decisions can be influenced, modified and so on if a certain outcome happens or falls and so on.
So adjusting our tactics and strategies based on outcomes is fine and not a bad idea per se. But in time, when unrealized outcomes start to add up, they can become a big problem, an emotional ball, we lose our cool, control and ultimately make worst decisions going forward as they’ll eventually get to us.
So we need to free ourselves of this mentality and start focusing on potential solutions, plans. Dependence of certain outcomes intrinsically makes us potential victims, it just makes us weak. I’ll go further and add that without even knowing it, it creates a potential thought of failure beforehand and creates a possible rejection path before we even go further with a project.
We’ve all been through similar situations...
- What if I don’t get that client or job?
- What if somebody hears about this or that?
- What if my client doesn’t like the presentation, the demo, the product?
- What if I don’t do my numbers this month?
- What if my mortgage doesn’t get approved?
- What if the kids don’t get accepted to this school?
Behind all of these apparently simple questions you find outcome DEPENDENCE. It simply means that often people are totally dependent on a single or certain outcome. There’s nothing else in their mind. The danger of this approach is that in time and without even knowing it, you’re adding pressure to an already challenging life. On top of that you start putting general effort into something that hasn’t even happened...
At this point, the subtle negative aspects start coming to light. You’re so dependent on a potential outcome that you’re using valuable energy, brain power, thought processes and many other things to support your dependence.
Well, it’s time to stop doing that.
STOP putting yourself in these situations being dependent on certain outcomes and instead, start focusing and maximizing on additional options and other possibilities in your life. Put effort on your work to succeed and keep your mind fresh.
In your mind you need to start changing those questions, rephrase them and take control of what you’re trying to accomplish. Let’s see what a few could or should look like...
I want this client, but I’m also working on X, Y and Z. What can I do to get more or even better ones?
That would be a great job, but what other possibilities do I have that could even be better? Who can I call to get a meeting here or there?
If they hear about this... I’ll just have to own it, face the consequence, apologize and move on. Whom can I talk to in case this happens?
This is a sweet presentation that other clients loved, so I’ll give it my best and worst case scenario I’ll adjust my pitch. I can also go freestyle, but whatever happens; I own the subject.
Sometimes, these are only subtle changes, but you should get the idea.
The idea here is being independent of outcomes. Suddenly instead of focusing on problems, potential rejection , lost or anything similar, you start thinking about solution, options, tactics, strategies. With such small changes, you’ll your mind starts going into more creative ways, additional possibilities and that’s a good thing, that’s what you want!
As much as I can, I’ve been living my life through outcome independence. It has nothing to do with being non-emotional, or cold or anything like that, but only that I never prioritize my life based on a single event, and I always try to find different angles, contacts and options.
I want a new contract, I think it would be good for me and my professional life? I call a person I know and I book a meeting. As I’m doing that, I never become dependent on the outcome. I simply see something interesting or think about it then I act on the possibility. And if it doesn’t work out, then all is good because I have other possibilities.
One very important step in driving this approach is also to never expect things to go sour before making move. People usually wait for things to hit the wall before making a change or looking for something different; stop.
There is no better time to look for something else but when everything is going well. You should always control the potential outcome and put yourself in a position of power.
The best example is changing jobs. Do you want to be that person that waits to get fired or moved aside before looking for work? Or you want to be the person that starts looking when you're hitting all of your numbers and projects?
Let me ask you this... is a professional baseball player more valuable when he plays well or when he’s been in a slump for the past months?
Think about it and here are a few quick tips for you to working towards outcome independence.
Never be in a position where you only have one option. Yeah for certain athletes or a Super-Bowl game there isn’t a bunch of possible opportunities, but for most of us it’s really that simple.
Always work on backup plans, talk with people, meet new clients, make changes, additions and anything necessary that is able to support you during a possible change or move.
Stop focusing on outcome dependence as it makes you look weak. Trust me on this one, I’ve been there before. When all of your cards are on in a single deal, people can feel it. They get that feeling you’re desperate and needy. So working to be independent of an outcome makes you more valuable, stronger and less eager to please.
If you feel you usually find yourself in these situations or scenarios (dependence), stop what you’re doing and reflect for a moment. Try to put your emotions on the side for a minute and actually reflect on what you’re trying to achieve. Simple questions like, “do I really need this”, “will this really make a difference in my life”, “will I impact anyone with such a change”, “what goal am I reaching here” and so on.
Finally, another great tip is just going for many... Remember my abundance post? Be strategic, have a plan and come up with solutions that enable you to create more than one possibility. This sounds similar to #1 but it’s not. This is about working to touch more than one thing at time with ideally a single swing when possible. Want a new job? Send your resume to 5 different places and stop focusing so much on one element.
I hope I’ve been able to give you a glimpse of outcome independence as this is certainly one of my go-to concepts in life. For business and life, I’ve always strived to be able to work something out of nothing, and many out of one.
I remain to the best of my abilities open to new opportunities at all time. Remember my never refuse a meeting post on Instagram? You see how all these things fall into place with time.
My idea isn’t unique, but it’s structured uniquely. Strategy isn’t so much about understanding our weaknesses but more about working with our strengths and our capacity to building stronger life with all of them. If you only take one of your strengths it’s good, but imagine if you’re able to combine more than one into a super strength? Now that’s great.
Outcome Independence is very easy to spot around offices and friends, and once you start looking for it, most of the time you’ll find people that have success.