Chapter 7.3 Detachment


“To be consistently effective, you must put a certain distance between yourself and what happens on the golf course.  This is not indifference, it’s detachment.”
Sam Snead (1912-2002)     Golf Professional

I would love to reach a stage of being less re-active, being able to detach myself from an immediate response based on emotion.  It would be great to see what is going on in a particular situation and direct it to solution, instead of participating in low-level verbal wrestling.

My personal example of coolness and detachment was Al Pacino, as Michael Corleone in Godfather II. All around him, people would plead their case, rat on another, woo him, and give information.  Michael would just listen … and analyze … and contemplate.  He would not belittle them, he would not argue with them, he would barely say a thing. He would determine whether he thought they were genuine, and whether they may be able to help him later. No emotion, just listening.

When confronted in an argument, I still succumb to emotion.  I want to be able to listen, be rational, be thoughtful … I want to be cool, together, wise, open to another person’s perspective.  Instead, most often, I will enter the fray, twist the truth to defend my side, and not give many inches from my stance.

“The arousing of prejudice, pity, anger, and similar emotions has nothing to do with the essential facts, but is merely a personal appeal to the man who is judging the case.”
Aristotle (384-322 BC)     Ancient Greek Philosopher

I would like to put up that protective shield, ward off the energy-theft, and change the discussion to middle-ground, where ideas are shared and considered.  Or at the least, I would like to be able to change the subject effectively, to step up to a higher plane and to be above the emotion of the situation.

Detachment is also a good trick in warding off the constant drone of Complainers … you can only absorb so much of what is wrong in their life, their work, their politics. Always be aware how easily it is to be dragged down with them and detach … raise the shield, keep your energy protected and healthy.

“One of the highest places you can get to is to be independent of the good opinions of other people.”
Dr. Wayne Dyer     Self-help Author and Speaker

It is unfortunate, but we must also try to find some detachment from those who are over-complimentary. You know, words from those people we all like to hear  … the people who shower us with glistening flattery to gain our favor by greasing our egos.  How do we know if the little compliment is truly a positive energy packet or if Negativity is hiding inside a Trojan horse?  It is so easy to believe what they are saying … because we can easily accept that we really are as good as they say.

“A compliment is something like a kiss through a veil.”
Victor Hugo (1802-1885)      French Dramatist

We have to maintain our focus. Remember … “I am average, I am average, I am average.” I guess we have to treat this flattery like we do many e-mails:  accept the positive energy, but be wary of any links or attachments.  The more we get to know people, the easier they will be to read.  The bottom line is that our gut probably knows what is right, but our ego loves the spotlight.  Really true compliments are heart-felt and carry no hooks.

“The happiness of life is made up of minute fractions – the little, soon forgotten charities of a kiss or a smile, a kind look or heartfelt compliment.”
Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834)     English Poet

Detachment, then, controls the highs and lows of your emotions. Stand back and understand just how relevant or important something is in the big picture before reacting. Maintain a measured distance from the emotional energy.  Hear and see what is really happening. Detach, analyze, and consider the options.

“Those who are attuned to Truth, remain balanced and detached forever.”
Sri Guru Granth    Holy Scripture of the Sikhs


4 Responses to “Chapter 7.3 Detachment”

  1. Pismo Painter Says:

    Perhaps we all wish to be “cool” and detached; reality is we need more tools and a lot of practice to achieve unemotional response. Can’t wait for the next chapter.

  2. Son in Law D'light Says:

    Speaking from my own experience (the only way I know how to speak) I think listening is the ultimate gift of humanity. I know for a fact that I have been at my absolute best at moments of pure listening. The intricacies of sound, music, nature, and the human voice will be a source of constant joy for all of the days of my life.

    And just for the record, I think we all secretly want to be the Godfather.

  3. alpinerainn Says:

    I have so much trouble with this one. I have developed the habit (consciously) of trusting my heart and letting it lead. The good news is…I have also developed a powerful empathy. Bad news is…I have very thin skin, and almost everything penetrates my emotional field immediately. I am trying to embrace detachment. It does not come naturally. :/

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