Nagging Questions

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I have two questions running round and round my mind, and I wanted to take note of them so I don’t forget them.  I’d like to hear others’ thoughts about these questions (which are pretty unrelated, sorry).  I’ll blog about these subjects more completely soon, but I’d like to hear your thoughts.  Yes or no answers won’t be that helpful, even though I realize I’ve posed them that way.

Can you have a goal without being overly attached to the end product?  What are the implications of that?

Can you have firm beliefs without being rigid and defensive about them, and defend them while keeping an open mind and truly listening to others?

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7 comments on “Nagging Questions

  1. Krista says:

    Can you have a goal without being overly attached to the end product? What are the implications of that?

    I haven’t thought tons about this, but my first reaction is yes, but it’s very hard. I think the trick is to recognize and appreciate the things that are gained along the way to the goal, even if you never make it to that particular goal. The only way to make progress, really, is to keep moving forward. Goals help us do that. I think they also help us identify the kind of people we’d like to be and the kind of life we’d like to live. But there are so many things we don’t get to choose, so many ways we must be reactive. When we choose life goals, we might believe we’re choosing a destination, but I think, really, we’re just choosing a path. I think it’s perfectly appropriate, normal and healthy to be disappointed or hurt if we don’t achieve the goals, or don’t achieve them on the timetable we’d have liked, but I think focusing on the value of the path helps to change the level of investment in the goal.

    Can you have firm beliefs without being rigid and defensive about them, and defend them while keeping an open mind and truly listening to others?

    This one, absolutely, yes. But then, I’m a relativist and an agnostic (both in the religious sense, and the world view sense). My opinions and commitments are always based on the information I have available, and my intuition. I know that no matter how firmly resolved I am, no matter how committed I am to one view or another, I will never, ever have all the information. I will never be able to truly step outside my experience to look at the issue from all angles. And so, even if there *is* an objective “right,” I believe it’s impossible to ever know exactly what it is. And so, believing as I do, and being committed to having the most well-informed views possible, it’s impossible NOT to at least try to listen and understand other views. Even if I don’t agree, it serves to reinforce my own view, so there’s always value in it. Plus, connection with people is really, powerfully important to me. I’ve yet to find anybody who agrees with me wholly on everything . . . how can I connect with them if I can’t even listen to them?

  2. morrowsl says:

    Ok, let’s see if I can answer these.
    Can you have a goal without being overly attached to the end product?
    I think “overly” hangs me up here. But the gut response is NO. If you have a goal and aren’t that hung up on the end product, what’s the point of the goal? Which I guess covers the implication.

    Can you have firm beliefs without being rigid and defensive about them, and defend them while keeping an open mind and truly listening to others?
    That one, I feel, depends on the person and the belief. I’ve taken stands in support of my beliefs and come out the other side with a new outlook, when I’ve taken the time to LISTEN to someone who believes differently from me. I’ve also taken stands and been totally unwavering regardless of what I hear. So I guess my answer is yes, to both parts of the question. I’ve been rigid and defensive, usually when I know beyond all doubt that I am in support of a belief completely and with all the information available. And I’ve been willing to be swayed when taking another point of view into consideration and discovering that I might just be wrong.

    I hope that helps…

  3. grammacello says:

    With respect to the first question, someone I respect a lot says she finds this the way to proceed:

    1)Show up.
    2)Pay attention
    3) Speak your truth
    4) and here is the hard one: Don’t be attached to the outcome.

    It is HARD to follow the fourth part, for sure.

    As for your second question, itvis reallyvthe same idea, in a different form, of the first one, is it not?

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