How do you stay in the now while pursuing a massive mission?
How do you stay happy and avoid anxiety throughout this journey?
How can you stay true to yourself and continue to walk your authentic path in a world filled with people and things trying to pull you in so many different directions?
And how do you stay enthused and motivated in all aspects of life when you face those inevitable obstacles?
By letting go of the fruit
In other words, you let go of your attachment to the result. You go after what you want without the results affecting your happiness.
Letting go of the fruit invites you to do the work because you love the work…Because the work is so important, that you would do it even if you knew you were going to fail.
Yes, this goes against everything society tells us. This goes against our conditioning.
But this isn’t new. This concept goes back thousands of years and is used by some of the most influential people in history.
The Ultimate Example of Letting Go of the Fruit
Mahatma Gandhi may be the ultimate example of letting go of the fruit. Although he was fighting a life long battle to gain equality for his fellow Indians (first in South Africa then in India), he maintained that he was filled with pure bliss every day. And if he failed in his mission, he would still be happy because he was living a virtuous life and doing the right thing. His mission was authentic and important, and he knew that. This is why the pursuit of it was enough for him. He didn’t attach his happiness or his self worth to the attainment of the goal. He was filled with bliss in the now, knowing he was following his Dharma (or authentic path).
The ironic thing is, the people that let go of the fruit are usually the ones that make the greatest impact in this world. When many of Gandhi’s followers were discouraged by years of setbacks, Gandhi maintained his path and his bliss. He was able to rally his followers and continue on through the years of hardship, abuse, and incarceration. If his happiness and self-worth were attached to the end results, he may have quit years before he was finally able to gain freedom for his people.
The Bhagavad Gita, an ancient Indian Spirituality text which Gandhi refers to many times in his autobiography, explains this concept in detail.
“You have the right to work, but for the work’s sake only. You have no right to the fruits of work. Desire for the fruits of work must never be your motive in working. Never give way to laziness, either.
Perform every action with your heart fixed on the Supreme Lord. Renounce attachment to the fruits. Be even-tempered in success and failure: for it is this evenness of temper which is meant by yoga.
Work done with anxiety about results is far inferior to work done without such anxiety, in the calm of self-surrender. Seek refuge in the knowledge of Brahma. They who work selfishly for results are miserable.”
Vishen Lakhiani, author of the Code to the Extraordinary Mind sums it up another way, “Your happiness should not be attached to the result of your goals.”
Letting go of the fruit isn’t just about being happy in the now. It’s about reflecting on what is actually important to you. What is so important, that it is worth pursuing no matter what.
“What would you do if you know you WOULD fail”
Once you reflect and answer that question, letting go of the fruit gives you the courage to walk that very path and pursue that mission/purpose.
Letting go of the fruit is a focusing concept, in that it challenges you to walk your authentic path. It helps you avoid straying from the path.
You see this concept being put to use with artists, who perform their art purely for the joy of creating their art. Because they love it. Nothing more.
And it doesn’t have to be saved for important missions, business pursuits, or artists.
The concept of Letting go of the Fruit can be used in everyday life as well.
An Everyday Example of Letting Go of the Fruit
I’ve been doing calisthenics training for about 16 weeks (5 days a week). And I have been loving it.
Today was the first day I saw regression in any of my workouts.
I was working on a planche and couldn’t do a progression (exercise) that I easily hit last week.
I started to get frustrated and started to feel the negative spiral, “I must not be eating enough, I must be losing strength, I must not be getting enough sleep, maybe I hit my ceiling… etc.”
I felt my positivity and excitedness starting to fade as I started to get more and more frustrated.
Then I remembered the quote from the Bhagavad Gita,
“You have the right to work, but for the work’s sake only. You have no right to the fruits of work.”
I realized that I am entitled to the work, but not the results.
After that realization, I finished the workout strong and (more importantly) carried the positivity into my day. To me working out is a celebration of my body. A reminder to be grateful that I am healthy enough to push my body and be active. It’s self-love.
This was just another friendly reminder of how powerful the concept of letting go of the fruit is, and how freeing it can be.
The concept of “letting go of the fruit” or not being attached to results frees us from the boundaries our society created.
It invites us to be happy all of the time. Not just when we satisfy some condition. (More on conditional happiness here)
It challenges us to walk our authentic path and ask the hard question, “What would we do if we knew we would fail.”
It empowers us to live our best life, a life of meaning and passion.
Are you attached to the results of your actions?
Where can you let go of the fruit?
What is your authentic path?
Want help finding your authentic path?
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