Non-attachment vs. detachment

Written by Pam Chambers

Many of my public speaking clients have outcomes in mind before they give their presentations. They want the audience members to be interested and curious. They want them to arrive on time, ready to soak in the information. They want them to avoid distracting behavior.

We would all like that! But some of the gifts of spontaneity, mystery, and healthy suspense are missing when we become “attached” to outcomes.

One of my favorite speakers is Rev. Sky St. John, head of Diamond Head Unity Church. Recently he gave a talk about the difference between attachment and non-attachment. He was careful to not use the word “detachment” because that can connote aloofness and lack of caring.

As public speakers, we would do well to have positive outcomes in mind, yet to practice non-attachment to those outcomes. I am getting better at this. Being attached can lead to disappointment, a feeling of failure, and discouragement. Being non-attcheded leads to awe, amazement, and wonder. Who are we to try to dictate or control what happens when we join with others in an activity called public speaking? Let’s release control and then analyze what we learned by doing so.


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