It can be really easy to get caught up in an outcome-oriented mindset. I see it happening to me all the time, even when I'm looking out for it. It shows up in several ways:
The list goes on.... and on... and on....
Unfortunately, being outcome-oriented is one of the fastest ways to take you away from the Present moment. It's also a very quick way to watch negative "what if" thoughts spiral and bring you into negative thinking. Living in an outcome-oriented way creates stress, health problems, relationship problems, and diminishes our happiness.
The reason is that we really can't control the outcome of situations. We like to think we can. But we can't. There's too many possibilities that can get in the way. The best we can do is prepare for some of those more likely possibilities. Even then, we'll still fall way short of the infinite possibilities that can unfold. And many times we allow planning for the future to take us away from the Present moment.
We like to think if we have hopes and dreams, that's a good thing. It sure feels nice. But the mere suggestion of a better future shows us how much we aren't enjoying and appreciating the moment that is right here in front of us. It says "What I have now is not good enough. I live in a mindset of lack and unfulfillment." The other thing is, no matter how great our hopes and dreams might be, reality can never live up to the fantasy. That's because we have an idea of how the future "should" be.
(1) What does this experience have to teach me?
Every moment is an opportunity to learn. This is one reason why dwelling on "what if" scenarios, most of the time, is an endless downward spiral that won't bring you happiness. "What ifs" take you away from learning, and instead suggest that there's a specific way that reality "should" be.
If instead you focus on allowing each experience, each moment, to be your teacher, then the worst-case scenario is that you learn something. And that learning which happens in the Present moment will create a better, more optimal, happier future for yourself.
(2) How might my experience be of benefit to others?
When we're stuck in an expectation / outcome-oriented mindset, we often think primarily about ourselves. We ask, "What will *I* get from this experience?" Or conversely, "What do I stand to lose from this experience?" We forget about our humanity and our interconnectedness.
By forgetting about our interconnectedness, two adverse things happen. First, we reinforce separation and isolation. We're quietly sending a message out to the world that says, "I don't need any help. Nobody does. So just you stick to your business and I'll stick to mine."
I'm sure you can see how negatively that mindset can affect our world. It goes by other names though, like war, rape, violence, financial greed, infidelity... the list goes on.
We don't see it in that way. That's because the ego wants what it wants and will avoid alerting you to those harsh realities. Still, when we forget how our experiences can benefit others, we really are "voting" (consciously or subconsciously) to live in a world of separation, stagnation, and pain. We also lose sight of the fact that just as the moment can teach us, our moments can help teach others.
As I wrote recently to you in my message "What goes around comes around," your experiences have the potential to impact others in a meaningful way. And your experiences have the potential to teach you invaluable wisdom.
When you truly land in that place, what you discover will be nothing short of a miracle. :)
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