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Mindful Leadership

Hindrance #1: Do You Experience Attachment?

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Attachment refers to the unrelenting drive to succeed, to acquire, to compete, to control and to the inability to let go. This can apply to market standing, material goods, position, status, and even beliefs. Attachment is a fixation; you become convinced that you’re absolutely correct in your views and desires, no matter what they are, and then you set out to create conditions that will support these views. 

This explains, in part, why people acquire houses that are beyond their means, and yet they don’t consider scaling back or modifying their lifestyle when they find that they can’t pay the mortgage. Attachment causes the house itself to become a part of their identity. Without it, their view of themselves becomes unacceptable, as if the house makes them worthy and enhances their self-esteem and position in the world. The same applies when companies stretch themselves in ways they can not afford. An acquisition may propel the company into greater market share, and maintaining this becomes an end in itself — whatever the price. At times leaders may stay in a position too long. Often this is the result of being attached to the position and/or the associated status.

One way to know if you have an attachment is to ask yourself, “How do I feel if I let go of this?”  And this could be a belief, an opinion or a material good.  The answer to this question can be very revealing.  If you find yourself justifying why you can’t or won’t let go, then you know you are attached. 

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