Attachment and the Difficulty in Letting Go

I usually leave for home past 6 O’Clock, but today, I had to leave at 3:30 P.M. I had a low moment after battling with attachment to the work I was doing; I had to let go and it was harder than I used to think. My colleague had a similar difficulty two weeks ago and I had laughed it off. Now, I was depressed and all I have done is sleep when I got home till 6 O’Clock.

It’s not just people that we are attached to. Anything good to us can easily become a point of attachment with the effect being similar to what happens when we get attached to people.

Anyway, I had been going through literature for my research work and from the 1,005 best matches for a research question, only 2 met the specific objective. 2 out of 1,005 titles and abstracts I had gone through one-by-one. A reading and evaluation of about 3 weeks yielded only 2 deserving papers. I wouldn’t say that the efforts were futile, but it was a depressing realization. The papers answer my question and I couldn’t have found them save for the rigorous process it took. Most critical is that I had grown attached to some of the papers and it was proving hard to let go of them.

How could I discard a paper giving an accurate determinant of some problems in my country? How could I let go of information that might help me come up with new ideas in the near future? I could feel the value in many of the papers but I didn’t need them for my current mission. Their information was necessary for many world problems and deserved to be read though they can’t afford to be a priority at the moment (the time and current mission are limited by strategic objectives).

This is when it’s hit me that attachment is human nature. We’re not just attached to people because we love them. We’re all attached to many things that are either good for us or good to us. It’s hard to reject or dismiss something that is good, interesting or valuable – no matter what it is. And when we say no or goodbye, it breaks us because we feel like we’re losing something or disappointing the expectations of something/someone deserving. It’s inevitable that we can’t have everything, do everything or be everywhere; our choices bring with them opportunity costs.

Lead your life to reach your goals; live deliberately.

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