Let’s chat about something called “Dust.” It’s a secret tool I recently learned from Phil Stutz.
Basic context: Remember Apollo, our patron god of philosophy? He was an archer. Like him, we need to have a clear target at which we’re aiming our life force. We’re ALL IN on hitting the next target and, somewhat paradoxically, we’re simultaneously not attached to hitting it.
We focus on choosing our target wisely and on shooting the arrow straight. Then we let go of any attachment to outcomes.
Obviously easier said than done.
This tool helps us master that fully engaged yet non-attached focus. Here it is.
Imagine going to a Hollywood movie premiere. You’re on the red carpet. You make your way to the bright lights where you pose and get your picture taken. Congrats. You’ve made it. Everyone loves you. You’re a star!!
Now, imagine going to an old decrepit house in the middle of nowhere. It’s been abandoned for who knows how long. You make your way up into the attic. It’s covered in inches (!) of dust. Pick up a handful of that dust. And THROW IT ON THE BRIGHT LIGHTS from the prior scene.
Why would we want to use that tool?
Well, one of our greatest challenges is thinking that something outside of us can E V E R make us feel a certain way.
Those bright lights? They symbolize something outside of you that has you hooked, that has you convinced that you need those external bright lights to make you happy.
Throw dust on those lights. Take control. Stand up tall and proud and strong and know that you are the ultimate arbiter of what matters. Nothing outside of you can shake you or disconnect you from the highest within.
When I find myself getting a little too attached to an outcome, I imagine leaning down in that attic, picking up a big handful of dust and throwing it on the object of my attachment.
I literally squeeze my hand around the imaginary dust and then make a throwing motion as I open my hand to release it.
I smile every time I (remember to) do that. It immediately dislodges my attention from the source of attachment. My power is back and focused in this moment astonishingly quickly and easily.
Need to sprinkle some on anything?
Unlock this Optimize +1 (and over 1,000 more) for free!
The Optimize membership used to be $100/year. It’s now free. No credit card required. No strings attached. Just more wisdom in less time.