When we do things for their own sake, we engage fully with what we are doing. When we focus on an action itself rather than what we will personally acquire or achieve out of it, it frees our mind to truly enjoy it from inception to completion.

Devoting attention to one’s self is necessary and contains introspective advantages, yet the removal of self from the mind and intentions before activity can lead to proportionally greater awareness and blessed experience.

The reason for this lies in the simple principle of limited human focus. If we are thinking about ourselves and how all our experiences relate to ourselves, well, then the culmination of any moment is limited by our self.

Now, this is our propensity, but it can be resolved by indirect interest. To overcome the limits of self, we must direct ourselves beyond it. In what we do, in how we act, in where we go. For the sake of doing that thing, acting in that manner, and going to that place.

Tests by proficient researchers have revealed that the people who take interest in a thing for its own sake, and care about people for that person’s own sake, while leaving their own self interests out of the equation, live happier and healthier lives. One of the reasons for this is that we are not diverting energy toward ourselves, but freely giving it to enrich the experience. We also are not worrying about what we are getting out of the interaction or relationship. It frees us to learn and pay attention, to be aware and to engage absolutely.

So I would challenge you to think about what your life would look like if you were to follow this pattern of thought, taking less interest in yourself and more in the world around you. I challenge myself as well.

Do it for its own sake, not yours.

 

Published by Benjamin Bellah