If you have ever played a ball sport—tennis, baseball, or golf—you would know what it takes to hit the ball on the sweet spot. Well, you’ve got to be focused and relaxed. Sounds odd, doesn’t it? Ordinarily, we can either be focused or relaxed; how can you be both? But bringing together these almost paradoxical opposites, in an optimal balance, is what the sweet spot of life is about.
For example, this sweet spot is about finding a balance between success and meaning. On the one hand, if we are single-mindedly chasing success, without connecting to a deeper purpose, we start to lack meaning in our life; on the other, if we are pursuing our passion, but don’t experience sufficient success with it, we easily get frustrated.
It’s the same with our relationships. Being aggressive and always pushing our point of view makes us less lovable, but being submissive and not expressing ourselves results in our needs not being fully met. Instead, attaining a healthy midpoint of being assertive and authentic allows us to build deeper relationships. Likewise, with parenting, loving our children without setting healthy boundaries, spoils them; but, enforcing limits, without unconditional love, suffocates them. In essence, we need to find a fine balance between these opposites.
As I explain in my book, Discovering Your Sweet Spot, the sweet spot is the place where we feel balanced in every way – between, work and family, physical and emotional well-being, mental and spiritual growth, personal progress and supporting others, giving and receiving, and loving and being loved. It is a precious zone where the physical and the spiritual meet.
Consider passion and detachment – one of the most potent pair of paradoxes in our life’s journey. As we passionately engage in various activities – at work or in our relationships or personal interests – we usually get significantly attached to the results and that’s what leads to increased stress in our life. Alternately, if we take a detached or a disinterested approach, it’s not particularly supportive of our moving forward. Creating an equilibrium where we are passionately engaged in what we love, but are reasonably detached from the day-to-day outcomes of our actions is what passionate detachment is about; and that’s one of the keys to discovering our life’s sweet spot.
The principle of passionate detachment has profound implications in our life. It allows us to connect with our profession or vocation with a new sense of purity, where we see our work as the manifestation of our life’s purpose,
without getting caught up in the expectations of specific personal gains.
Practicing passionate detachment also prepares us to unconditionally love our spouse or partner, without any preconceived expectations from them. We nurture our children, not so that they can become idealized version of ourselves, but so they can be secure in being who they are. We become more open to giving, not in the hope of receiving something in return, but because giving is an overflow of our innate goodness.
We find strength equally in building self-belief and trusting the ways of the universe. We passionately take charge of living our dharma, our life’s purpose, while letting go of the external measures of our progress. As we develop greater equanimity towards the varied outcomes of our actions, we discover deeper happiness, peace and fulfillment in our life.
Rajiv Vij is a life coach and works with leaders from business, public service and the social sector, across Asia, to help them discover and fulfil their potential.