Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

I naturally get very invested in projects – at home, at work, or otherwise. They feel so important that I begin to identify with them. I can get bitterly disappointed and resentful when they don’t go my way.

So I tell myself I need to get more distance. Ultimately none of these things are truly important. It’s just my ego wanting to control the world. So I detach myself from the work – so much so that I become disinterested and unattuned to what is needed.

I have to continually remind myself: it can’t be an either/or. It’s a both/and. The practice is remaining invested in the work while remembering that it’s ultimately insignificant. It’s holding myself in that middle distance between identification and detachment.

It’s from that place that I am most free to do my best work.

Peter Schulte is the founder and editor of Kindling. Peter is also Senior Digital Engagement Associate for the Pacific Institute and the UN Global Compact's CEO Water Mandate, connecting businesses to sustainable water practices. Peter holds a B.S. in Conservation and Resource Studies and a B.A. in Comparative Literature from University of California, Berkeley, and an M.B.A. in Sustainable Systems from Pinchot University. He lives in Bellingham, WA, USA with his wife, son, and cat.

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