Outcome Independence, Neediness, and our Mindset
There are many phrases coined for this: Outcome Independence, No Fear of Loss, Wanting without Needing. I am certain everyone mentally knows what it means—"not being emotionally attached to an outcome" or "Just Be Cool" Simple, right? But what does it mean to be outcome independent? Labels: Ideas
For one thing, I want to break down each common phrase separately. Outcome independence literally means that your "Being" (or your "Self") is not affected by any result. "No fear of loss" means that if you were to lose something, or lose the chance of getting what you want, you will not be scared or feel negative emotions. "Wanting without needing" means you can want something and fully invite it into your life, but you do not need it—i.e., your life and emotional state will not be any different without it. Brent (from DYD Advanced) also uses a rather succinct and elusive word "indifference" to encapsulate this concept. At first I was confused by this word, but Brent defines it as "not caring what happens" (not to be confused with "not caring about anything.")
If a person is very outcome independent, they usually seem charismatic and extremely likeable on the outside. On the inside, they are extremely relaxed and enjoying each moment—i.e., not resisting anything.
The opposite has coined phrases as well: neediness, smothering, outcome dependence, fear of loss, and always hungry. Furthermore, there are phrases warning people against this behavior/mindset like: "the hungry don’t get fed" and the "wanting it tax"
Result Mindsets spills into all aspect of social dynamics including dating, dealing with friends, co-workers, bosses, etc. In my own life, I have interacted with many individuals who were Needy and immediately I sensed it. Furthermore, I notice right away when someone is Outcome Independent. I think it is universally true that a person’s Result Mindset (whether it be a Needy Mindset or an Indifferent Mindset) can be felt by anyone. I almost think sensing another’s mindset is an evolved trait. Why? So you can know if that person is trustworthy and safe. If someone is Needy or Smothering, clearly it means they need your "value" (processions, time, energy, etc) and have little or nothing in return. If someone is Outcome Independent, even though they may want something from you, they are offering value to you in some way also—perhaps just sharing an enjoyable conversation. I.e., someone who is Needy instinctively spells Win-Lose; someone who is Outcome Independent spells Win-Win.
In my experience interacting with many different people, a person is always residing on some level of Results Mindset. They are somewhere on the pendulum between Needy and Outcome Independent. I also believe a person’s Mindset can be read intuitively and instantly by any person around him or her (a big part of cold-reading is gauging the persons Mindset and making generalizations about it). The ironic thing is wanting (or needing) to be Outcome Independent is in itself an act of neediness. With that said: How can one develop Outcome Independent without being needy in the process? Why does a needy person not "get fed?" Why is this whole Mindset shit even an "issue"—why don’t humans just accept everyone, no matter how Needy their Mindset is?
To explain, here are the major extremes: One of the most extreme examples of a needy Results Mindset is a murderer or a rapist. A rapist, in the most general sense, needs another person’s value so badly, they will take it by force and even kill for it. The definition of rape implies sexual violation, but it generally means "to seize and take away by force" (www.m-w.com). As humans, our evolution, or "survival of the fittest," makes us move away from pain and move towards pleasure. Clearly, this implies we evolved to, on first instinct, move away from people with a Needy Mindset. Just like how we move away or stay away from black-widow spiders and lions, we move away from needy people who could possibly hurt us, or in some way take our "value." Women especially need to be away from the needy/smothering, as they are most easily a victim. Also, "moving away" does not always imply physically moving—it could also imply "emotionally moving away" or not accepting the person.
On the opposite side of the spectrum is the Outcome Independent folk. Think of Seinfeld or James Bond or Vincent Chase (from Entourage) or Bill Clinton, or any charismatic person you know personally. Did you ever notice those people seem (or act) very independent of the results—it is just in the way they hold their head up. Seinfeld is a go-lucky guy. Vincent Chase is like that too, but without the humor. In fact, Vincent Chase is a perfect example, almost an exaggeration of Outcome Independence. What I find in the presence of an Outcome Independent person is I want to be their friend. I sense a lot of value in them. And, when a charismatic/Outcome Independent person asks things for me, I feel like it is a Win-Win value exchange and I am very open to them.
I read a statistic that a person dressed professionally and with a normal attitude was much more likely to get spare change from a stranger than a bum. Why…? Is it because a bum smells bad or looks ugly? Or is it because we can feel the bum’s Needy mindset versus the other person with his less-needy mindset?
All people, including those who are needy themselves, tend to instinctually move away emotionally or physically from other needy/smothering people. Moreover, they tend to move toward Outcome Independent people. There are exceptions, like compassionate and empathetic folk who will help those who are Needy (again, I say Needy in the Mindset point of view, not necessarily the poor or under-privileged) even if their initial impulse is to move away: prison volunteers, compassionate parents of terrible children, etc. But for the most part, the "Hungry" don’t get Fed! Even though most people are not murders and rapists (i.e., most people are not on the extremes of the Mindset spectrum), Needy people don’t get fed because most other people pull away from them on first impulse.
Is your very first, instinctual impulse, when you see an angry Los Angeles crack-head bum, to help them or to move away? (This is not an extreme question either. This is a daily occurrence in one of the largest cities on Earth.)
So the above paragraphs have all been about the How’s and the Why’s. I answered all my posed questions except the first one: "How can one develop Outcome Independent without being needy in the process?" Put another way, we need to be Outcome Independent in this world to really "get fed" so how do we attain Outcome Independence without being needy for it in the process?
First, it is an entire mindset switch. Being Outcome Independent is NOT about "getting" anything. Nor is it about "wanting" anything. An Outcome Independent person does not want or need to be Outcome Independent. He just "is." So, how does a person shift their mindset?
I am not the expert here*, but here is how I try to shift my needy mindset. It is through the understanding what "needing" is. Needing equals ‘resisting the present moment.’ And, the root of Outcome Independent is: accepting everything within the present moment. The present moment includes the people around you, the thoughts in your own head, your perception of the past and future, the amount of food you are eating, the warmth of your bed, etc. Everything you can sense, perceive or think is ranked on some level of non-resistance to full-resistance. Of course, most people do not care about 99% of the things happening around them: cars passing by, the way their left elbow feels, how much they loved their 10th birthday, etc. The remaining 1% people do care about are usually money related, dating related, career related, and social related. Let’s face it: money, sex, and power really is just 1% of the things going on around us. The world is HUGE—1% is actually a big exaggeration! Money, sex, and power is closer to 0.001% of the world.
So we are already Outcome Independent to 99.999% of the world around us! But, we somehow magnify that remaining 0.001% to extremities. We resist that 0.001%. We have an ideal image of what that 0.001% should be and can’t accept its present state.
Now, let’s talk about Mindsets. A mindset is really nothing more than a habitual way of thinking**. Our habit-of-thinking formed while growing up and it defined how we think today. It could also be genetic; perhaps your recent ancestors were from tribes in which only the most defensive survived, maybe? Of course, "mind over matter", genetics are the habits and temperament we fall into when we give "control" to our mind-tool (mind-tool or brain-tool refers to this post). What I just said is a HUGE topic in spirituality and mediation, but suffice to say that, as humans, we don’t have to identify with our minds. Try this: Become aware of the bottom of your feet. Next, become aware that you are actually aware of your feet.
It is really that simple. The basic, reptilian mind is in all of us and will always need. Our higher sense of consciousness does not have to fall into our genetic mind patterns. This is one of the many beauties of humanity.
With all that said, I believe people have a Needy Mindset because they identify with their ever-needing brain-tool. Also known as stimulus-response junkies. Our reptilian minds will always need some "thing" to continuously re-affirm its survival.
The first step is to be aware of it. Just like how you were aware of your awareness of your foot, you can be aware of your neediness. Note: being aware does NOT imply resisting your Mindset. It means just noticing it in the now moment.
The second step is to change the habit. Change the habit to accepting the now moment, no matter how shitty it is. Remember, the hungry don’t get fed. Staying needy will only keep you needy.
If being Needy implies resisting, then what is the process of resisting? IOW: What is "resisting?" To me, resisting is nothing more than going into your mind and trying to solve some puzzle. "How do I do this? Why did that happen? What do I do now?" The solution to this is become aware that your "Self" is in your inside your mind (as opposed to your "Self" being in the present moment). Put another way: being in your head implies you are being Needy. True: being in your head is good for academics, but it is not where you are meant to be all the time. Again, the brain is your "problem solving" tool. Your mind/brain is not YOU.
Being Outcome Independent, or Wanting without Needing, is the ideal place to be mentally. In Dan Millman’s "Peaceful Warrior" he gives a rather geeky ratio for happiness. "Happiness equals Satisfaction/Desire." (Millman’s Socrates) Put another way, if person A desires very little, say 2 things, but his satisfaction from them is 100 each, then his happiness is "50". However, if person B desire 100 things and his satisfaction is only at 2 for them, then he has almost "0" happiness compared to the first person. Does that make sense?
Outcome independence really means your desire is low. Desire = neediness = desperation. We will always need/desire food, water, warmth, and air. If those things were all we desired and we gained huge satisfaction from them, then our happiness would be HUGE!
So, what is the difference between "wanting without needing" and "desire?" I say, desire is "wanting WITH needing." It is a fine line that I am still contemplating. To want money without needing money. To want women without needing women. To want friends without needing them. To want food without needing food? Bahhh, clearly the fine line rests somewhere between those things.
So far I went over what outcome independence is, what neediness is, how you can tell when you are being needy (it is when you are in your head, resisting something), and the fine-line difference between "wanting without needing" versus "wanting with needing"
I am still on this journey myself. So far, all I can say is catch yourself when being needy. Become aware. Then, when you do, just relax and accept the now moment. Eventually it will become a habit. Do this especially when things are going well—say you just got a raise or got an A+ on an exam. Also do this when seemingly negative things happen to you, like a rejection or a break up. Eventually the new mindset will become a habit.
*I would say my level of mindset is at Conscious Incompetence. This is a phrase in psychology which just means "I am conscious of my neediness—i.e., I notice it whenever I become needy—and I am taking steps to deal with it" This post here is a summation of various sources, realizations, and conversations I have had with friends and mentors. With that said, I am not at the Unconscious Competence level—i.e., the level where I am unaware of my competence, I am competent without having to think about it—but many of my mentors are. The ones who are public and sell products are Stephane, Authentic Man Program, Brent, Ulysses/Chongo (Social Fundamentals), Dante Valentine, 4Five6, and various others. I am still a student in this.
**NOTE: I know I use the terms "mindset" and "mind-tool" and then say things like "you are not your mind/brain" and it can be confusing. What I mean by "mind-tool" is your left, logical mind. It is the part of your brain that conducts inner-dialog. Mindset refers to how your "being" conducts emotions and how your "feelings" flow through your body. Perhaps a better word is "body-set" but that is a weird term. So when I say "you are not your mind" I mean "you are not your left brain. Your left brain is just a tool at your disposal."
As a little epilogue, my buddy Ulysses (from Social Fundamentals) has this to say about outcome independence:
Being indifferent to social outcomes means I am going to go out there and do the best that I can and I am not going to be negatively affected internally if someone acts rudely or poorly towards me. This does not mean that I do not care what happens. I do care what happens when I go out though but I’ve trained myself to rely on my internal value for self-acceptance. I do not need the acceptance of some random stranger to validate my feelings towards myself. This is something that can be achieved by anyone as long as they’re willing to put in the hard work. I’ve built this internal value through years of hard work both internally and externally. Now, I also know that I am still a work in progress and I still have a long way to go but I'm proud of where I've gotten so far considering there was a time in my life where I hated myself so much that I didn't feel like I deserved to live.
The bigger question that often remains unanswered is how?
How does one become indifferent to outcomes and tolerant to social pressure? How does one develop and own the prize mentality? Ameno summed it up nicely in post number 10 on this thread. The thing he mentions that is so true is that in order to become the prize, you need to put the work into it. There is no magic bullet here. It's amazing how many diet books are out there that can teach you how to have the body you want but so fucking few people will actually follow through on these things. So take a look at that post and start doing some of those things within your ability TODAY and you will eventually earn the prize mentality.
Also if you are just starting to go out then I suggest starting small and getting yourself acclimated to the bar environment and being social within that environment. One of the exercises I've given people to get over their outcome dependence and (and their approach anxiety) is to go out to a bar for a series of days and approach groups using what's referred to as a value giving opener (aka a sincere compliment). This usually takes the form of a compliment such as:
"Hey guy's, I wanted to tell you that you all look great tonight. I had to come and introduce myself to you, my name's xoxo (extend your hand to shake theirs and usually they'll reciprocate). Awesome, I just wanted to say hello and wish you guys a good night." Then you eject. You eject no matter what happens. You eject even if they invite you to stay (and they eventually they will once you get congruent with this kind of interaction).
How does this address outcome dependence in terms of seduction? Your only goal in these interactions is to give value. You're not trying to get a number, you're not trying to isolate, you're not trying to do anything but get the group's attention and deliver your gift in a calm and confident manner. Even if they look at you weird, it doesn't matter, your whole goal is to simply deliver this value giving opener and eject eject eject. What this will do is create a positive feedback loop in your mind to where you'll start to expect good reactions from people when you approach them. You'll find that as your expectations of a positive outcome become real in your mind, that these types of reactions from people will become the exception vs. the norm. Too many people are outcome dependent because they are expecting to TAKE something away from a given interaction vs. GIVE something within an interaction. If you give enough good vibes to people, they'll eventually chase you.
Also as far as I'm concerned you cannot lose your outcome dependence overnight anymore than you could bench press 300lbs if you've never lifted before. This is a mindset that takes practice and perseverance. Sure you'll get blown out at first but eventually those blowouts will mean less and less; almost to the point where you never get blown out anymore. Try that on for size next time you hit the bars. Once you have a solid foundation of how to work interactions in bars by giving value, then move on to loftier goals such as number closes, makeouts and SNL's. But remember, you gotta learn how to crawl before you learn how to walk. Hope that helps.