I never expected my business to take me here... glad I enjoyed this outcome.

I never expected my business to take me here… glad I enjoyed this outcome.

Walter Mitty: When are you going to take it?

Sean O’Connell: Sometimes I don’t. If I like a moment, for me, personally, I don’t like to have the distraction of the camera. I just want to stay in it.

Walter Mitty: Stay in it?

Sean O’Connell: Yeah. Right there. Right here.

Sean, a photographer, had gone to great lengths to find the snow leopard. Walter had gone to great lengths to find Sean, and here they were looking through the lens at the elusive “ghost cat,” and Sean didn’t take the picture. Instead he enjoyed the moment.

If you are a reader of my blog, you are most likely a do-er like me. Doing and doing and doing and doing can catch up with you though, and not in a good way. I hit extreme burnout back in 2009. It took me four years to get my health and business back. Writing from Burnout to Bliss was my way of giving back to all of you do-ers, so you can either find your way back to bliss or avoid burnout altogether.

One habit you may have to compromise on once in a while is attaching yourself to an outcome. We’ve all been guilty of it. You have a goal, you have a plan to achieve that goal, and you stay attached to creating your outcome (the goal) exactly as you planned.

But sometimes, you’ve got to sit back from behind the lens and just appreciate the ghost cat. In other words, un-attach from your outcome. Here are steps for un-attaching:

  1. When you feel your body getting stressed out because you aren’t achieving your outcome the way you’d planned, stop.
  2. Take a look back at what you have achieved.
  3. Evaluate if based on your results, there’s another way to achieve your goal.
  4. If not, do a 5-minute brainstorm, where you continuously write without the pen leaving the paper with the subject: if not (your goal) what else is possible?
  5. Be open to what comes up. Goals have a way of eluding you for a time and when you go in another direction you wind up achieving your goal in a whole new way



  1. Look at where goal-setting is causing you stress.
  2. Where are you holding on to an outcome convinced there is only one way to achieve it?
  3. Take the steps in the possibility exercise above.

Sean did not get the shot, but Walter got a great life lesson. Perhaps that lesson will be passed on to you…

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