Work - 'Physical or mental effort or activity directed toward the production or accomplishment of something.' The definition itself includes the importance of results when any 'work' is undertaken. The ancient scriptures emphasize that one must not be attached to the results of work. Is this a contradiction? I used to believe it is. Not anymore.
Being result oriented is essential to fulfill my duties in this life. The challenge is in remaining unattached to the results. How does one define attachment then? One of the definitions is 'a connection that fastens things together.' I get tied to the result which then proceeds to tie me to other actions and other results. Wanting to succeed in something is necessary but to allow that result to distract me away from the action itself can lead to failure. Putting my full attention on the process moment by moment is what makes a job successful. Keeping the eye on the ball so to say. As a parent I raised my children to be successful and happy. It is not my place to define their success or their understanding of happiness, though. They could choose to be happy as a pauper or a king - or successful as an entrepreneur or a monk. On the other hand they could be miserable, poor and a bum. None of these results should affect me - from the perspective of the part I played in it. I cannot claim success and I cannot claim failure. It is not mine to claim. The elation I feel seeing them happy comes not from the past but from the present moment. There can be no pride involved in the elation, for then a moment of unhappiness will mean I failed. Every up and down will define my past actions - actions that were perfect in the moment they were performed. What right do I have to belittle them?
The same holds true for anything I have undertaken, am undertaking or will undertake. I must remain in the moment for nothing else is. The past is gone, the future does not exist, all that is lies in this moment. Everything is perfect at this moment - I exist in it, I work in it, I live in it. This present moment is my only gift. I relish it. I bow down to it and live fully in it only.
Karmaphala tyaga. It is possible - very difficult but possible and a definite path to internal peace.