Eugen Herrigel, the author of a 1948 classic, Zen in the Art of Archery, offers a thought of dis-identification from the outcome of one’s performance:

“The archer ceases to be conscious of himself as the one who is engaged in hitting the bull’s-eye that confronts him.”


The Arrow is the Extension of your Arm.

The Arm is the Extension of your Body.

The Body is the Extension of your Mind.

Your Mind is the Extension of [the arrow of] your Consciousness.

Generally, however, recognize:

When you release the bowstring of your performance and when the arrow of your behavior hits or misses the target (objective/goal), you are still standing where you were standing, you are still you, regardless of the outcome.

You were there before any given outcome, and you will be there after a given outcome.  But this outcome came out of you.  It would not have happened without you.


You are not the outcome of the outcome; it’s the outcome that is the outcome of you. You are not your performance, you are the one who performs.


I am not the outcome of what I do!  I am not the outcome of my performance!  There is no “I” in the outcome!

[adapted from Lotus Effect]

Related: Aiming Your Mind



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    Last reviewed: 9 Jul 2011

APA Reference
Somov, P. (2011). No “I” in the Outcome. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 30, 2015, from


Select books by Pavel G. Somov, Ph.D.:
Mindful Emotional Eating Reinventing the Meal
Present Perfect
Eating the Moment

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