If you are stressed about the outcome of a situation, feeling pain and/or anxiety when you think about obtaining a goal, or generally feel frazzled, overly excited, or drained when you think about the future, the chances are that you are mentally, emotionally, physically and/or spiritually attached to one desire or more, and this is the cause of your suffering.
Attachment to desires, in most cases, requires a much greater investment of energy and time than is required to even fulfill your greatest missions and goals in life, and this attachment can rob you of your peace of mind, productivity, and the enjoyment of your moment-to-moment experience.
This means that you will not only be wasting precious time and energy when your mind is attached to your desires (clinging to getting them, or holding on to getting them in the way that your mind has been seduced into/by them), you will also be creating a space within and around yourself where you will generate unnecessary pain during the process of attaining your desires as well (if you ever pursue or fulfill your desires at all due to contextual conditions or due to being overwhelmed by the suffering caused by your attachment to any given desire in the first place).
When you are attached to your desires, you let your attachment itself take away from the satisfaction of having and fulfilling that said desire (or you become so obsessed with a particular pursuit that you fail to see when not to pursue or fulfill that thing at all if it is not ideal for you to do so due to there being something better for you to receive and/or to create instead). This is because you will worry, obsess, and/or generally spend a great deal of energy and time trying to pursue the thoughts in your mind, and/or reacting to the feelings in your body, that arise from clinging to impressions of, and that are related to, your urges instead of thinking and acting clearly in an actually constructive manner. This internal energy-drain takes away from the efforts that you could spend taking actions to attain what you desire, and takes you further away from your goals.
Instead of focusing useful energy toward a desire for something, or being content with and enjoying the inspiration/existence of any given desire, clinging/attachment to, and grasping for, desires creates unnecessary tensions and anxieties in your mind and body that are not conducive for effective brain functioning and decision making, and this creates persistent suffering (so much so that you may not even enjoy the fulfillment of your desire if you ever attain it).
When distressful tension is present within you, it takes away from the internal resources that you could spend simply making appropriate plans toward the fulfillment of an idea or taking actions from an informed and inspired place towards the fulfillment of a plan. When you cling to desires, you cannot fully benefit from the energizing effect of the presence of inspired internal-calls-to-action, but, instead, feel exhausted by your attachment to either positive or negative expectations, fears, and so forth.
Non-attachment to desire, therefore, is not a mere philosophical, ideological, or spiritual sentiment; it is a practical prescription that frees up more energy for you to effectively achieve your goals, while simultaneously, and ultimately, becoming the greatest versions of yourself (not bound to desires) in the process.
Always remember to remain present in your now moments so that if desires arise for things, people, places, personal accomplishments, and so forth, you most effectively take advantage of the fact that the future is always unfolding from your present place of existence without any effort and you can simply let it unfold into the fulfillment of what is necessary/next (knowing that even though you may be mentally/physically attracted by/to any given thing, you do not ultimately need any of these things to give you anything, nor to fulfill anything within you). You are already whole and complete.
Focus on “what is” and on where you are right now, and on whatever actions are required within your power, right now, to implement in order to achieve your goal (if you must pursue a goal at all), whether it be letting go of a desire altogether if that desire is not ultimately useful, healthy, or moving you in the direction that is best, or whether it is to become unattached to the attainment of the desires that you do choose to pursue (with discernment) by dropping expectations, fear, and/or general clinging.
If you are present with your desires, you can most effectively focus the right amount of energy toward accomplishing them, and, therefore, be most likely to succeed in your fulfillment of them if it is right/best to do so.
Always remember, however, that neither the pursuit, nor attainment (or lack of attainment), of your fulfilled and unfulfilled desires brings you pain, or pleasure, or makes you more or less.
Your attachments to your fulfillment, or lack of fulfillment, of any desire only creates unnecessary disappointment, emotional suffering, guilt, anxiety, excitement, regret and/or any number of other unproductive feelings. This is why, even when pursuing the goal of Self-Realization and Liberation itself (the ultimate aim of your Yoga practice), it is important to remain unattached to the path, the journey, and the outcome of the fulfilment of your desires as well. You are already free/fulfilled; you just need to realize/remember this.
What Does Non-Attachment Mean For Those Who Are Striving For Samadhi or Enlightenment/Self-Realization?
When working toward the fulfillment of your desires and goals, always remember that your journey is just as important as your end result in life. In fact, because your journey is a part of your goal, and self-mastery is one leg in your foundation toward achieving this goal, the journey itself is a tool and an avenue for your ultimate enlightenment. The journey is the “point.”
When you walk your path without attachment, you become single-focused, and you spend your time and energy on the “right” things that get you closer toward your goals as opposed to wasting time on irrelevant concerns, feelings, and pursuits.
Conserving, increasing, fine-tuning, and effectively using your mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual energy is the best way to ensure that you most effectively grow, develop, and accomplish your goals. And the best way to do these things is simply to remain unattached to unnecessary thoughts, words, actions, objects, people, places, desires, and so forth, in the process.