By Rachel Williams, NACAC Communications

Baltimore, MD (September 22, 2023) To better take care of yourself as an individual and education professional, learn how to detach from what you can’t control, said purpose coach Jay Shetty at NACAC Conference 2023.

At the second main-stage event of the Baltimore conference, Shetty shared what he learned from spending three years as a monk, which now guides his life’s work as a purpose coach. Shetty is a New York Times best-selling author, host of the #1 health and wellness podcast called “On Purpose,” and has more than 50 million followers on social media, where his videos have been viewed more than 10 billion times.

In a tumultuous time in education, Shetty said learning the art of detaching can help professionals protect their passion for their work.

“Detachment is a big word. Detachment doesn’t mean that you own nothing. Detachment actually means that nothing owns you,” said Shetty. “Real detachment is giving up focus and energy and time on anything that you can’t control. The real thing, the deepest thing that we can control is internal – how we feel about ourselves, how we show up in the world for the people we love and the people around us, and how we show up for our own selves in different situations and different scenarios.”

Shetty compared this to rope burn: The longer you try to hold on to what you can’t control, the more it slips out of your hands and often leaves you burned.

To practice detachment, Shetty shared these tips:

  1. Understand there are different perspectives. Sometimes there is no right or wrong; sometimes, people just see things through different lenses. In an interactive session, Shetty asked the crowd to divide into two groups: extraverts and those who are reserved. From there, the crowd divided again into those who are more people oriented and more task oriented. In the end, there were four groups: those who are extraverted and people oriented, those who are extraverted and task oriented, those who are reserved and people oriented, and those who are reserved and task oriented. Shetty shares more on the different personality types on his website.

“Every day you work with someone in a different group. What happens is we all actually care about the same thing, but through different lenses,” said Shetty, adding that understanding this can help people lower their egos and approach disagreements without taking it personally.

  1. Use gratitude as a tool. It is scientifically proven that when you’re having a thankful thought, it’s impossible to have a worry-filled thought at the same time, said Shetty. Plus, the sender of gratitude feels just as happy as the receiver. For gratitude to have this impact, it has to be expressed. Share your gratitude with others, and make it personal and specific, said Shetty.
  2. Structure your days. Studies show it’s tough to be creative, managerial, and financial in the same day, said Shetty, noting that often we’re running from a creative meeting to a numbers meeting to an organizational meeting. “If you can, structure your days so one day is more about management, one is more about numbers, and one is more about being creative. You’ll save yourself brain power from the stress it takes to shift your brain from one angle to the next,” he said.

Another way is to have “efficient days,” where you knock off items from your to-do list, and “effective days,” where you dedicate your energy to accomplishing one big, meaningful project. “At the end of the day, you can give yourself grace for accomplishing what you set out to do, rather than feeling guilty for not accomplishing everything,” he said.

  1. Take time off from work. Whether it’s a day, a weekend, or a week, “look at your break as part of work, not separate from work,” said Shetty. “You taking a break is going to make you so much sharper, smarter, and faster when you come back to work. Your passion doesn’t diminish because you took a day sabbatical, a weekend sabbatical. It’ll actually get far more invigorated.”