“You have the right to work, but never to the fruit of work. You should never engage in action for the sake of reward, nor should you long for inaction. Perform work in this world, Arjuna, as a man established within himself – without selfish attachments, and alike in success and defeat.”
This passage from the Bhagavad Gita is a beautiful illustration of ishvara pranidhana: surrender to the divine. Put more simply, many of us can recall being entreated by our parents to do our best, and if we had done, then not to worry about success or failure. If everything we do is an offering to the greater whole of the universe, then we aren’t entitled- and should not be attached- to the results of our work. We can then get out of the muck and mire of our small lives, our individual struggles and frustrations, and into the freeing practice of devoting our energies to broader pursuits. If we are free to do our best and let go of what comes after, we can be free from ego and connect to grace.