Letting go–one of the hardest things in life… and possibly what you need the most…
Have you ever noticed that after a week or two off work (maybe between jobs or on vacation), your head gets clearer and you’re more in touch with yourself? You start to rediscover your dreams and desires…
But once you’re back to work, slowly but surely you slip back into mindlessness. You feel out of touch. Confused, distracted, a little panicked…
I think it’s because there’s this silly natural impulse (without which we’d probably be in big trouble) to keep tabs on everything in our lives… make sure we remember this friend, that bill, this idea, that project, this event, that deadline, this plan, that voicemail…
Sure it’s good to be responsible. But we let it get out of hand.
We let our need to be in control take over our life. Suddenly, our real selves are nowhere to be found, and our over-stressed, over-analytical, over-worked, overwhelmed selves are now making our decisions and dictating our moods.
It’s kind of like when your hard drive gets so full of clutter, your computer slows down and you have to delete (“let go of”) a bunch of files. Or, if you’re living in the 21st century and no longer store files on your hard drive–it’s like when your phone has too many apps running and updating and too many pix saved and you realize you need to clean it out and start fresh, before your phone works itself to death.
We all need that time off–that vacation–from all the worries, details, tasks, reminders, meetings, bills, appointments. We all need time off from the STUFF to clear our heads.
Problem is, for some of us, picking up and leaving town for 2 weeks every month just isn’t an option.
So here’s what I’ve been working on. Here’s been my fix.
Just. Let. Go.
Start by letting go of your current task. Why? Because finishing it won’t get you anywhere but to the next task on your infinite list.
Then let go of your worry about that task. Really! You can return that call or write that proposal after an hour or two, and you’ll probably survive.
Then let go of your worry about “all the other things” in the back of your mind.
Then let go of your worry about the things that you can’t remember but you know are there. If they’re vital, they’ll remind you of their existence eventually.
At this point, you should be realizing some of the extent to which you’ve literally gone insane.
Now it’s time to let go of your worry about the state of your own mind.
See, life is never going to be perfect. You’re never going to be done with all your work and your plans. You’re never going to be finished. There will always be more.
So either you MAKE a break for yourself now and then, or you let the hours upon hours, days upon days, and years upon years of non-stop full speed ahead break your spirit and leave you unproductive and unhappy.
The way to stay sane and happy (which we all know is a must for sustainable productivity and high performance) is to LET yourself LET GO of things now and then.
And it’s not just tasks. It’s your mind, too. Your heart.
Your emotions. Your fears and needs. Your stress. Your arguments, inside and out. Your impatience in life.
See, self-awareness is great, but only in moderation.
Every once in a while, we’ve got to LET GO of our worries and just TRUST…
Because if we don’t, we’re killing ourselves…
Like I said–letting go (“trust”) is one of the hardest things you’ll ever do.
But when you do, the peace you’ll feel and the refueling you’ll experience will prove to you that it’s exactly what you’ve needed.
And trust isn’t just for certain special people. I don’t care what you believe about life and the world, about destiny, luck, or calling. Because whether you believe in a god who holds you in his hands, a world in which the fittest survive without help, a unified reality where physical is only a reflection of a spiritual symphony–whether you’re Buddhist, Muslim, Christian, Atheist, Taoist…
Whatever your vision of the world is, there is something to trust. Whether you trust a god, destiny, a mechanism, or yourself, living a life of panic just doesn’t make sense.
In any version of reality, taking time to let go just makes sense. Driving yourself insane with worry and overwhelming responsibility doesn’t make any sense at all.
So whoever you are, if like everyone else on this earth, you struggle with worry, with stress, with the fact that there’s just TOO MUCH going on,
Reality will be reality, and there’s nothing you can do about it. Trust it and live life to the fullest instead. :)
“For peace of mind, we need to resign as general manager of the universe.” – Larry Eisenberg