You will find that it is necessary to let some things go, simply for the reason that they are heavy. So let them go… LET GO of them. Tie no weights to your ankles.
“Yesterday afternoon my twin sister called me from her hospital room. She’s been in a coma for almost a year now. Entering the holiday season and New Year with my sister back at my side is a priceless feeling. We actually spent the entire night together, talking and laughing. She’s still weak, of course, but surprisingly coherent.”
That’s the opening paragraph to an email I received this morning from a reader named Amber. It caught my attention for obvious reasons.
Amber then went on to say, “But you know what the really crazy thing is? A month before my sister’s accident, we got in a ridiculous argument and didn’t speak to each other for that entire month. And today, honestly, neither one of us can even remember why we were so darn mad. We were just being stubborn and holding on to the wrong thoughts. I’m so grateful we were able to let it go and get another chance to love each other.”
Wow! Talk about a wake-up call and a great reminder for all of us to LET IT GO.
And since the New Year is just around the corner, which inspires many of us to refocus our energy and attention on the right things, I think it’s a perfect time right now to start letting go of the wrong things. Wouldn’t you agree?
So today, I challenge you to this:
Before the New Year…
- Let go of your temper. – Never do something permanently foolish just because you are temporarily upset.
- Let go of petty grudges. – Life is far too short to be spent nursing bitterness and registering wrongs. If there’s someone in your life who deserves another chance, give it to them. If you need to apologize, do it. Give your story together a happy, new beginning.
- Let go of the idea that everyone has it better than you. – If the grass looks greener on the other side… Stop staring. Stop comparing. Stop complaining and START watering the grass you’re standing on.
- Let go of lingering false beliefs. – Stop from time to time and ask yourself, “Is it true?” It’s funny how we can sometimes wrap our minds around things and fit them into our version of reality. But thinking something does not make it true. Wanting something does not make it real. So watch your thoughts. Be wise. When your identity is not rooted in the truth, it can lead to toxic and lonely places where we seek approval from the wrong things. (Read Loving What Is.)
- Let go of expired ideals. – Growth is painful. Change is painful. But in the end, nothing is as painful as staying stuck somewhere you do not belong.
- Let go of yesterday’s tragedies. – You are not what has happened to you; you are what you choose to become in this moment. Drop the needless burden, take a deep breath and start again. Ultimately, you will know you are on the right track in life when you become disinterested in looking back, and eager to take the next step.
- Let go of your tendency to avoid problems. – You cannot change what you refuse to confront.
- Let go of life’s little annoyances. – Don’t let dumb little things break your happiness. Frustration and stress come from the way you react, not the way things are. Adjust your attitude, and the frustration and stress is gone.
- Let go of assuming other people are more “normal” than you. – The only normal people you know are the ones you don’t know very well. Period.
- Let go acting standoffish and unapproachable. – We all need to learn to be more human. Don’t avoid eye contact. Don’t hide behind gadgets. Smile often. Ask about people’s stories. Listen.
- Let go of the idea that some people are below you. – Even if you’ve worked really hard to get to where you are in life, there’s no such thing as a self-made person. Someone believed, encouraged, and invested in you. Be grateful and be that someone for others too. What goes around eventually comes around. No one has ever made themselves strong in the long run by showing how small someone else is. So don’t be lazy and make assumptions about people. Ask about their story. Then listen. Be humble. Be teachable. Be human. Be a good neighbor.
- Let go of the idea that you are what you physically own. – You are an incredible human being who’s entirely detached from what you have physically acquired in this world. Remember to remain humble. Ultimately, two things define you more than anything else: Your patience when you have very little, and your attitude when you have more than enough.
- Let go of wanting stuff you don’t need. – Don’t think of cost. Think of value. And remember, it’s always easier to find wealth by needing less, instead of making more and more and more. (Read The Total Money Makeover.)
- Let go of seeking happiness from outside yourself. – In life, you have to create your own sunshine. Happiness starts from within. So read something positive every morning and do something positive before you go back to sleep. Keep your focus on all the positive possibilities and opportunities, and you will feel great. Feel great, and you will do great things.
- Let go of wanting to be repaid of every good deed you do. – Don’t worry too much about what’s in it for you. If you’re making a positive contribution to others, there’s always something in it for you. You were born with the ability to change someone’s life. Don’t ever waste it. Be kind. Be present. Be someone who makes a difference.
- Let go of all the little white lies and charades. – How do you build credibility? It’s not rocket science. Be honest. Follow through. Honor your promises. Say sorry when you screw up. Be the type of person you want to meet and spend time with. Be the type of person whose actions, words and values always agree with each other.
- Let go of any hypocrisy. – For instance, don’t pray when it rains if you don’t pray when the sun shines.
- Let go of putting everyone else’s needs in front of your own. – Give as much as you can every day, but don’t allow yourself to be used. Listen to others closely, but don’t lose your own voice.
- Let go of fearing what your intuition is telling you to do. – Fear kills more dreams than failure ever will. So don’t let fear shut you down; let it wake you up. Do one thing every day that scares you. The more that you act on your intuition fearlessly, the more your intuition will serve you. If you genuinely feel something, pay attention.
- Let go of waiting for the stars to align. – Remember, you don’t always need the perfect plan. Sometimes you just need to give it a try, let go, and see what happens. Just do the best you can until you know better. Once you know better, do better.
- Let go of the need to get everything done at once. – Keep going. True purpose has no time limit. True purpose has no deadline. Don’t stress and overwhelm yourself. Just do what you can right now.
- Let go of the “all or nothing” mentality regarding success. – Appreciate the grey area between the extremes of success and failure – the journey, the process, the path – what you’re learning, how you’re helping others learn too, and the growing process you allow yourself to participate in. And above all, never let success get to your head or failure get to your heart.
- Let go of criticizing yourself. – Nobody is inspired by your misery or self-deprecating comments. If you wish to inspire yourself and others, be joyful. Have fun. Love yourself. Forgive yourself. Accept yourself. Be unapologetically YOU.
- Let go of those who say you aren’t attractive enough. – More women worldwide are suffering from anorexia and bulimia than are fighting breast cancer. There are similar statistics for men too. Love yourself the way you are, because you are beautiful just the way you are.
- Let go of changing just to impress people. – Change because it makes you a better person and leads you to a brighter future. Change because you know it’s the right thing to do for YOU.
- Let go of needing everyone to like you. – Everyone doesn’t need to like you, and some people won’t no matter what you do. Try not to take the things these people say about you personally. What they think and say is a reflection of them, not you. (Read The Mastery of Love.)
- Let go of all negative influences. Period. – You can’t expect to feel good if you surround yourself with negativity. Be with those who bring out the best in you, not the stress in you.
- Let go of thinking that giving up the wrong things (and relationships) means failure. – Giving up and moving on are two very different things.
- Let go of the idea that it’s too late to start over and get it right. – Remember, it’s always better to be at the bottom of the ladder you want to climb than the top of the one you don’t.
- Let go of putting things off for one more day. – Stop procrastinating. Stop wishing for it and start working for it. Do what you have to do today so you can do what you truly want to do, and be where you truly want to be, tomorrow.
Sometimes the hardest part isn’t letting go, but rather learning to start over in certain areas of your life. This is a challenge all of us face. If you’re struggling with any of the points above, there is a clear path to the new beginning you seek. Your present habits are simply broken and need to be mended. When you trust a broken set of habits every day, it’s only a matter of time before you feel broken too.
It doesn’t have to be this way though. You can make adjustments starting today that will instantly help you feel better, think more clearly, and live more effectively. That’s why we wrote our book, “1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently.” It’s filled with short, concise tips on how to do just that. Check it out.
The floor is yours…
What’s the #1 thing you need to let go of before the New Year? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts with us.