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Letting Things Go

Letting Things Go
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More than a year ago, I decided to spend more time writing to share some of the ideas I’ve developed over the years. Imagining how I could do it and setting my plans in place was fun. So much fun I forgot the most basic rule of planning: It’s not what you plan to do that comes first, it’s what you’re willing to give up to make time and space to do it.

As I plunged ahead in the excitement, I realized little of it would ever happen. The reason was simple: I had no time or energy available. As the head of a business, most of my time was spoken for. I had people who depended on me, clients who expected service, and I needed to pay attention to everything from marketing to finances and computer services.

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What I did to solve my difficulty was retire. I gave up my job to pursue my dream. I’m not suggesting this is the only way, or the right way. For most people, it won’t even be an option. I only mention it to show that moving forward always means leaving something behind; often something you don’t much want to let go.

I frequently meet people who tell me they are on the edge of some great endeavor. Yet they never get started, because they’re waiting: waiting to finish something they’re involved in; waiting to feel sufficiently secure to take the risk; waiting until their children are grown, or their spouse doesn’t need to travel so much; waiting for enough savings to hold onto; waiting for the right time.

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There isn’t a right time. There’s now, there’s sometime, and there’s never. Any time you start to think about starting, there will inevitably be something in your way: something important you don’t want to give up . It’s human to want to have it all: the exciting job; being a terrific parent; becoming a leading light in the community; and writing the Great American/Australian/British/Canadian Novel at the same time. Get a grip, my friend. It’s not possible. Choices will make always require you to leave other options behind, probably for ever.

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A good part of the skill of living is the willingness to let things go without regret. Choose what seems best, acknowledge what you may have to give up to obtain it, and get on with your life. Don’t look back. Not now, not ever. Banish thoughts about what might have been. It wasn’t. Besides, whatevr you imagine would have happened is virtually certain to be wrong. People usually believe the roads they didn’t take would have been better than the ones they did. It’s just as likely those roads would have been far worse; or more or less the same.

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Above all, don’t join in the national pastime of synchronized whining about the difficulties preventing you from doing what you really want. Either get on with it, if you truly want to, paying the price it demands and enjoying whatever you achieve; or shut up and accept you aren’t willing to pay, so you can’t have the goods. You cannot have it all. Get used to it.

Adrian Savage is an English author and retired business executive who lives in Tucson, Arizona. You can read his thoughts most days at Slow Leadership, the site for anyone who wants to bring back the taste, zest and satisfaction to leadership; and at The Coyote Within.

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Last Updated on July 12, 2021

Lifehack Reviews: 50 Best Life Hacks for Your Life

Lifehack Reviews: 50 Best Life Hacks for Your Life
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Do you want to be as productive as many of us, but missed a lot of actions at lifehack.org during the year? We’ve selected the best 50 life hacks, based on their popularity and contents in different categories. Invest your time – read them. Bookmark this page and mark reading them as one of your new year resolutions.

Communication, Writing, Studying

  1. My Best Presentation Tricks
  2. The Business Card Game
  3. Persuasive Writing for Students, Webmasters, Bloggers, and Everyone Else
  4. 7 tips of handling your Emails without feeling overwhelmed
  5. Writing as a Form of Self Healing
  6. Advice for students: Writing by hand
  7. Yes, But Do People Like You?
  8. Writing – Just do it!
  9. A good place to study
  10. Blog your way through Writer’s Block
  11. 14 Tips for Communicating Ideas

Productivity, Creativity, Motivation

  1. 9 Top Secrets of Naturally Born Organizers
  2. Fight The Flab!
  3. More Fight The Flab!
  4. Limit Creativity, Get Innovation
  5. Precious Moments
  6. 5 Ways to Improve Your Productivity in the Office
  7. A Geek’s Best Lifehack
  8. What Kind of Paranoid Are You?
  9. Being A Creative
  10. There’s No Time!
  11. The Mysteries Behind Motivation and How To Manipulate Them
  12. Time Management: Handling Disruptions in Daily Schedules
  13. Productivity Hack: Write Mini Process Flows
  14. Design an Online Workflow

Management, Self-Management, Entrepreneurship

  1. Bare Bones Project Hacks
  2. The 10 Beliefs of Great Managers
  3. The Simplest Path to Success
  4. Letting Things Go
  5. Closet Entrepreneur
  6. Time To Discard The Portmanteau
  7. 5 Important Keys to Bootstrap Your Entrepreneurship
  8. The Most Underutilized Tool for Effective Communication
  9. Everyday Performance Reviews
  10. Meetings, @&!!$*@ Meetings!
  11. What Are You Worried About?
  12. How to Ruin Your Career In Five Easy Steps

Procrastination, Goal Settings, Life

  1. 9 Steps to Define your Goal Destination and Devise a Plan to Get There
  2. Pro-Active Steps to Prevent Procrastination
  3. Improve Your Life By Following A Schedule
  4. The Causes of Procrastination And How To Conquer Them
  5. How To Make Resolutions You’ll Keep
  6. Literal Life Hack: Cut your window of time in half
  7. New Year’s Resolutions and Deficit Thinking
  8. 6 Sleep Tips
  9. Risks versus Rewards Worksheet
  10. 5 Tips for Getting Out of Debt (and Why)
  11. Deep Breathing: A Great Health Trick
  12. 8 Expenses to Cut and How
  13. Desk-side Fitness

Are there any lifehacks that you’ve learned over the past year?

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Featured photo credit: Rainier Ridao via unsplash.com

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