Advertising
Advertising

Letting Things Go

Letting Things Go

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

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.

Advertising

More by this author

Overcoming The Pain Of A Breakup: 3 Suggestions Based On Science Quit Your Job If You Don’t Like It, No Matter What What Highly Successful People Do Every Day To Perform At Their Best How to Plan Your Life Goals and Actually Achieve Them in 7 Simple Steps Seven Budget-Friendly Things to do in San Juan, Puerto Rico

Trending in Uncategorized

1 How to Become an Early Riser and Stay Energetic Throughout the Day 2 Lifehack Challenge: Become An Early Riser In 5 Days 3 How to Write a Personal Mission Statement to Ensure Peak Productivity 4 How Setting Personal Goals Makes You a Greater Achiever 5 Book summary: A Technique for Producing Ideas

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on December 30, 2018

How to Become an Early Riser and Stay Energetic Throughout the Day

How to Become an Early Riser and Stay Energetic Throughout the Day

This article is the 2nd in the 6-part series, Lifehack Challenge: Become An Early Riser In 5 Days.

If you’d like to become an early riser, there are some things you should know before you run off to set your oft-ignored alarm clock.

So how to become an early riser?

Advertising

Here are five tips I’ve discovered to be most helpful in making the transition from erratic sleeper to early morning wizard:

1. Choose to get up before you go to sleep

You’re not very good at making decisions when you’ve just woken up. You were in the middle of a dream in which [insert celebrity crush of choice here] is serving you breakfast in bed only to be rudely awakened by the harsh tones of your alarm clock. You’re frustrated, angry, confused, and surprised. This is not the time to be making decisions about whether or not you should stay in bed! And yet, most of us leave the first decision of our day to be made in a blur of partial wakefulness.

No more! If you want to be a consistently early riser, try making your decision to rise at a specific time before you go to sleep the night before. This frees you from making the decision in the morning when you’ve just woken up. Instead of making a decision, you have only to follow through on your decision from the night before. Easier said than done? Of course. But only for the first few times. Eventually your need for raw willpower to get out of bed will diminish and you’ll be the proud parent of a new habit!

Advertising

Steve Pavlina suggests you practice getting out of bed during the day[1] to get a few of the “practice sessions” out of the way without the early morning fog in your head.

2. Have a plan for your extra time

Let’s say you’ve actually made it out of bed 2 hours before you normally would. Now what? What are you going to do with all this time you’ve discovered in your day? If you don’t have something planned to do with your extra time, you risk falling for the temptation of a “morning nap” that wipes out all the work you put into getting up.

What to do? Before you go to bed, make a quick note of what you’d like to get done during your extra hours the following day. Do you have a book to write, paper to read, or garage to clean? Make a plan for your early hours and you’ll do more than protect yourself from backsliding into bed. You’ll get things done and those results will fuel your desire to build rising early into a habit!

Advertising

3. Make rising early a social activity

While there’s obvious value in joining a Lifehack Challenge in order to get you started as an early riser, your internet buddies just don’t have enough pull to make your new habit stick in the long term. The same cannot be said for the people you spend time with as part of your early morning routine.

Sure, you could choose to read blogs for two hours every morning. But wouldn’t it be great to join an early breakfast club, running group, or play chess in the park at 5am? The more people you get involved in making your new habit a daily part of your life, the easier it’ll be to succeed.

4. Don’t use an alarm that makes you angry

If we’re all wired differently, why do we all insist on torturing ourselves with the same sort of alarm each morning? I spent years trying to wake up before my alarm went off so I wouldn’t have to hear it. I got pretty good, too. Then I started using a cellphone as my alarm clock and quickly realized that different ring tones irritated me less but worked just as well to wake me up. I now use the ring tone alarm as a back up for my bedside lamp plugged in to a timer.

Advertising

When the bright light doesn’t work, the cellphone picks up the slack and I wake up on time. The lesson learned? Experiment a bit and see what works best for you. Light, sound, smells, temperature, or even some contraption that dumps water on you might be more pleasant than your old alarm clock. Give something new a try!

5. Get your blood flowing right after waking

If you don’t have a neighbor you can pick fights with at 5am you’ll have to settle with a more mundane exercise. It doesn’t take much to get your blood flowing and chase the sleep from your head. Just pick something you don’t mind doing and go through the motions until your heart rate is up. Jumping rope, push-ups, crunches, or a few minutes of yoga are typically enough to do the trick. (Just don’t do anything your doctor hasn’t approved.)

If you live in a beautiful part of the world like me, you might want to use a bit of your early morning to go for a walk and enjoy the beauty of the world around you. If you have a coffee shop open within walking distance, dragging yourself out of bed for a cup of coffee to savor on your walk home as the world wakes around you is a wonderful experience. Try it!

More Resources for an Energetic Morning

Featured photo credit: Frank Vex via unsplash.com

Reference

Read Next