Trying to keep every option viable is very costly both mentally and physically. Learning to let go is essential to moving forward
One of the most difficult things for me is to let go. From opportunities to clothes I try to hang on to everything and everyone keeping all my options alive and postponing decision as much as possible.
Studies indicate this phenomenon is quite wide spread. I’ve recently read about a study performed in MIT, I believe, that tested a subject’s ability to let go. The test involved choosing a certain door with others closing with each choice made. I distinctly remember people had a very hard times watching those doors close.
Very much like real life, a closing door simulates letting go of other options and other opportunities. I guess it’s a human instinct of some sort that encourages us to keep our options viable.
Why should we let go at all?
As some of my readers probably remember I’ve recently quit a government job for a private sector company.
During this transition I’ve had to settle for lower pay and rank due to lack of relevant experience with a clear prospect of higher pay and self fulfillment in the foreseeable future.
I’ve clearly made a choice and decided in favor of my new job. However, very recently I received an offer to return to my previous organization with higher, yet not that significant, pay and rank. Suddenly I’ve started rethinking my entire decision.
I’ve enjoyed working at my last job and I only quit because of long-term considerations. Suddenly I’m rethinking everything all over again. I’m having a very hard time closing that door behind me and sticking to my earlier decision.
Letting go of that door in my life is very important if I want to be able to concentrate on my new job and the new challenges that face me. Letting go enables us to focus our energy, efforts and state of mind on what we decided is best.
Keeping our options viable is very expensive. It requires us to maintain old relationships, consider each new decision from many angles and introduces constant deliberation in our daily routines.
The importance of letting go is relevant to all aspects of life
I’m sure most of you have already sympathized with what I’ve already written. If you haven’t already, you’ll probably find something close to heart in the following.
The importance of letting is relevant to all of life’s aspects. We hang on to everything:
1. Opportunities – As I’ve already described we find it very hard to let go of opportunities.
2. Redundant possessions – How many of you still have 10 year old clothes that are either way too small or too large to ever wear. Not to mention raggedy clothes we always intend to “just wear at home”. Which one of you has ever gotten rid of furniture, an old TV set or an old computer that has lost their functionality ages ago? It simply pains to throw them away (recycle them of course).
3. Losing Stocks – In a more finance oriented tone – who of us hasn’t hanged on to a losing stock instead of letting go and re-investing the money in better opportunities?
4. Old relationships – Need I say more?
The cost of trying to keep our options viable
Keeping our options viable is characterized by the following in all aspects of life:
1. High maintenance costs
2. Increased mess and disorder
3. Requires both mental and physical energy
4. Interferes with building the new
I deal with this tendency on a daily basis. It usually works since I’m more of rational person forcing myself to “see the light”. My advice is to do the same or at least understand how much work keeping everything alive requires. What do you think?