Can you let go?         

Ask any six-year-old their age and they will tell you, “Six and a half,” or “Almost seven.” That sums up a deep human desire. From young, every person wants to be more than they currently are. To be more, they want to know more, grow more and have more.

All of life’s activities are the result of this desire for more. We get a good education so that we can get a good job so that we can be paid more so that we can have more. Criminals commit crime so that they can get more.

This universal quality in people has been the reason for all the technological and other discoveries we have experienced in the world that have made life more comfortable, safer and more enjoyable.

We are therefore socialised to think that we must always get as much as we can and, once we’ve got something, keep it.

A different view …

But there’s a profound truth that says that it’s in letting go that we actually get what we really want. Instead of looking at what you can grab and hold onto, therefore, look at what you should be letting go in your life.

It’s almost contradictory to our nature to want to let go of things but, in order to find genuine and lasting success and fulfilment, we have to learn to do so.

For a start, how many people need to learn to let go of a bad relationship? Instead of hanging onto that relationship and putting up with the abuse, exploitation and so on, if one can learn to let go of it, one will gain freedom and dignity and self-respect.

How many people need to learn to let go of a dead-end job or a job where they are not appreciated or are not growing or are not challenged and stimulated? Letting go of such a job doesn’t mean, however, that you resign on a whim before you’ve found another job.

Not attached to the outcome

When you let go of something, you are actually applying the Law of Detachment. This law refers to the fact that we must not attach ourselves to the outcome of our desires. We must certainly have clear goals and clear plans as to how we are going to achieve those goals and we need to take clear steps to achieve the goals … but we must not attach ourselves to the outcome of those goals.

You see, when you attach yourself to any desired outcome, you worry about whether it’s going to happen or not. And that is what stresses you out. It’s your attachment to the outcome of your goals that makes you stress. When you get to a point where you can let go of the outcome, you conquer stress and worry.

Maybe you need to let go of unhappy memories that you have carried around for decades. Let them go. Carrying them with you will not make you happier. They will just contribute to the baggage you carry. I’ve dealt with hundreds of people who carry baggage and I can assure you that not one of them has been happy. Carrying baggage will not make you happy, so let go of it.

Let go of the things you hold against yourself – forgive yourself and let them go. You will never be able to forgive others until you’ve learnt to forgive yourself. On the flip side of that coin, once you’ve learnt to forgive yourself, it’s easy to forgive others.

Some people need to let go of the control they try to exert over others. The only person you have control over is yourself. You might have felt in control of your children when they were young but, as they grew up, you had the feeling that you had lost control of them. Maybe it’s time to let go of the need to feel in control of your adult children. When you let go of them, you will get them back.

Make space for the better alternative

And that is the secret to letting go. When we learn that letting go of things brings more and better into our lives, we will become comfortable with letting go.

Look at your life both in the physical and the non-physical realms. Start by letting go of some of the physical things you have been holding on to – like the junk in your garage or the spare room. Start clearing out the physical things that you need to let go and that will open the way for you to start letting go of things in the unseen world. Don’t underestimate the power of letting go things that can’t be seen, touched, tasted, heard or smelt.

As you let go, you will become a lighter being in more ways than one. No-one was meant to walk through life with weights around their ankles.

Alan Hosking is the publisher of HR Future magazine,, @HRFuturemag, and assists executives to prevent, reverse and delay ageing, and achieve self-mastery.

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