Just Let Go

I have been watching Iron Chief America lately.  After getting sixty minutes of frantic cooking by a main

chief and his team of assistances, the ever present clock ticks down with a final countdown of three, two,

one.  The buzzer goes off and the call goes out… that’s it, put it down and walk away.  The same thing is

being used in another show on the food network call Chopped hosted by the same guy that is on Iron

Chief America.  At the end of the prescribed period the bell goes off and he says, put it down and walk

away…just walk away.  I like that finality and the complete disconnection that is required and hopefully

occurs in that situation.  There is something interesting about the ability to be completely involved in and

focused on something one moment and then disconnected from it the next.  It is hard to let go.

To me it is like being in school and taking a test.  Test taking is one of the most important pieces of your

educational experience.  The results of which could make or break your final grade and determine the out

come of the rest of your life.  After what seems like hours of grueling effort and mind numbing questions

you come to the end of the section and you notice time is running out the auditor calls out a warning and

now the pressure is on.  You begin to sweat, you stress, your eyes constantly race to the round clock at

the back of the room distracting you even further and slowing you down.  Four questions left, three

questions left, you think I’m not going to make it two questions and a quick look to the clock again one

question left and as you finish reading it and take a quick look at the answers the auditor says times up

pencils down.  You scratch b on the answer sheet.  She repeats pencil down.  You dropped your pencil as

she repeats the call two or three more times because everyone is trying to get in that one last answer.  It

could make the difference between pass or fail.  Success or summer school.  You lean back in your chair

exhausted looking around thinking I did it.  You’re so distracted you almost miss the call to pass your

papers to the side and then the pencil and the test booklets.  You’re a bit jittery.  Depending how well you

prepared or how well you think you did your mind begins to run over the potential results and the

questions you had a hard time with rethinking your answers and double thinking the questions.  You can’t

just let it go and move on.

It doesn’t change as you get older and move into the working world.  If anything it gets harder.  A job, a

project, a task… are the basis of your life.  They equate to success and failure.  They will result in a nice

new car and a happy wife and children, or a broken van down by the river that you call home.  You spend

more time at work dealing with the details and the intricacies of your job then you do playing golf or

watching TV or getting to know your family.  For most, the job becomes their primary identifier.  I am a

lawyer, I am an engineer, I am a mechanic, and I am a teacher.  Not, I teach. This is why it is so hard to

disconnect at the end of the day.  The job follows you home.  This is why it is worse when the job ends,

even if you are transitioning to a new company or just a new position with the same company.  There is a

tendency to want to get that one last question in; to score that final answer on the paper.  It has to do with

our hopes and plans.  We want to see all of our hopes and plans fulfilled and no matter how good it was or

how much better it might be were we are going.  We are left with a sense of incompleteness.  It does not

matter if you answered 97 questions on the test you pine over those last three.  I could have completed

it… I could have been perfect.  It is ridiculous but true.  Here is the truth… it does not matter.  If you failed

then you failed let it go and move on.  If you succeeded great.  It’s done.  Move on.  You need to get to the

point that you can be intense and involved and then turn it off like water from a facet.  Put your pencils

down and just walk away.      

The Point:

It is difficult to let go of anything that you feel you have a stake in… notice I said you feel you have a stake

in not that you actually have a stack in it.  There are more things that people feel a part of then they

actually have any control or rights to.

The Lesson to Learn:

In order to save yourself grief and to prevent yourself from making poor decisions you need to learn and

train yourself to let go of the things in your life that are not important.  There is nothing wrong with having

preferences or attachments to things but if those connections hinder you from making clear and timely

decisions you are better off without them.

The Brutal Truth:
You can’t take it with you so don’t hold on to it.  Just let go.