Nothing in life is permanent so even before you have something be ready to let it go. If you can’t let it go then it’s not good for you. It transforms from something that merely exists in your life to something you are either addicted to or obsessed with.
But being emotionally and psychologically ready to let go is only one side of the coin. The other is about how to actually ‘let go.’ I’m reminded of a concept we teach at Colayco Foundation about investing – before you invest you must know your exit strategy: the why and how you would pull out, redeem or cash in your investment.
In life, I realize, the same should apply. Know your exit strategy: why change will be needed and how to effect it, why letting go will be necessary and how to go about it.
Easier said than done – even just the ‘being psychologically and emotionally ready’ for impermanence, letting go and change… is already a tough one.
Below are some points I’ve found useful/practical.
- Start a business endeavor with the end in mind that you will eventually sell it to someone (when it is successful) – this means preparing and maintaining good legal and financial documents.
- It also means, knowing the point at which you will say ‘this business is no longer profitable/feasible.’
Career / Job / Employment: Modern careers are characterized by dynamism – multiple changes in employment and at least one major career shift. Staying in one job for the rest of your life is becoming rare (even among entrepreneurs). Given this, I am reminded of Jim Rohn’s words: Learn to work harder on yourself, than you do on your job. Wherever you are now:
- Figure out what you don’t want if you don’t know what you do want. Don’t wait till you are overwhelmed and frustrated with where you are right now before you speak up or decide to leave your company.
- Work today knowing that you are leaving eventually – Do work well and maintain good relationships with your subordinates, peers, clients and superiors – your reputation and network will go a long way in the long run. Keep your documentation and files organized. Figure out what you don’t want if you don’t know what you do want.
- Milk it dry : knowledge, skills, network, accomplishments…
- Keep your end in mind… and the next step in sight.
- Same as when you are employed…figure out what you don’t want if you don’t know what you do want. Don’t wait till you are overwhelmed and frustrated with your partner before you speak up or decide that it’s time to move on.
- Be the better person always – whether you are the one with the desire and reason to leave (and thus cause hurt in the other person) or the one who was hurt. Or if you happen to be someone who betrayed your lover’s trust then be the better person moving forward.
Originally on Wisdom of a 20-Something – January 11, 2011