Everyone wants to succeed. But many people don’t realise, they are their own biggest obstacle to success. One of the easiest ways to free up time and energy is to learn to let go of the things that don’t matter; so that you can focus on what does.
So, let’s see what that means in practice:
- Work smarter, not harder. 80-hour weeks are not the ticket to success. They’re a recipe for an early grave. Take a step back. Forget money for the moment. What would it take for you to be absolutely brilliant (without peer) at what you do? That’s what you should be doing. Smart people know that excellence always brings money. So, be excellent and stop chasing money and power in the short-term.
- Giving up control. You are not the only person in the world who can do any particular task. If you work in a team or you are in charge of a team; let people do their jobs. You do not need to control every aspect of somebody else’s professional life. Trust them to do what they need to do and focus on doing what you need to do. You both win. They’ll like you more, you’ll get more done.
- Learn to say “no”. No-one can do everything. No-one. So, stop saying “yes” to everything. When somebody asks you to do something. Stop. Think about it. Is this in line with your job role or your future ambitions? If the answer is “no”. Push back. Say, “no”. Give a reason for saying “no” (because studies show people accept “no” when you add “because of XYZ” at the end). Then forget about it. You just made room for the opportunities you do want in your life.
- Get rid of the people who bring you down. If your mom spends all day every day moaning about your life, you have to put up with that under her roof, as a grown adult – you don’t. Nor do you need to listen to that colleague whine for an hour about management. You can also kiss the friend, who has never said a nice word to you, goodbye. We only have so much energy in life. You don’t owe it to anyone. People who drain you but don’t give anything back? Move them further away from you or ideally cut them off entirely.
- Stop seeking approval. You don’t need gold stars or A grades. This is the real world. The only thing that matters is that you know that you are doing a great job and that you are constantly seeking to improve. You can’t spend other people’s approval. You can’t use it to build a home. Stop wasting your time seeking it all the time. When you do something amazing, people will let you know. But it’s unlikely that will be every day and that doesn’t matter.
- Know there’s no perfect moment. Stop delaying decisions or actions until the “perfect moment” arrives. There’s no such thing. If you have time to do something, do it now. Then move on to the next thing. This will immediately make you more productive. It will also lead to less stress when you look at your “things to do” and realise they’re done.
You are not giving up when you let go. You’re not falling, and nobody needs to catch you. Instead, you’re creating space for real growth and opportunity, rather than filling your time with meaningless, energy consuming tasks and tedium.
You can be a superstar. Take a deep breath. Let the world take away your headaches and let go of what you need to let go of.