#26 – Learning to let go

I’ve been struggling with this idea of letting go, surrendering.

The message that I see get played out over and over again is you must work hard, grind away with laser focus 24/7 if you want to achieve success.

When I look at people who lives I want to emulate, professionally speaking and sometimes personally is this idea of they got to where they are through countless hours of hard work.

The concept of both working hard and letting go befuddles me.I don’t know how to do both. I either work hard or I don’t.There is no middle ground.

When you have OCD it is binary It is either or. You are either working or your not. They say life is in the middle, in the gray. It is not black or white. With OCD you only see black or white. Either that or your color blind.

I worry that if I start to surrender, let go, I will start down a very slippery slope. I will use it as an excuse to not work hard. When faced with the idea of putting in one more hour of work I will tell myself, you don’t have to do that, take it easy, it is time to just let it go.

If I’m surrendering, I’m not working and if I’m not working, if I’m not achieving, if I’m not achieveing I’m just a lazy worthless hippie.

Quick question. Is there such a a thing as a lazy worthwhile hippie?

How do I distinguish between when I’ve worked enough and have “earned” the right to let go and when I’ve not?

Is it after 8 hours of work? Is it Saturday after 1pm or Friday’s at 5?

When is enough enough. I want someone to tell me exactly how hard I need to work to “make it.” How can anytime I’m not working, not be viewed as a complete waste when the gap, as I mentioned in an early post between where my life is and where I thought it would be is the size of the Grand Canyon.

The only way to close the gap is to work or when I’m not working to feel horribly guilty about the fact I’m not working. Because as we all know the only way to accomplish anything is to both work and worry. Worry is the solution to any problem, right?

It feeling almost impossible lately for me to sit and just enjoy being with my son. Of course I feel guilty that I’m ignoring my wife as well but I feel more responsible for being present in his life right now.


Look at me I’m viewing the relationships with my wife and son as either or. It is not fucking binary it can be both. I can both be present to my son and my wife.

OCD seems only black and white, not gray.

These past few weeks it has been hard for me to think about anything other than what is on my to do list, because my window of opportunity to seize life by the balls and make something of myself is running out.

Maybe for right now I need to focus on the work I need to do? That may mean I spend a little less time with my son, but I could make up for it by being totally present with him when we are together. Right now on paper I’m spending lots of time with him, but my mind is somewhere else for most of it.

When I’m working I’m feeling guilty I’m not with my family, but when I’m with them I’m feeling like I should be working. Time is running out remember?

People all the time have to sacrifice time with their kids because they have got to do work that puts food on the table and a roof over their heads. Since what I’m working on right now does not do either of those I feel it does not justify a couple late nights or weekends in the office.

It is the whole idea of short term pain for long term gain.

My approach so far has robbed me of being totally present to both my work and family. It is a loose loose.

Ultimately the best thing for my family is for me to give it everything I’ve got to build the life I want, because if I don’t I will always regret it and never be the best version of a father or husband I know I can be.

I’m going to play with this idea of making my work just as important as if it were bringing in money. If I had to work 70 hours a week to put food on the table for a short period of time I would not be beating my self up. I may also get a lot better at surrendering as a result.

So for now I need to let myself off the hook. The work I am doing is important. It is important to me and it is important for my family. Is it bringing in money right now? No, but that is not how building a business works.

It is about short term pain for long term gain.

Let’s see if my reshaping the conversation in my head around why and how I work makes a difference. I’m agreeing not to beat myself up when I’m choosing to work, but I also have to agree when I’m choosing family time, I surrender what ever it is I’m working on so I can be totally in the moment.

I’m I totally on board with this idea of letting go? Maybe not. But at least it holds the possibility of win win, where doing it the way certainly does not.


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