Sometimes the easiest way to solve a problem is to stop participating in the problem. Sometimes the smartest choice is giving up.
I don’t think that giving up should be your primary method for dealing with problems. But there are certainly a lot of cases where it just seems to be the most intelligent answer.
The more I stop trying to force things to happen, the more they just seem to sort themselves out. The more I let things happen, the less time I spend trying to make them happen.
Giving up is really about honoring your feelings. It’s about giving up trying to force yourself into a mold of societal shoulds and embracing your true self.
So here’s an invitation to…
- Give up trying to be cool.
- Give up your golden handcuffs.
- Give up wanting to be a famous musician, artist, architect, thinker, writer, whatever-it-is. Maybe it’s smarter to make your purpose to have an impact, instead.
- Give up wanting to be different for the sake of being unique.
- Give up trying to be perfect.
- Give up keeping relationships with people you don’t really like.
- Give up trying to be the center of attention.
- Give up trying to be important. (Focusing on community is usually more fulfilling.)
- Give up achieving a lot of ego-driven goals.
- Give up trying to be super-focused. Sometimes the most compelling ideas come from the most messy, unexpected sources.
- Give up trying to be indie.
- Give up trying to popular.
- Give up caring about owning a lot of cool things, which keep you distracted from acknowledging that you don’t like what you’re doing with your life.
- Give up trying to have a perfectly organized workspace and a zero inbox.
With that said, there are a lot of ways we think we’re doing good, but we’re really not.
Counter-intuitive to what you think, it might make more sense to…
- Give up trying to be super happy all the time. Instead, settle for being peaceful.
- Give up needing a reason to share your love. Being alive is reason enough.
- Give up trying to be everything to everyone.
- Give up trying to fit the mold of your race, astrological sign, job title, religious group, political party or other erroneous associations.
- Give up caring about being the smartest, best and fastest. At least don’t let your ego get caught up in it.
- Give up caring about “being a man” or “being a woman.” Or doing what is expected of your gender.
- Give up sacrificing your life for an expensive degree that makes you feel important.
- Give up trying to be ultra productive, especially if productivity is making you miserable.
- Give up caring about having a respectable job, a respectable resume, and a respectable life. Replace following a template, with freestyling life.
- Give up trying to constantly improve yourself. Sometimes too much self improvement can cause you to lose sight of the present.
- Give up caring about doing what works.
- Give up thinking you don’t have the time or skills to make your dreams a reality.
- Give up caring about knowing everything in advance before you take action. Put yourself on auto-response instead.
- Give up trying to always find interesting experiences and interesting things to do. Alternatively, be interesting and be interested.
- Give up trying to live up to the expectation of your parents, your friends, your boss, and peers.
- Give up trying to live up to the expectation of… yourself.
- Give up trying to have a flawless body, perfect face, or an impeccable wardrobe. Care more about beautifying your mind and being a person who takes beautiful actions.
Trying to make things happen all the time creates a lot of unnecessary anxiety. It’s stressful trying to deny what is.
When I give up, I accept life as it is. No strings attached. No wishing things were different. If an action needs to be taken, I take it. But I’ve given up letting my happiness be dependent on a thing.
Most of these problems only exist within our minds. They’re not real physical problems; they’re simply psychic, imagined obstacles.
It’s interesting how we seem to have so many problems, so many dilemmas. But most of the time the answer to solving them is doing nothing. Giving up.
So, what do you think? Has giving up ever helped you win?