Letting Go and Looking Forward

Monday, December 19 2016

letgoIt’s ok to feel frightened or uncomfortable about the future. It’s ok to be uncertain about how your life will unfold.  It’s only natural. Although most business owners are loath to talk about it, we’ve all felt it.

One of the tenets of Zen is letting go. Letting go of fear, anger, frustration, and possessions. But that’s hard for typical entrepreneurs who have worked years to build a business through good times and bad. The idea of selling your business often seems like the end of an era, just a step away from old age and death.

That’s the elephant in the room. The fear we don’t want to discuss. The worry that as we get older we might become more forgetful, less resilient, less tolerant, but not less stubborn. We don’t know what we’re going to do with all the time on our hands. A seventy-year-old entrepreneur I met recently summed up what many of us have felt, “Typical retirement activities don’t appeal to me. I’d rather be working.”

That’s where Zen and mindfulness comes in. Letting go. Being in the moment. Not reliving the past or worrying about the future.  Easier said than done. Here are some suggestions:

  • Let go of your beliefs about how things should be rather than how they are. Acceptance of reality is a good start.
  • Let go of your need to be in control. While you can learn to control yourself, you can’t control everyone or everything else.
  • Let go of your need to work. Relearn how to have fun outside of your business.
  • Let go of your fears or worry about the future. Unless they move you to take action, they are a waste of energy and sap your spirit.
  • Let go of your need to be wealthier. You probably have more than you need to live comfortably; more money won’t make you happier.
  • Let go of regrets. If you wish you had done something differently, either do it now or let it go. The past is over.
  • Let go of pride. It gets in the way of common sense. Humility pays bigger dividends.
  • Let go of possessions. Share your good fortune with others.

This is a good time to be more mindful about your life. Make 2017 your year to be more intentional.