Growing up, I loved to sing and perform, and I often did so in choirs and plays at school and in my community. I loved it so much, that I took a chance and auditioned to attend the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts—and I was delighted when they accepted me. I began my sophomore year of high school there, believing the integration of arts with academics would be the best experience of my life.
But I quickly learned that my beliefs were incorrect. While I made good friends, had great experiences, and enjoyed the arts portion of my schooling a great deal, I found myself unchallenged—even bored—in the academic arena. Supported by my parents, I chose academics over the arts, letting go of the opportunity to attend that school and returning to my former high school for the remainder of the year. It was a bittersweet decision for me at 15, but letting go of that opportunity opened the way for other challenges and led to other opportunities. And even though I sometimes wonder, “What if I’d stayed? Where would I be today?” I haven’t ever regretted that decision.
When you come up against a roadblock, change, challenge or disappointment, you really have three options: try to change it, remove yourself from it, or let it go. I know many people who feel that last option is being weak, that letting go is somehow the same as giving up. But letting go can be a powerful action that brings greater peace of mind, and it actually takes a great deal of strength. When you choose to let go—of being right, of resentment or regret, of your own agenda or plans, etc.—and I mean really let go, you are choosing peace of mind. And you can discover a world of possibilities you didn’t know existed.
Not sure where to start when it comes to letting go? I recommend checking out this fantastic list of 40 things you can do to let go for some useful tips.
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