“Sometimes you gotta lose [before you] find your destiny.” – Jon Gordon
Ever notice that advice about personal achievement tends to hinge on trying harder?
Study longer for the grade. Call more prospects for the sale… but when we honestly review our life’s accomplishments: Yes, some were the result of gritty persistence. But we can’t ignore that others are the direct result of just letting go.
This is certainly true when I look back on my journey. The best decision I made financially was to fire myself as a stock picker and hire a professional financial planner. The best decision I made spiritually was to surrender and accept the gift of grace. The best decision I made professionally was refusing to micromanage and instead empower my team to run their portion of our business.
Perhaps my greatest lesson about the power of letting go came as a young man in search of love. This story begins before I began dating my wife Beth. Within the span of three years in my early 20s I lost two dear friends in car accidents. These painful losses forced me to be contemplative. It was impossible to ignore the fragility of it all, meaninglessness of the trivial, value of living fully and longing to use my talents for causes bigger than myself.
I realized that I’d been letting selfishness drive my life thus far, particularly in my dating (or lack of dating). I wanted Beth to be my date, girlfriend, wife, even “proof” that I was normal.
But in focusing on my desires for the relationship, I was unable to enjoy who Beth was and the wonderful friendship we had. With my new found clarity, I decided to stop trying to convince her and instead open my heart and love her, even though it wasn’t exactly the way I had planned.
Instead of operating from a place of fear, driven by what I could get, I tried living from a place of love, seeking opportunities for what I could give. [Tweet this]
It was a mighty inflection point. I began to simply enjoy time we spent together. Instead of focusing on my needs, or desires, or goal of dating, the focus shifted to simply loving her and enjoying the moment. No strings attached.
And it was enough.
The change transformed the manner in which I treated her and, in time, the way she felt about me. Months after this shift, while at dinner, she asked me out.
We dated. Married. Have four kids. We’ve had the rollercoaster ride that all relationships endure and enjoy. (On my most recent Live Inspired podcast episode, I interviewed Jon Gordon bestselling author of The Energy Bus and a dozen other books. He shared something that sparked this blog topic: “Sometimes you gotta lose [before you] find your destiny.” It’s an awesome truth that we unpack more during the podcast. Check it out here.)
My friends, a great paradox of life is that in letting go of the desire to not lose, you win; that in releasing the need to never be wrong, you’re right; and that in pouring yourself completely into others for their benefit, love comes back to you in ways more beautiful than you could imagine.
Real success and fulfillment are often found in surrendering to the gifts found in the moment.
Don’t hold on so tight that you miss them.
This is your day. Live Inspired.
This article was originally published on #1 National Bestselling Author of ON FIRE and Inspirational Speaker John O’Leary’s Monday Motivation blog. John inspires the R.L. Thomas Service, Inc. and we’re honored to share his inspiration with you! Get his Monday Motivation in your inbox here and enjoy his daily inspiration on Facebook, Twitter & YouTube.
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