Let go. This is a concept I'm working on in my life. Letting go. I wanted to win, badly. I was bowling with a bunch of coworkers, and we were on the second game. I stepped left of the middle arrow, aimed my ball just right of the middle pin. My breath was filled with anxiety. I wanted to win. Steps were taken and I swung. Seven pins went down.
I can take down three. On my second bowl, I forced the ball down the lane and missed the pin by an inch. Three pins remained standing, mocking me. Crap! I sat down as my coworkers took their turns. Suddenly, I said fuck it, and decided to just have fun. Turn after turn, I got spares, strikes, and celebrated each small victory. I wasn't even paying attention to my score. As a result of letting go, I'd bowled my best game. Keep in mind that my average score is 100. That day I bowled 186.
One day, as a team building activity, my coworkers came up with a scavenger hunt that took us through an open mall. There were about a dozen things we had to collect, and I wasn't really looking forward to it. However, I took the time to appreciate what I had--health, job, awareness, food, bank account, etc.
Once we started, I wanted to win. So did everyone else. My team of three left in a hurry and started to read the clues to scavenge the items needed. We seemed to find things pretty quickly, as I'm the worst navigator. My other team member, never having been at that mall, seemed know the mall like the back of her hand. She stated she loved malls. Good enough. I hoped we were ahead, hoped the other teams were falling behind.
Then we crossed several teams, indicating they were all ahead of us. I was bummed. In that moment, I let go without knowing I let go. I decided to just have fun. To appreciate the day that my company was paying for us to run around like kids.
As we scavenged and collected, we neared the end of the list. The very last clue urged us to go to the restaurant we were to eat lunch. Our gait turned to a speed walk, turned to skipping, turned to a jog, then we stopped. The restaurant came into view, and our managers were standing there waiting for us. They were not allowed to participate, but to verify what we collected were correct. And we were first. How could this be when we were behind? Several minutes passed, and the other teams dragged themselves to the final station.
I'd let go without knowing.
Throughout my life, I've noticed that when I tried to control the other team by hoping they'd do badly, I would do badly. Only when I focused on what I was doing, caring about what I did, and, most importantly, had fun, I did well. Not only that, but when I celebrated my minor successes, not showboating, my successes increased.
How do you let go?
Focus on what you're doing, have fun, celebrate each success, learn from the failures that are disguised as lessons.