Let It Go, You Don’t Have to Win Every Time [15]

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let it go

Let it go!

You don’t have to be right all the time!

You don’t have to win every fight.

You don’t have to change lanes in front of that car. Many of us tend to be competitive even when there’s no competition, and the results do not matter. Make a decision that you will give in and let go in the case of mundane everyday matters. Letting go is not defeat or losing, you are making a decision to let the other person have it.

You will avoid a lot of stress and frustration.

Try losing arguments

Point out the holes in your argumentation but don’t flip to the opposing argument. Just state your case and point out the holes or the aspects the other side has missed. Lay back and watch the other person fry their brains trying to figure out what you are doing.

If you know for a fact that the average distance to the sun is 92.96 million miles and they say its 149 million miles. Don’t argue with that. Just say you are not sure and have to check your facts.

Avoid being passive aggressive. If you say something like “sure, whatever,” then you simply tell the other person that they are stupid, and you don’t want to deal with it.

let it go Aurelius quote

You shouldn’t give circumstances the power to rouse anger, for they don’t care at all. ~ Marcus Aurelius

Another way to learn from losing arguments is to listen and repeat their position back. Do it in a way that they can say “yeah, that’s right.” Use this technique to overcome radical differences. In some cases, it will move your opponent’s position towards you. In others, you will move closer to them.

Either way, it’s a learning experience.

Defer to others

Let people pass you in lines.

You can do it reactively; when someone cuts the line, you will not make a big deal out of it and let them have their small victory. Or you can be proactive and tell someone “you have only a few items, go first.”

Let that car make the turn even if you have the right of way. Keep in mind that in traffic you have to make sure you don’t block others who have the right of way.

Of course, defer to less protected people in traffic: pedestrians, bicyclists, and yes even those obnoxious people on motorcycles.

You are sitting in the car.

There’s no wind or rain.

No weather at all.

Just let it go.

Let others go before you. Letting others have the first pick will help you slow down and be less worried about the result. You can take it as a random act of kindness to a stranger.

Read next:  Twelve 30-Day Challenges for 2019 [IDEAS]

let it go quotes Lao Tzu

When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be. ~ Lao Tzu

Volunteer to do the thing nobody wants to do

Don’t wait to be the one to draw the shortest straw. Step up and take the job, as a bonus it will build your willpower.

Help cleaning up after social events. If you give someone a ride take them to their doorstep. Don’t avoid the homeless guy, give him something even if you know he’s going to spend it on booze.

Don’t weasel out, do the right thing and help people.


It doesn’t matter that you are right.

For most people apologizing is just explaining why they were right doing what they did.

Don’t do that.

If someone feels wronged, your half-baked combination of apology and explanation won’t do anything to make the situation better.

Suck it up! Apologize!

For real.

If they are upset with you then in their eyes you are to blame. Say that you are sorry about what happened and ask what you can do to fix the situation. You can fight to be right or just focus on fixing the situation.

apology pdfDownload: How to Apologize
Get a step-by-step guide on how to make your apologies more effective.
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let it go quotes Williams

One thing I’ve learned about life is that if you really let go, it’s just a joy ride. ~ Ricky Williams

Give yourself a break

But letting go is not only about other people. You may want to beat your previous results in exercising. Pumping more iron, running more and faster miles. Giving it your all is commendable, but from time to time you have to let go.

If that ripped triathlete passes you on the track, you don’t have to keep up. Or this may relate to your work. If you have set a goal to close 10 deals every week, it may feel like a failure to do less. But give yourself a break every once in a while and take it easy.

Figure out how long you can go full speed. Schedule some downtime after that.

For example, run every day for six days and then take one day off. Or you may work two weeks with maximum load and then take two or three days at 50 percent.

Getting your impulsive reactions under control

I have found that letting it go is a good way to improve your self-control in situations that really matter. There are times when you automatically explode and go into fight mode.

Read next:  28 Ways How to Stop Wasting Time on Low-Value Activities

Not a good thing!

It should be your conscious decision what mode you want to be in. Your lizard brain should not interfere with your plans. Letting it go will help you prepare for situations like this. Practice in the situations where the stakes are low. Low stakes practice will build up your ability to respond when it really matters.

And then, when it matters, you can make a calm decision if you want to let it go or fight for it.

let it go quotes Fromm

Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties. ~ Erich Fromm

Deciding to let it go is not a weakness

Often letting it go is a strength. For example:

  • deferring to others,
  • taking the job nobody else wants to do,
  • apologizing.

It’s a strength, and it will build your character for the future. You can let it go but don’t give up.

Remember that this is a decision and you don’t use that to justify failure. Be honest with yourself, and this will grow you.

I have a daily writing habit. As of today, I have written at least 500 words per day for more than 750 days in a row.

It is unsustainable.

Maybe I will write 10 thousand days in a row. Maybe I will get hit by a car tomorrow and can’t write that day. Build your mental toughness, so you can take whatever comes your way.

When I visited Miami in April 2018, I ran with Raven. He has run every day for more than 15,000 days. There will be a day when you have to break the chain.

Do it on your terms.

As long as it’s your decision and not permanent, it’s a break for you.

running with Raven

Chose your battles

To get results, we must grind daily. Letting go is something you do every now and then. Sometimes you need a break. Or you let others take advantage of the situation, maybe apologize for something you really weren’t responsible for.

You will be a bigger person and feel good about yourself.

Here’s a warning, use your head to decide when it’s a right time to let go. If you are hanging on a cliff by your fingernails, then you might want to give it your all.

Now go out and run your usual distance with the slowest time in a month. Go ahead and lose some arguments.

Image: Letting It Go by Alan Turkus
Image: Snøgropa i Trysil by Skistar Trysil
Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

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Priit Kallas

Founder of FixWillpower.com. I created FixWillpower to help you reach your goals.I have struggled my entire life to be consistent and avoid procrastination. The goal is to have a good life, do the things you love and get your results with minimum effort.FixWillpower website is about how I create motivation and productivity in my life.I write about the tools and techniques, best books, scientific research, and everything else that helps you move faster and stay on track.Minimum effort doesn’t mean slacking off. Minimum effort is about effectiveness and productivity. If there is a way to reach a goal in a shorter time or with less exertion, then you should use that.I will help you be smarter and reach goals faster. About FixWillpower

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