Systematic Abandonment

We collect habits, items, people that served us in a given moment, but are not serving us now.  Human beings come pretty well designed for Systematic Accumulation, adding more and more plans, projects, dreams to my bucket list.

As we move through life we accumulate dreams, fantasies, projects, stuff.  I often think about what else I would like to add to my life, but rarely think about what to let go.

I joined a private conference with Professor Ernesto Beibe last night.  He spoke about “middle age” and the challenges that a person faces as they enter the period of life called “middle aged”.

His metaphor was that life is like climbing a mountain – but the summit is not death, the summit is middle age.  The idea is that all the way growing up our whole world view was what we had already seen, but as we stand on the summit for the first time in our lives we have a glimpse of what is way down the other side of the mountain – we now know and believe that life is finite, time is finite, resources are finite.

Systematic Abandonment

The challenge we have is to let go of all the dreams, fantasies and projects that we have collected in our walk up the mountain of life and decide which projects will get the focus.

Accepting that I will not achieve some of my dreams is painful.

What do you do to let go of dreams, projects, plans that are no longer realistic to achieve?

I once believed I would play football for Manchester United.  I remember the day that Ryan Giggs took to the field at age 17 and I knew that my dream was never, ever going to happen.  It wasn’t so hard to let it go because football had become less and less important to me as I went from 7 to 17.

Author: Conor Neill

Hi, I’m Conor Neill, an Entrepreneur and Teacher at IESE Business School. I speak about Moving People to Action.

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