The Great Big Let Go – Robert Holden

To be happy, you have to be open. This is a big challenge, because the nature of personal psychology is to help your ego feel contained, secure, and in charge. An ego achieves its sense of identity by closing down options, by restricting choices, and by making up your mind about things. If you want to be even happier than your ego is right now, you have to be willing to be even more open than your ego is comfortable with. Happiness cannot be contained within your ego’s comfort zone. Happiness is a great big let go. Happiness is giving up your ego. In practical terms, this means being willing to let go of plans.

Perhaps your plan for happiness has not worked because there is a better plan waiting for you.

There is an old saying, “If you want to make God laugh, tell Her your plans.” Making plans and sticking to plans can be very productive and rewarding. Planning is a great discipline that can help to create successful outcomes. That said, life does not always go according to plan. You may have a plan for your life, but life may also have a plan for you. This is not always such a bad thing. For example, I find that most people agree with the statements “I am glad that not all of my plans have worked out” and “Some of the best things in my life were not part of my plan.”

Everybody makes plans, but not every plan works. Just because your plan for happiness does not succeed, it does not mean that happiness is impossible. Your plan is simply not the plan. Perhaps your plan for happiness has not worked because there is a better plan waiting for you. Maybe there really is a better way. And anyway, who ever said that happiness needs a plan? When coaching people, I find that a common cause of unhappiness is holding on to an old plan for happiness that is too limited, too small, too future-focused, and not imaginative enough. To be happy, you have to be willing to let go of your plans for something better.


Robert Holden, Ph.D., is the author of Happiness Now and Be Happy. He will be appearing live at I CAN DO IT! in Sydney and Melbourne. For more information and tickets CLICK HERE.

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Comments
One Response to “The Great Big Let Go – Robert Holden”
  1. One of the things we can always count on is life’s curvesballs and they tend to fill us with a sense of pressure, failure or dread. I love how you put it: “You may have a plan for your life, but life may also have a plan for you.” To me, it gives light to the unpredictable gifts that life bestows upon us.
    PS. Big fan of Happiness Now – what a fantastic read!
    http://sandybucholtz.wordpress.com

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