Are you prepared to let go of what no longer serves you?
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Geologists estimate that it took anywhere from 6 million to 70 million years for the Grand Canyon to become the wonder that it is today. Can these numbers even truly be fathomed? It literally took millions of years for this Wonder of the World to be endowed with the title “Grand.” Such a large number is truly inspiring, offering us a valid excuse to go easy on ourselves when we don’t at first get the grand outcomes that we’re looking for. After all, how can we expect to accomplish Grand things without investing “Grand” time?
The Grand Canyon also reminds us that Grand accomplishments will always come with Grand growing pains. The Canyon only became Grand after enduring years of constant erosion from the Colorado River, and if not for this perseverance in the face of pain the Canyon would never have been created. And so it is for us, if we too persevere through the promise of pain, as pieces of that which no longer serves us erodes away, we become poised to grow beyond our former station. This “letting go” can be difficult; after all, it is certainly far easier in the short-term to choose the easy way out and keep things as they are. However, to have what we have never had we must be willing to do what we have never done, and this will always require a sacrifice by giving up what we no longer need. In other words, to truly experience the beauty of today you must always remember that “what you don’t have you don’t need it now.”
For the Grand Canyon this sacrifice involved rock and sediment; for you and me, maybe it’s old thought patterns or habits that only serve to hold us back. Perhaps it’s friends, family, or colleagues that are discouraging us from growing, whether intentionally or unintentionally. Maybe it’s an old dream, or a current job. Maybe it’s the feeling of comfort, security, and stability.
Leaving the security of the known for the unknown is simultaneously the scariest notion and the beginning of a fantastic adventure. For those who are no longer content with being “good” but rather wish to become Grand, we’re hungry for something more. We’re not comfortable being comfortable anymore, and to leave that comfort requires giving up what no longer serves us. We’re operating from a higher level of standard. We can be upbeat about losing our former selves because with gratitude we experience joy in stepping into the next chapter of our lives.
Jonas Cain is an educator, facilitator, and coach, working to engage, empower, and encourage leaders and the people they serve to experience joy.