It’s the thorns you overcome to pluck the rose that makes the rose so special. Letting go is difficult for humans because it is heart wrenching to look back at the humongous investment we’ve made already in the prospect that we are now contemplating to let go.
Whether at work, in personal life, or an inner conflict, we are often caught in the battle of deciding when to let go & when to keep holding on. People, prospects, projects, relationships, goals, dreams, memories, habits etc. often cross the thin line between fuelling our lives with meaning & purpose and ripping our soul apart. I have come across various philosophical texts explaining this predicament and have seen various manners in which people deal with it. However, it was a delight when I found an explanation for this complication in Economics. The Economists’ purview of this perplexing concept lies in the adage ‘sunk costs are sunk’. It implies that what you’ve already invested (money, energy, time, emotions etc.) shouldn’t influence you while gauging what is best for you at this very moment & in the future.
Now, this is easier said than done. The more we invest in something the more attached we get to it. With time, the attachment can often distort our reality and we may fail to see the current state of ‘what is’ and obsess over the image that we hold of ‘what was’. This image fuels our hope of changing things back to normal or at least closer to our desired state. Sometimes it works, most times it doesn’t. 🙂
The reason is simple. However, instead of exploring the depths of reason, how about I give you a way to finally set your mind to let go?
Here is what I have derived at, as the ultimate flowchart to decide when it is time for you to let go:

Let Go or Hold On Flowchart

Many may reckon letting go and losing to be akin. To those, I would say that the real loss in life is getting stuck with unyielding investments and losing yourself & your precious time & energy in the process. Evolutionary biologists coined the term, “Concorde Fallacy,” as a metaphor for when animals or humans defend an investment – a policy, business, or nest – when that defense costs more than abandonment and an alternative. Many economies, political parties, and start-ups have fallen prey to sticking on to what was not working for them only because they had invested too much already – a concept called ‘Escalation of Commitment’. Four centuries before Concorde, in Part One of “Henry IV,” Shakespeare’s Falstaff expressed it this way: “The better part of valor is discretion.” 🙂
I’ll let you in a little secret. Letting go can heal you and resolve the troublesome situations in just the perfect harmony of time & lessons. As they say, what’s meant to be, stays. So quit holding on to things that need to be let loose!
When we let go, we learn a heavenly lot about ourselves, about life & about others. The process is a test of time and an art of surrender. In my experience, letting go of things as minute as unpleasant memories & dissatisfying behaviour has made significant improvements in my state of being. After all, if you are to conquer mountains, you better not carry the undesirable baggage. ❤
So please don’t give undue importance to the thorns that you bore while plucking the rose & don’t let the rose do more damage to you than good.