Let go of the old to bring in the new

May 28, 2012

Khaliq and I have recently invested some time into rethinking our development process and there are some old paradigms of thought that we’ve decided to ditch. While we are used to the old way we’ve done things, we both agree we need to stretch into some new stuff. In a sense, it’s easier to see in the programming world that you have to let go of the old to make room for the new.

This got me thinking about other areas of my life, and more specifically, why its harder to see that you have to let go when it’s not in 1s and 0s. I wrote before about why I think we are afraid of change, and perhaps that’s inherent in this conversation, but I often find it difficult to really see beyond whats right in front of me in my personal life until much later after the fact. I’ve always come up with seemingly valid excuses to “hang on” to the old and few compelling reasons to “let go”. This is probably why I have a closet full of clothes I never wear; it’s hard getting rid of the old.

In the Finance world hold on too long and you’ll lose your shirt. Hang on to an ex-girlfriend when it’s over and you’ll never find her replacement. There is even a show called Hoarders about people who can’t let go of their stuff - and if you’ve seen the show you know it’s not healthy.

When we don’t have something, we’re forced to replace it. If it is still there, we may want to replace it, but we don’t have to; so we inevitably put it off. We get stuck in the same spot. What we want and what we have don’t line up. We wonder why we aren’t moving towards where we want to go.

The best make the hard decisions and let go of the old. That gives us room to grow our goals into the new space and ultimately move forward. Without deciding to make that space, we could never have room for the new.

It’s important to note that it is just that; a decision. We decide to let go. It doesn’t just magically happen. If you can’t decide, then you’ll be left in the same spot you’ve always been.

Easier said than done, for sure.

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