You Can Swim

Once again I find myself writing about a Tweetchat. Through these weekly chats I’ve met new people and gained friends. In the post I wrote about Twitter called The Fun of Discovery I mentioned my favorite chats but noted I was new to this and would probably find more. My latest favorite chat is called #inspirechat and it takes place every Thursday at 11am eastern time. Joanne (@JoanneCipressi) is the organizer and facilitator of these wonderful discussions. There is also a Facebook page for InspireChat.Inspirechat

Because there are a lot of people on these chats things can move quickly and you often don’t have time to think about your answers – that’s a good thing. It’s like a stream of consciousness, your unfiltered thoughts are allowed to flow and I’m often surprised by what I write. That’s exactly what happened in this week’s chat.

The topic of the chat was renewing yourself and a subtopic was letting go so you can move on. This is also a common theme in my book What Next. Someone who asks What Next is constantly moving on from one project, one business, one idea to another. They are also adept at letting go. When one idea doesn’t work they move on to the next one. This is often confused with being indecisive or flighty but I think it’s just the opposite. Once a decision is made that something isn’t working you have to let go and move on.

The eighth question asked by Joanne was “Why is it scary to let go sometimes and how can we find the courage to let go?” This is a great question because we all cling to things that we’d be better off without, things like falling stock, relationships, jobs, even businesses that aren’t doing well. I immediately thought of the image of a life preserver. Life PreserverIt’s very scary to admit failure or acknowledge that something isn’t working out as planned. Taking a What Next approach, an optimistic approach, will help you to realize that what some call failure is really a lesson, and the person who learns the lesson is stronger than the person who never tried.

My answer to question eight surprised me and was re-tweeted by several people (an honor among Twitter users). Here’s my response:

My tweet

It’s hard and scary to let go of something you think you need, something that has given you comfort in the past, but you are stronger than you know. You can succeed in spite of what other people tell you, in spite of your insecurities. Let go and take the first stroke and you’ll see that you can stay afloat without any help at all.

What are you holding onto that you think is helping but in reality isn’t allowing you to swim?


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I’m not a religious person but I like to learn from and understand religions. I find the things that make sense, that I like, and I leave the rest. Obviously I’m most familiar with Christian beliefs since I have some experience with them and most my friends and family are Christians.

Two related concepts that are appropriate this time of year are the ideas of renewal and forgiveness. As you look back on 2011 forgive yourself for not doing the things you wanted to do. As you look forward to 2012 renew yourself by setting goals for the coming year.

The idea of Jesus’ crucifixion is that he died for our sins, absolving us of our past transgressions. You can do the same for yourself (without the dying part) by accepting your mistakes while also learning from them. But this wasn’t a onetime thing. The practice of confession in the Catholic Church is another means of renewal much like resolutions each year.

The idea of renewal can be sped up to occur more than once every few thousand years (God’s only son) or once a week (confession) and could be a daily occurrence. I call this my New Day resolution. the song Breathe by U2 captures this idea in the context of religion (Jesus’ death and resurrection or maybe reincarnation): “Every day I die again, and again I’m reborn.”

The notion of reincarnation is also about renewal, rejuvenation. Why wait a whole lifetime when you can become new every day. It was funny that shortly after writing the first draft of this post I saw this tweet from Motivational Tweets:

Buddha Quote

The cliché that every day is a chance at a new life is true if you believe it and if you are willing to try.

Are you?

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