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How To Persevere and When To Let Go

Perseverance and letting go are both positive qualities that we all possess. However, despite their being life-enhancing qualities, these are often complementary and even antagonistic to each other, and need to be employed in sequence, and at the right time, rather than in isolation for us to achieve success, peace and harmony.

'Try, try till you succeed' is something we've all been taught in school. Success is 99 per cent perspiration, and one per cent inspiration, we're told, to highlight the importance of hard work. And work we must, for that is the very nature of life.

Success is determined by a combination of factors. Hard work is only one of them. Besides hard work, we also need talent, inspiration, creativity, luck and destiny. If only hard work would lead to success, we would only have to toil to achieve our goals. While most of us work hard, true success and joy come only to some, while most others have to remain content with whatever they get.

This brings us to the relationship between perseverance and letting go. Perseverance is the quality of sticking to one's job and to one's goals, come what may. Letting go, on the other hand, is exactly the opposite. It consists of putting one's faith and trust in a higher power, whether we call it God or destiny, waiting patiently for results. While these two qualities may seem to be opposites, they are in fact, not so; they are complementary to each other.

Every venture, dream and project needs divine grace for its successful completion. Those who decline to believe in the power of the unknown are likely to continue struggling and will have to depend solely on their own efforts. They could meet with limited success, often hitting roadblocks which seem insurmountable, or which drain away tremendous amounts of time, energy and money. The human mind and the ego are such that giving credit does not come easily. This is not only true where other people are concerned, but our mind and ego often do not even want to acknowledge the Power that runs the universe, day in and day out, without exception. Not wanting to give credit to God, destiny or fate, and wanting to corner all the praise is one reason why people find it difficult to let go and trust.

Hard work and perseverance are absolutely necessary, doubtless. But somewhere along the course, after having exhausted all human possibilities, one must learn to sit back, be detached from the outcome of our efforts, and hand over our endeavours to a higher power. How and when to do this, is purely an intuitive or instinctive phenomenon. When we sincerely let go, not out of laziness, complacency and lethargy, but after having done our very best, it is then that the process of life shifts to another plane, with the unseen hand coming into play. And the power or destiny works in myriad ways. A chance meeting, something overheard or read in the newspapers, the stirring of a memory, a different thought process, sudden release of funds that had dried up — something is likely to happen, which would put our work and project back on track.

When success becomes palpable, it is important to remember and acknowledge and give thanks to existence, without proudly proclaiming that everything was achieved only by our own perseverance.


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