(as of Jul 31,2021 12:07:36 UTC – Details)
To do this, the author writes, we need a certain amount of commitment. But it is commitment to the most important and natural thing we can do as human beings, ‘to work on ourselves’. That is what keeps us moving, what keeps us alive.
After all, we are not just some old toy or machine that we put in a dark corner in the attic and then forget about. Just as we don’t stop brushing our teeth tomorrow and say,
“Well, that’s enough right there. From this day forth, tooth hygiene is no longer important to me.”
The first half of the book focusses on the importance of how we see things. What is our attitude toward anything and everything? With examples from his own life the author shows how the choices we make shape us, and that we must learn how to make them consciously.
The essential argument is that by disentangling our own conditioning we can always become free to change our perspective.
We are our own masters. It all depends on what we focus on. If we experience something painful, we can see only the pain, or rage, or anxiety it causes. But if we constantly choose to learn, to overcome adversities, to seek a new lesson, we might grow in wisdom and tolerance. Certainly, we can condition ourselves to maintain a healthier attitude toward life. Depending on how we act and react, we continuously recreate ourselves and determine our future path.
The second half of the book gives a more practical approach on how to tackle life in all its forms and facets. Practicing Martial Arts and Buddhist philosophy throughout his life, the author refers to these as his cornerstones in “Art of Letting Go”. Structuring and mastering his little universe of Kungfu gave him the blueprint to structure the big universe of his life.
The author distinguishes three fields that one should constantly be active in; the body, the mind and the necessities. As humans we must be productive in all three fields to get the most out of life’s lessons.
Happiness and motivation are never a steady state but pleasant side-effects that are more likely to visit us, if we constantly seek to become better versions of ourselves.
“The Art of Letting Go” is based on the Buddhist idea that life is full of attachments. We are attached to a work-life, a lover, a family, parents, material things, spiritual beliefs and of course our own ego. If not correctly reflected, attachments have the potential to control or overpower us. By changing our perspective and being open for fundamental changes, we can create new motivation and free ourselves from unwanted attachments. Old attachments and conditionings hinder us to reach new goals, but they can be overcome if we learn to let go.
“The Art of Letting Go” suggests that by creating temporary solitude we can create awareness of the unnecessary attachments, to appreciate and learn from the necessary ones and to thrive in those that we are passionate about. A lot of our attachments are just illusions that we build around our egos.
Focus on self-development but don’t stress it. Take everything step by step. Don’t fear to fail or stumble. A sloppy beginner is better than someone who never tries. Focus on developing a mindset that is motivated to do work in the Here and Now. By doing so, what we will become in the future needs not worry us but will merely be a pleasant surprise.