Let go or be dragged

Let go or be dragged

Jan 16, 2023

Have you ever ended up at an event, or worse yet at a place in your life, and wondered, “How did I drag myself into this one?” Well, I have. In fact, I had done it enough times in my past that I could have been a self-proclaimed Dragged Queen.


Let me give you a golden nugget right up front: In order to soar to your highest potential, to elevate, you must eliminate.


Think about how a hot air balloon launches. Typically, there is a ground crew, or weights of sorts, that hold the basket down until the pilot turns on the gas burner. Once the fire is going, only after that weight or hold is released, can the scientific principle of lift be engaged.  


Over the past 22 years, I’ve ghostwritten for many successful motivational speakers, entrepreneurs, and well-known politicians. Within their stories, a lot of transformation occurred—sometimes up from the pit of hell physically and mentally. They morphed from their frustration, uncertainty, and struggles to a person full of confidence, resolve, and a deep sense of satisfaction.


How did they do it? How did they finally launch?  One motivational speaker coined it beautifully when she said, “You have to let go or be dragged!” 

That reminded me of a parable about South Indian monkeys. In ancient times, village hunters captured these monkeys for food by setting traps consisting of a coconut with a tiny hole cut out—just the size to fit a monkey’s hand in it. Inside that hole, in a hollowed-out space, rice was stashed. The monkey would come along, sniff the rice inside the coconut, stick his hand in, and grab the rice. Well, the hole wasn’t large enough for a balled-up fist full of rice to get out. So, there the monkey remained, so focused on their fight with that coconut that they never saw the hunter come up and capture them.

How many times have we been stuck in a rut or going down a slippery slope because we were so focused on the coconut, the problem? Perhaps because of our ego, we overlooked simply letting go of the rice and pulling our hand out of the hole. So afraid we’re not going to find more rice—even better price—somewhere else, I suppose? Once our fist is opened, not only can we finally reach out for help, but better yet, we can extend a helping hand to someone else. We could then elevate ourselves out of harm’s way. 

I researched the phrase, "Let go or be dragged" and found that it is an ancient proverb that means choose to let go because the alternative means getting dragged through the mud. The proverb originated in Zen Buddhism and is often attributed to a Zen master named Sengai Gibon, who lived in Japan during the 18th century. The proverb encourages individuals to let go of attachments and distractions that hold them back so they can move forward with clarity and purpose. Over the years, the phrase has become a popular expression of the power of surrender and the importance of releasing what no longer serves us.

I believe this powerful phrase captures the essence of the human experience. Life is full of challenges and obstacles we must navigate. Holding on to that which no longer serves us becomes our challenge or obstacle. Whether a toxic relationship, a negative mindset, or a past mistake, it weighs us down and holds us back from reaching our full potential without us even being aware it’s happening. Perhaps people lack the courage and strength it takes to release what no longer serves them because they don't trust in the journey ahead. As a result, they feel life is dragging them somewhere they don't want to go. As another saying goes, "If you don't have your own agenda, you become a part of someone else's agenda."


So today, let’s decree to LET GO!


Let go of fear and intimidation or be dragged down by procrastination or worse yet, avoidance.


There’s a book by Dr. Susan Jeffers entitled, “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway.” That’s great advice. Don’t wait until the fear is gone as that may never happen.


Let go of short-sightedness or be dragged down by every obstacle that stands in the way of completed goals and fulfilled dreams.


As Steve Jobs said, “You’re either moving forward or moving backward; you’re never standing still.” So, as Jobs did, let’s persevere forward and achieve some major dreams!


Let go of unfruitful relationships or be dragged down by setbacks, resentment, misguidance, and a whole heap of other unhealthy stuff. 


As Les Brown says, “If you consider yourself a “10,” yet you find yourself hanging around people who are just 4’s and 5’s, then guess what? You are no longer a 10!”  In other words, if you are surrounded by pigeons, you cannot soar like eagles.

So, if you remember nothing else from all that I’ve just written, remember the golden nugget I shared in the beginning: To elevate, you must eliminate! Today, I’m choosing to eliminate. Sure, eliminating hurts. But think about the alternative, being dragged. That hurts a lot more!