Impermanent is a good thing

“Don’t get too attached…” said a sales manager to me once in reference to a sales rep she thought would not be around for much longer.

Her words continue to echo in my mind since that day eight years ago.  As a strategic job-hopper I tend to not stick around for long at jobs (my all time highest tenure at a job is 18 months, my average is 14 months). Most certainly impermanence is the law of my land.  Even so, contrary to what most think, not getting attached does not make me cold-hearted.  Learning to let go will not make you ice-cold either.  Knowing that things do not last for ever will drive you to make the most of your current situation, to stop taking things for granted.  And that’s a good thing.

Riding the wave of change will make you better able to:

  1. Keep the lessons from each day.  While situations – good and bad – do not last forever, the lessons that they leave in their wake are yours to keep for life – and to pass on as your legacy.  Learn to take stock at the end of each day (I call this a ‘wrap-up & psych-up’ session). Acknowledge to yourself your accomplishments and the lessons you learned.  Like a snow flake, each day is unique. It has something unique to teach us.  It’s the sum of lessons and experiences that make us who we are.  Welcoming those lessons into your life makes you more open to change and more resilient.
  2. Seize the day.  That’s far from being reckless – and destructive. On the contrary. It means being thankful for the day that you have been given to get closer to your goals.  Sure there are days when we feel like letting our hair down. And that’s okay. As long as the spirit of your actions is constructive – like to unwind and de-stress, not to hurt others or yourself – it’s okay to have fun.
  3. Live with a sense of urgency.  This is far from rushing around.  It stands for being focused and deliberate.  It’s also about identifying interruptions and learning to manage them out of your life.  
  4. Act now.  In case you need reminding, nothing lasts forever.  That includes my life and yours.  It’s okay to put off certain things in order to make time for the more important and urgent.  It’s not okay to live in ‘some day’ mode.  If you don’t give importance to what matters most to you, to what fulfils you, no one else will.  Switch from ‘some day’ to ‘if not now then when’ mode. Do it NOW.
  5. Be more tolerant in the face of challenging situations.  It’s one thing to endure the sting of a syringe in your arm when you know that it will not be forever, quite another when you know that the pain will last a lifetime.  Enduring challenges is just like learning to enjoy holding your breath under water.  Try it next time you go for a swim.  See how much further you can go before you come up for air.  Have fun with it.

Really knowing that things are impermanent will lead you to surrender in the face of change.  Once you do, you’ll find that you’ll be more trusting of the process. 

What are you holding onto with your dear life?  Let go…


Love the photo as much as I do?  Thanks Denis Darzacq

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