I’m always on the lookout for ways to simplify life. To make things less complicated.

What’s an example of a complicated life? I need to make lots of money so I can afford big houses, nice cars and expensive jewelry to keep my trophy wife happy. So I need to work constantly and, when I’m not working, continue calculating the ways I can improve my work situation.

I also need to befriend the “right” people so my kids can get into the “right” private schools and then get into the “right” colleges. And on and on.

The alternative path

It’s an exhausting existence that rarely leads to peace of mind or any kind of sustained happiness. The unfortunate truth is that most people don’t realize there are alternative paths available. To whom? To everybody.

Here’s another, simpler approach to living life:

Wake up every day and use life as your vehicle for letting go of your egoic self.

That’s it.

First things first. What the above assumes is that the purpose of our lives is to let go of ourselves. That’s something I agree with.

What are we letting go of? All of the experiences we’ve accumulated since we were kids that we didn’t let go of. That we held on to. That are stuck in our lower selves. That determine the course of our lives.

Don’t cling, don’t resist

Buddhists would call these attachments. Experiences we either clung to or resisted, with the result that they just sit inside our being causing us problems.

I’ve written about some version of this many times, but I’ll give just one glaring example of how this works. You had a horrible father who told you time and again that you would never amount to anything.

Thirty years later you get passed over for a promotion. Your response?

“Dad was right. I never succeed at anything.”

Which isn’t the truth. It’s not who you are. It’s the egoic baggage lodged inside you that’s doing the talking. And it needs to be let go.

We are all filled with this kind of baggage. Some big. Some small.

But we don’t have to be. We can let it go.

Assuming letting go of our stuff is the most important thing we can do in life, the logical question is: What’s the best way to execute that strategy?

Wake up every day and use life as your vehicle for letting go of your egoic self.

Let’s take a closer look at this. If you want to get really good at playing the piano, what do you do? You sit your butt down at the piano and practice. And practice. And practice.

Like practicing golf

If you want to improve your golf game, what do you do? You go to a driving range and hit buckets and buckets of golf shots. And practice your short game by chipping and putting for hours on end.

What’s the driving range and piano equivalent for getting good at letting go? In other words, what’s the practice setting for letting go?


What do I mean by that? Here are some examples:

-You wake up and the first thing that happens is your wife says, “Way to go, Einstein. You forgot to put the trash cans out.” Relax and let go.

-An accident on the road makes your drive to work a slow crawl. Relax and let go.

-Your visiting mother, who was always hyper-critical of your figure growing up, asks 42-year-old you if you really need to put all that sour cream on your baked potato. Relax and let go.

In other words, life provides the piano and the driving range. So when life happens, let go. Stop fighting and resisting everything and let go.

Stop letting your ego rule your life

That doesn’t mean you turn into a passive amoeba. Far from it. It simply means that you renounce a life that is spent marching to the tune of your ego.

What does marching to the tune of your ego look like? In our prior example, it would be:

“Hey mom, here’s an idea. Why don’t you go f#*k yourself!” At which point you fling a massive spoonful of sour cream into her face.

Night ruined. Your baggage with your mom lodged ever deeper into your lower self…Not good.

Be a letting go machine

The alternative is to turn yourself into a letting go machine, as Mickey Singer calls it. Just keep using whatever life throws at you to let go of your stuff.

Where do spiritual techniques like meditation come into play? We do them. Why? Because by enhancing inner stillness they make us more aware of when our stuff comes up in our day. They enhance our ability to let go.

The takeaway

At the end of the day, what this requires is taking a hard look in the mirror and saying, “I don’t want my ego running, and ruining, my life anymore. For that to happen, I need to let go of my stuff. To let go of my stuff, I need to quiet down inside and devote my life to letting go.”

That’s it, right there.

Once we do let go, great things happen. We feel lighter. Calmer. More peaceful.

AND we get better at everything we do. Job, relationships, golf game, dad, mom, friend.

Why? Because we’ve cleared out the junk that has blocked access to our highest being inside.

Who knew my six-year-old daughter would be such a deep spiritual guru, running around the house singing from the movie Frozen:


She’s right. Let it go.