27 March 2024

Not everyone observes Lent, but for many people, it’s that time of year for giving things up — a real test of self-discipline. Some give up chocolates, and others ditch social media. But more than these simple “sacrifices”, I’ve been thinking about something deeper. What if we looked beyond the usual and considered letting go of the stuff that’s weighing us down, not just for Lent but for good?

Imagine if you’re able to give up:

– the need for everything to be just perfect

– automatically saying yes to everything

– fretting so much about what others think of us

Let’s face it: chasing perfection is like running on a treadmill that’s going too fast — you’re working hard but not really getting anywhere. Would it be a crime if, every once in a while, we just aimed for ‘precisely what’s needed’ and celebrated the small wins along the way?

And saying yes to everything — it’s exhausting, isn’t it? Sometimes we are delusioned into thinking that every little bit requires our attention and energy. But imagine this: what if you had the breathing space to focus on what truly matters to you by being a bit pickier with what you say ‘yes’ to?

Now, worrying about what everyone thinks — that’s a tough one to shake off. I think that as humans, we’re cursed to inevitably get obsessed with others’ perceptions of us, especially the people we love. Lao Tzu (author of The Art of War) said, “Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner.” Imagine how freeing it would be to just be yourself, without carrying the weight of everyone’s expectations.

So, could giving up on being perfect, over-committing, and seeking approval give you the inner peace you’ve been looking for?

This season, whether you observe Lent in its traditional form or not, I encourage you to consider letting go of these habitual constraints. By releasing ourselves from the pursuit of perfection, unnecessary commitments, and the quest for constant approval, we can uncover a more peaceful and fulfilling existence.

This isn’t just about Lent; it’s about adopting a lifestyle that prioritises mental freedom, personal satisfaction, and focusing on what’s truly significant. By giving up the things that drag us down, we make room for the good stuff — a deeper sense of fulfillment, genuine success, and freeing up your mind to concentrate on what truly matters.


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