The Art of Letting Go: Join Our #MTtalk » Mind Tools Blog

The Art of Letting Go: Join Our #MTtalk

August 29, 2017

Please Join Us!

What: #MTtalk

Where: Twitter

When: Friday, September 1 @ 1pm EST (5pm GMT / 10:30pm IST)

Topic: The Art of Letting Go

Host: @Mind_Tools

About This Week’s Chat 

Some people believe holding on and hanging in there are signs of great strength. However, there are times when it takes much more strength to know when to let go and then do it.

Ann Landers, American Columnist, 1918-2002

Whenever I think of having to let go of something, a 1986 movie, “The Mission,” comes to mind.

In the opening scene, you see the spectacular Iguazu Falls between Argentina and Brazil. A person tied to a cross is thrown into the river and washes over the edge. You are immediately aware of the beauty of the falls, but also of the danger.

The film, set in the 18th century, tells the story of a mercenary, Rodrigo Mendoza. He’s in the business of kidnapping natives and selling them to plantations as slaves. When he finds out that his fiancée is having an affair with his half-brother, he kills the latter in a duel.

Paying a Price

The Spanish governor, a plantation owner who bought slaves from Rodrigo, acquits him of murder. But, despite the let-off, Rodrigo becomes increasingly depressed.

A priest, Father Gabriel, visits Rodrigo and convinces him to pay a penance, but not in money. Instead, Rodrigo must accompany Father Gabriel to do missionary work with the Guarani Indians who live above the Iguazu Falls.

Carry That Weight

Rodrigo agrees to go, but insists on dragging along a heavy bundle. Among other things, it contains his armor and sword, things that will be of no use to him as a missionary. Dragging the bundle along slows him down and saps him of his strength.

In the movie, the only way to reach the Guarani Indians is to climb up the side of the Iguazu Falls, a difficult and treacherous journey. Rodrigo insists on hauling the bundle with him — against the advice of Father Gabriel and the Indians who accompanied them.

Dragging the Past with You

Although Rodrigo struggles with the climb, he stubbornly refuses to let go of the bundle. More than once, it almost costs him his life.

One of the Indians realizes that Rodrigo is likely to plunge to his death if someone doesn’t help him. He scrambles to reach Rodrigo and, upon reaching him, takes out his knife and cuts the rope that ties the bundle to Rodrigo’s waist.

As his sword and other bits of armor crash down the cliff, Rodrigo experiences helplessness and loss. However, he is also relieved to be rescued from the weight of the bundle that represents his tainted past.

The Art of Letting Go

This week’s #MTtalk Twitter chat topic is, “The Art of Letting Go.”

Like Rodrigo clinging to his possessions, we sometimes hold on to an idea, a past hurt, expectation, experience, event or possession that no longer serves us. We resist letting go of it and our struggle to hold on uses mental, physical and emotional energy.

Have you ever thought how much it costs you to hold on to those things and what impact it has on your life? How much peace does it steal? How does it hamper your personal growth? Does it take up valuable mental energy that you could rather use to reach your goals?

In our last Twitter poll we asked why it’s important to let go of past issues. The responses that came in first and second were neck and neck with 35 percent (to free up mental energy) and 36 percent (you can’t change the past). To see the other poll questions and percentages click here.

We’d love you to participate in the chat, and the following questions may spark some thoughts in preparation for it:

  • Why is it important to let go of issues in the workplace?
  • What type of issue/belief do you find hard to let go of?
  • How has struggling/failing to let go affected your health and wellbeing?
  • How do you decide when you need to let go of an issue at work?
  • What beliefs are holding you back and why?
  • When is it OK not to let go of something?
  • How can the ability or inability to let go influence your leadership style?


To help you prepare for the chat, we’ve compiled a list of resources for you to browse.

At Mind Tools we like hearing from people all over the globe. We’d like to learn from you, too, and we invite you to participate in the #MTtalk chat this Friday at 1pm EST (5pm GMT; 10:30pm IST). Remember, we feature great participant responses right here on our blog every week!

How to join

Follow us on Twitter to make sure you don’t miss out on any of the action this Friday! We’ll be tweeting out 10 questions during our hour-long chat. To participate in the chat, type #MTtalk in the Twitter search function. Then, click on “All Tweets” and you’ll be able to follow the live chat feed. You can join the chat by using the hash tag #MTtalk in your responses.

2 thoughts on “The Art of Letting Go: Join Our #MTtalk

  1. Mary John wrote:

    I enjoyed your articles on emotional intelligence.

    1. Midgie Thompson wrote:

      Pleased to hear you enjoyed the emotional intelligence articles. Hope you come back again to enjoy even more of our resources.

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