We live life being afraid of losing what we have and holding to things we cannot let go. We tend to believe we need to take every opportunity that comes to us. We all have this fear of missing out. What if this club is taking a trip? What if they say something I did not know? So, I need to take this free seminar on medicine even I don’t really care. I need to be part of this club even if I don’t have time.

All of these what ifs cause us to get trapped in a rat race. Unfocused, we lose sight of the sun by spending too much time looking at our shadows. We act as if we are in a Spanish bullfighting, running everywhere we see a red piece of cloth.

Let me tell you my friend. If you truly want to reach this major goal, you will have let go of this unexpected marriage proposal, this trip opportunity, this speaking gig or this great party. They are all great experiences in themselves, but they are in bad timing. It’s ok to do these things as long as they are the main thing, but as soon as they are here to sidetrack you; you gotta let them go—it’s hard, but let them go.

Two months ago, I got selected to participate in a public speaking competition that most people thought I could easily win. During that time I was also competing to get my project (IMPACT) accepted by the Clinton Global Initiative University 2014. I wanted to channel my most productive energy into this project, so I declined. People were totally shocked, as they know my love for public speaking. One of them sent me an email informing me that my acceptance possibility to CGIU was pretty slight. In other words, it was a bet. Without pride, I face my fear of embarrassment and I took the risk. Guess what! I was not selected in the first round. I was on a waiting list, but I never regret saying NO. I kept working on the project until this Sunday evening when I received my acceptance email. Oof! I was finally selected. Focus and persistence is all you need.

If you want to go to Paris, you have to refuse an invitation to stay in London. To get great success on something you want, you need to have the courage to say no to great opportunities. Don’t let the fear of missing out or a perverse desire to fit in keep you from following your true goal. Accept that you can’t take on everything even if everything is accessible. It’s all up to you. All you have to do is make a choice. I would rather fail on a major goal than have short term happiness found in opportunities to which I have said NO. The unknown is scary and dark but that’s the price of greatness. Make a leap into the unknown. Have faith. Make the leap. The universe is on your side.

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