25 Lessons I Have Learned
15. Learn to Let Go

When taking pictures don’t be fettered by the lost moment, for regrets may very well cause you to miss the next opportunity.

This also applies to when you’re in edit mode. Sometimes you can salvage and recycle and turn trash into a thing of utter beauty, but, but just as often it is better to just let the shot go and delete it, so you can move on to better things.


The controversial and late-great guru, osho, once proposed that there is a natural law of grace, which is the polar opposite of gravity. The law allows one to levitate during those uplifting moments when one has forgotten her self.

Osho proclaimed that science has yet to discover it, but nonetheless it has always been there—super athletes, prima donnas, yoga masters and many a legendary lover have used it to float whilst in the flow of their art or in union with whatever they are endowed to work with best.

Alas, until the empirical tests are developed to demonstrate or elucidate the existence of such a law which can liberate our greatest potential, perhaps it is best for the rest of us to focus on the prospective finesse with which we handle our flaws and errors—that which governs the grace of falling.

For very few of us are drawn to a calling which allows us to defy the pulling forces of the earth; to our aging dismay and inevitable decay. However, most of us are most certainly bound to err, to make many a mistake, and to take the punches until we are knocked down and out until the final count.

Thus, the secret to an artful life is not learning how to fly, but rather how to die a million deaths gracefully while we are living. To make our stumbling either a self-deprecating moment to wit, to entertain with it and make our folly universal, or to spin it into a beautiful rendering of what it means to be mortal.

For it is all too human to fumble our fate even further than ever necessary, should we tarry with our efforts to re-comport our selves after the fall.

Rhetorically, it is most prudent to question how we handle the duress and its power to bring us down. Do we unnecessarily make matters worse than they truly are or rather, seem to be, by brining attention to what quite often was otherwise unnoticed? Do we allow others to misconstrue what we might manage to keep to our selves? Do we give away everything when we might divulge only partially to our advantage?

As is one of the fundamental rules in any public performance, be it dance, a speech, or a song, when we stammer or stumble it is always best to move on. What is wrong can be made right immediately if only we do not pause. For quite often the only person who will actually notice these insignificant flaws is the performer herself. The inability to continue one's focus on the future, on the next step, on all the earth-shaking and hallow words to follow, alas, will not only contribute to further error, but leave the audience wondering—what happened?

So, don't let this happen to you. Don't make a mess where there was none. Move on, stay true to the flawless design, regardless of the imperfection of our human inability to manifest what is ideally rendered.

The original kid notorious, Niccolò Machiavelli, wrote that "the princes who have accomplished great deeds are those who have cared little for keeping their promises and who have known how to manipulate the minds of men by shrewdness; and in the end they have surpassed those who have laid their foundations upon honesty." Some might say it is most honest to point out all the mistakes along the path toward our imperfection. Those who succeed in surpassing the norm however, know all too differently.

In a Nike commercial, Michael "Air" Jordan, once admitted toward the end of his high-flying career the following: "I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. Lost more than 300 games. 26 times I was trusted to take the game winning shot and failed. I have failed over and over again and that is why I succeed." Above all the errors though, he has fallen gracefully, which is perhaps why hardly anyone rarely ever noticed all the failures.

"...merciful, faithful, humane, forthright, and religious...it is not necessary for a prince to have all of the above-mentioned qualities, but it is very necessary for him to appear to have them...having them and practicing them at all times is harmful; and appearing to have them is useful."
~ Chapter XVIII, The Prince, Niccolò Machiavelli

*a bewitching example: isherwood's hot in the bath

*please note: the photographer and the photograph cited do not necessarily reflect the views of the lesson or any other random thoughts of the writer.

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