When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.
~Franklin D. Roosevelt

“How are you?” It is the most common question posed to passing colleagues and friends. Too often we hear the familiar answer: “I’m hanging in there.”

To me, “hanging in there” implies a sense of complacency for one’s circumstances.  It was Franklin D. Roosevelt who said: “When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.” Could there be another option?

From time to time, the “rope” on which we hang is shifty. Unforeseen circumstances arise, relationships change – things rarely turn out as expected. It can be difficult to find the strength to hold on.  More often than not, our hands slip, sending us to a part of the rope that we did not foresee or intend.

Maybe the place you have found yourself in life is not where you want to be. Perhaps you feel trapped in a job you weren’t hoping for or stuck in a rut without a creative spark. This is no time to resign yourself to simply dangling or “hanging on.”

If, in fact, you have come to the end of your rope, you have a decision to make.  Your first option is to make the choice to renew your strength, refresh your passion, and climb higher. This is the perfect time to pursue an opportunity you would not have otherwise pursued. This will certainly require a deliberate effort, but in the end, you will likely rise higher than you thought you could.

Another option when you reach the end of your rope is, of course, to let go. But that doesn’t require falling. Take in as much as you can from your current position. If you have truly climbed as far as you can, it may be time to release your grip. But instead of resigning yourself to the fall, look first for another rope. Sometimes in life we have to let go of one thing before we can take hold of something else.  Letting go of one rope frees you to grab hold of another. Who knows…maybe that one will lead you to your dream.

-Clifford A. Bailey
speaker, CEO, climber of ropes

This entry was posted on Tuesday, August 14th, 2012 at 6:00 am and is filed under Change Management, Emotional Intelligence, Musings, Success. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.