Three Important Questions

I have three questions I use to help me know when to take action, or when to let it go and move on.

Sometimes I get stuck in a cycle of thought. You know, those things that are racing through your mind as you’re trying to go to sleep but can’t cut off the noise? Or the thing someone said to you and you keep coming back to it, playing the conversation over and over again? What do you do with those thoughts? How do you know if you should let it go or act on it?

Sometimes action is required in the moment, but I usually try to let things marinate for a few days before hastily jumping into action. My rule of thumb is if I'm still thinking about it three days later, I need to run through my series of questions…

Three questions I come back to when I just can stop thinking about an issue. Here, I wrote them on my office window as a reminder during a particularly busy period.

1. Do you have control over it?

If the answer is yes, then do something about it! If the answer is no, move onto question two.

How often do we sit and stew over things that we have control over? Overwhelmed at work? Delegate! Feeling sluggish and in a slump? Go to bed early and get some exercise!

The hard truth is that nagging feeling that won't go away is due to the fact that you're avoiding something you should be addressing. Take charge, face it head on, take action, and feel the relief!

If you didn't drink any water for three days, you'd feel a nagging feeling called thirst. If you took action and poured a glass of cool water, you'd feel relief, right?

2. Do you need to have control over it?

If the answer is yes, stop avoiding and go back to question one! If the answer is no, move onto question three.

You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today. – Abraham Lincoln

How often do we try and fool ourselves by playing the blame game, when in reality we are the only ones holding ourselves back? We often have more control over our circumstances then we care to admit.

3. Can you let it go?

If you've made it this far, the only acceptable answer is that you must let it go.

This is often the most difficult one to do, but when successfully done, it is also the most freeing. If you don't have control over it, and it isn't yours to control, then you must let it go. There's no reward for allowing something to eat away at you when you have no way to resolve it.

I admit, this is easier said than done, let's take a look at some useful tips for letting go in future posts.


What is happening in your life that you have stuck on replay? Try running that challenge through these three questions, hopefully, it will help you move forward or move on. Tell me about it below!