It is what it is

“Face reality as it is, not as it was or as you wish it to be.”

That’s a quote from Jack Welch – one of the most renowned business leaders of the 20th and 21st century.

I remember as a kid in high school reading one of Jack’s books and being so inspired by how someone could be so driven and work so hard to achieve what he’d envisioned for his career. He’s definitely worth reading up on.

But back to Jack Welch’s wonderful quote: “Face reality as it is…”

During her MBA study one of my friends told me of one of the strategies that was pivotal to Jack’s success: When Jack Welch was a kid his mom taught him something that he used in business and turns out it served him very well. That lesson was based on the above quote and simply stated: “It is what it is.”

So for instance there would be times when a project or department or division or even person would be failing to deliver at General Electric (where Jack Welch was CEO and later Chairman). If, after doing all he could to make the project, department, division and sometimes staff work- and they still failed, Jack would just say to himself “It is what it is.” He would shut down that project or whatever it was that could not be fixed. And he would move on. He would then focus on investing energies and resources elsewhere.

This is a hard lesson for most of us to learn.

It’s sometimes hard to let go or “shut down” certain things because of how much we’ve invested.

Someone once put it to me like this: “It’s like you’re waiting for the bus. The bus runs late. Then really late. Then really really  late. And you battle with making the decision: Do I wait because I’ve already waited so long – or do I just find another mode of transport? And if I decide to wait – how long might I still wait? Will the bus eventually come? And what if, just as I walk away from the bus stop, the bus comes? How stupid will I feel then? And then all the time I’ve waited was a waste!”

It’s a hard decision to make.

But sometimes walking away is the best decision. Even if you feel silly or stupid for time wasted.

Sometimes we have to write off the investments we made – count them as loss and move on.

I lost thousands on my first investment property. With each month that passed I held onto that property in the hope that I could make up the money I’d poured into it. But I never recovered because each month the hole got deeper and more expensive to crawl out of. And subsequently exiting the horrible deal got more pricey. Eventually a financial advisor told me “Hannah just cut your losses and get out!”

It was a hard decision. But I made it – and got out of the deal. And the losses I’d been incurring for over six years stopped.

Sometimes holding on is really expensive. It costs us more than it’s actually worth.

There comes a time when we have to Face reality as it is, not as it was or as we wish it to be.

This applies to jobs, business ventures, partnerships, romantic relationships, friendships, cars, houses – just about anything that we know in ourselves is probably never going to be fixed.

I do apologise for putting our human interactions on the same line as business – but the truth is not all relationships are beneficial. If need be: Cut them loose! And move on. And invest your energies and resources elsewhere.

There isn’t only one idea out there that can make you money. You are far greater than that!

There isn’t only one person out there who can love you – that’s a lie I dare you to never ever believe. You are far greater than that!

There isn’t only true friend or a group of people out there for you – you are… Yes you are far greater than that!

I remember as a young woman falling madly in love and falling devastatingly apart when a love relationship I’d invested so much in failed. One day my wise mother brought me a map of the world.

“Look at how big the world is Hannah. You cannot tell me that in this huge expanse there isn’t one single other person for you.”

And yet still even though what my mom said made so much logical sense I wept and I cried for the man I loved. I prayed and I pleaded for the relationship to work out.

But when the pain got so intense I almost went numb – when it got so bad I could barely breathe – I knew I had to let go. Something kept telling me over and over I was worth far much more than I was allowing for myself. I prayed that I would let go. And one day I just got up and told myself: “Ok it’s over.” And I moved on.

And Mommy was right. As she’d said I found out that the world was MASSIVE! I came across quite a few other men after that – and eventually decided on one who I’m building my life with every day.

So many times I thank God that all my other romances didn’t work out. Because if they had I wouldn’t have the knight who is now my husband. And my children would not have the awesome father we have in him. It would all have never happened had I not let go and moved on.

The same has happened with some of my jobs – some projects – some business ventures… and yes even some friends – I’m still no expert at letting go – but I have done it enough times to know that sometimes it’s really worth it to shut the door and look for a new door to open.

In all things I have learned this: God is faithful. The things and people that are meant to stay will. And those that fail will never ever prevent you from reaching your dreams and your destiny. Simply because you are greater than external factors. God designed you that way so that no matter who stayed or who left you’d still be able to reach where you needed to go.

I wish you love. I really do. I write this from the depths of me that you may be free. If it’s time – and you know it in your heart: Let Go. You’ll be just fine.


Hannah Viviers is founder of Hannah Viviers Business Training and Author of

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