To me, Hang Loose means to relax and “let go.” More specifically, to let go of everything you are holding onto in life. This includes letting go of your “self,” people, places, titles, material possessions, trophies, ego trips, false beliefs, dogmas, desires, addictions, and superstitions. Once you let go (btw, your own mind is doing all the holding on), you realize freedom. When you let go, you become lost in the present moment—a timeless, placeless, ageless state of consciousness where peace, love, and happiness are full-time residents.
When you hang loose, you flow through life riding on the Peace Train. Back in 1985, during one of my visits to the North Shore of Oahu I learned the island’s surfing slang phrase “hang loose” and the classic hand gesture that I flash to everyone. Hang loose captures the essence of how we should live. Over time, hang loose became a central focus of my life. Hang loose is now the core of my being, the focus of my teachings, the essence of my website, and the theme of Day 16.
Why does hang loose resonate so deeply with me? Because it is the perfect way to describe the way someone lives after they wake up from a lifetime of daydreaming. As humans, it is inherent to hang loose in life. But in America, and many industrialized societies around the globe, hanging loose is a lost art. In America, we are not encouraged to relax, enjoy life, stop and smell the roses, and be still. Instead, we are taught to strive, drive, be more, buy more, make more, do more, have more, compete, win, get rich, get famous, climb the success ladder, and keep up with the Kardashians. In short, we are born into a society that is driven by greed—yes greed! I call it the “me generation.” It is all about “me” and it is absolutely insane.
A few months ago, my wife and I attended a wedding in Miami for the daughter of some really good friends. We drove down from North Palm Beach and decided to spend the night at the Ritz Carlton in Key Biscayne, which was about 20 minutes from the wedding venue. The wedding was outdoors and absolutely amazing. Good friends, food, drinks, ceremony, and reception! After the wedding, we drove back to the Ritz, spent the night, and the next morning we decided to do a late check out so we could relax on the beach at the hotel, catch a few rays, and sip a few Pina Coladas together. I have to admit. I LOVE to lay on the beach, sip pina Coladas, and stare at my sexy wife all day. Three of my favorite things to do, especially the last one!
The wedding was on a Sunday, so I took off Monday from work to rest up from the wedding reception and enjoy the day. I was in the middle of writing my 21-Day Life Reset Program and revamping my website, so taking a day off was a big deal at that time. But I wanted the day to rest and chill. So there we were, drinks in hand, toes in the sand, and nothing planned. After a few pina Coladas, suddenly my wife blurts out, “Let’s spend another night here!” Fully knowing I was buried at work and needed to get back at my desk the next day, I looked at her and said, “Why not!” The G.O.P decided to skip another day of work! A few minutes later we had left our stuff at the beach, wandered up to the front desk, and procured an ocean view room for another night of fun fun fun.
At the front desk, we were treated like rockstars, which is common because of my long hair, teal headband, and throwback threads! Before we knew it, the Bellhop had slipped a complimentary bottle of champagne onto our luggage cart along with two glasses and away we went to our new room. Long story short, it got wild from then on. We did a “Relationship Reset” and a “Party Reset” the rest of the day and on into the night. We partied ‘til the cows came home and fully reconnected in the process! It was a Wang Dang Doodle for sure. We met oodles of new people, protein packets to countless people, and made friends everywhere we went on the property. I missed one more day at the office but connected with hundreds of people—including my beautiful wife!
The moral of the story is to hang loose as often as possible and have fun. No fears and no regrets. Go all in. Years ago, I would not have allowed myself that extra day off when I was growing the company. Looking back, an extra day off with the love of my life would have been exactly what the doctor ordered. This new experience made me realize that hanging loose is critical to everyone’s health, wealth, and wellbeing.
When I say hang loose, I am not encouraging anyone to be lazy, shirk responsibilities, or be a slacker. But what I am encouraging on this day is for you to challenge the status quo, change the way you think, change the way you believe, and resist the fear of going against the grain. Break free from the herd, relax, and just be yourself. It is very refreshing.
Surfers, especially on the Hawaiian Islands, naturally embrace the hang loose lifestyle because life is like surfing. You don’t surf against the wave. You drop into the wave and ride with it. You get lost in the act. There is no surfer. There is only surfing.
Do you feel like you are on the treadmill of life and don’t know how to get off? Is your life spinning out of control? Or are you bored, tired, and discouraged? You need to know that your life is not spinning out of control, nor is the world around you. What is spinning out of control is your own mind. Yes, you are responsible for the uptight way you feel and all the stress in your life. How you process what happens in your own life makes it a pleasant ride or a very bumpy road. And your own thoughts (or lack of thoughts) control it all.
To assist you in seeing your vision or visions, below is a set of questions for you to answer on a blank sheet of paper. I ask you to write out your vision on paper because it has a greater impact for helping you question deep and see the future. And when you write the answers, be very descriptive as if you are painting a picture. This picture should include your home, yard, work, family, friends, finances, vehicle, lifestyle, and physical appearance.
If I gave you a magic wand…what would you change in your life?
Where do you see yourself in one year?
When you die, what would you like said at your eulogy? In other words, how would you like to be remembered by your family, friends, and the world?
Once you have answered the above questions in-depth, take a few minutes to be quiet, close your eyes, and see your future. Just be still and let the picture present itself. See every detail. See yourself in that picture. Then keep that picture in mind and review it every day until it comes true.