Courage Fear Growth Mindset Self awareness

Why it’s time to let go

It’s good to remember and honor the past, but we should do something if it stops us from being effective in the here and now.

Last weekend I went to see the sequel of Top Gun.

Before you decide not to read further, please don’t worry; I’m not going to reveal any of the plot or big scenes or how the movie ends.

You can read this insight and still go see the movie without any hints of what’s happening.

I saw Top Gun for the first time on the Grote Markt in Groningen in August 1987. I was accompanied by a few thousand students who had just started to study in the city.

Showing the movie on a supersized screen outdoors was part of the introduction week. I was not accompanied by any significant other unless beer counts as such.

The movie created a lasting memory because of the location and its content. 

Remember, this was the eighties. 

Eastern Europe was still behind the iron curtain. Cassettes still existed. Smartphones didn’t. Aids was about to get big. Students predominantly drank wine and beer. 

Tom Cruise was 35 years younger. 

So was I. 

I didn’t even realize that a sequel had been made until I read somewhere about a scandal during the premiere in London because Tom Cruise had the nerves to hold Kate’s (William’s wife) hand while she was climbing a step.

Un-royal protocol.

Once I did not, there was a second Top Gun, and my wife and I decided to go. Like many couples who saw the movie when they were younger.

Otherwise, it would not break box-office records. You need my generation to make an impact.

Back to the movie.

Many companies don’t have good sequels. But if you have 35 years to think about your sequel, it better must be worth it.

It was. 

Well done on leveraging some of the twists from the first movie. Well done on playing the emotion card. Well done on letting Maverick be Maverick again.

Well done on being playful with some of the key scenes from the first movie.

Enough of non-paid advertising (I should become an influencer).

There’s one sentence in the movie that stuck with me:

“It’s time to let go.”

Top Gun

I’ll spare you the scene, given what I promised above, but it’s an essential element in the movie.

We all hold on to specific (traumatic) experiences in our lives for way too long.

Experiences that prevent us from living up to our full potential. 

Experiences that haunt us when we have to make decisions about directions in our lives.

Experiences that prevent us from being who we are and living authentic experiences. 

It’s good to remember and honor the past, but we should do something if it stops us from being effective in the here and now.

Similarly, it’s good to think about the future, but if it means we’re always planning and never enjoying the moment, we should do something.

Life is too good to hang on to the past or live in the future all the time. Now is always a good moment to enjoy the little things in life.

Like a good glass of beer after a long drive to Ljubljana while writing this story. Or taking 2 hours out of your busy schedule to watch Tom Cruise being Maverick in Top Gun’s sequel.

Your turn: It’s time to let go! Right?

Do more of what makes you happy!


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Erikjan Lantink
Business & Leadership Coach

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