It's Time to Surrender


It’s Time to Surrender

Happiest of holidays my dear Tribe of Up friends. I hope you are all warm, happy, healthy, and thankful as we look back on 2023 and look to 2024. If you’ve read any 5 of my articles over the last 13 months, you’ll know I can’t go more than 4 or 5 of them without talking about having a think about things. I love having good, long thinks. The end of the year always brings a good old fashioned think session for me, and I wanted to take a moment to share with you something that popped up in the old brain bucket a few days ago.

I surrender.

I quit.

I give up.

I vow that in 2024, I am going to surrender to the anger. To surrender to the irritation that creeps in when meeting overly opinionated people, bad drivers during daily commutes, and those looking to divide for dividing sake. I give up. They win. It isn’t worth it. I won’t let them affect me as they have in the past. 2024 is the year that I will breathe in, breathe out and let it all go. I surrender. A quick story to tie this all together.

When I was in college, my high school girlfriend and I were on again, off again my first year and a half while I was at MSU. When we finally broke up, she said some mean things to me (as often happens during a break up), most notably that I wasn’t smart enough to graduate from MSU, and I talked to my dad about it. That is when he said this to me.

“In 4 years, one of you will be right.”

Fast forward to a beautiful spring day in East Lansing in 1993 and after walking across the Breslin Arena stage, I found my parents. After hugging mom, my dad hugged me and as he hugged me, he whispered in my ear, “Who was right?”

My friends, if the path isn’t cleared in front of us, create one. If people say you can’t, maybe they are right. But what if you want to be more than they say you can’t? I will no longer choose to play the games, choose to get frustrated, and choose to let down have its day. I view down like I view cauliflower. I’ve tried it many times in many ways, and I hate it. No cauliflower for me, and no more down for me. It’s time to surrender. If we really want to advocate for joy, get our daily dose of Vitamin G and be the best versions of ourselves, let’s surrender to that voice in our heads that loves when we get mad. Nope. Breathe in, breathe out and get to work at making the world better. Like the Kenny Chesney song says, “I’m learning how to build a better boat.”

This isn’t a new years resolution. I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired. Instead of trying to win and be right, I choose to be happy and help. I’ve thought about this for a long time and always thought giving up was about weakness. With age comes wisdom they say (I don’t know who ‘they’ are but are they ever right) and I am learning that advocating for more joy begins and ends with having it in my own heart and soul. What a weight off my shoulders. Surrendering and carving your own path isn’t weakness my friends. It’s strength. I want to be a person my son will respect. I want to be a spouse my wife will be proud of. I want to be a friend who is trusted and valued. That starts with me. I surrender. I give my heart to happiness and my soul to God, and off we go. Say it with me.

It's time to surrender. See. Feels good, doesn’t it. Happy holidays to all.

Steve is a Dexter resident and owner, Chief Joy Advocate, Happiness Compliance Officer and Santa-in-Training at Better Place Consulting. If you need some joy, reach out to him at

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