My twins Christopher and Cassidy recently began a new chapter in their lives as they both left home to start college. We went from a household of four people to two in less than 48 hours. In the weeks that followed, I noticed the many little routines I had in place while they lived at home no longer applied: going into their rooms every evening to kiss them goodnight, no matter how many times they told me they were “too old to be tucked in;” singing out loud at 7:00 a.m. to wake them up; the fights we had over what I was cooking for dinner; the nightly debate of where we would go for dessert. In my mind, I had always placed a value on all these routines. They were some of ways we experienced joy and happiness. In many ways, they represented our successes as a family—and me as a parent.

So now what? With my kids not living at home any longer, does my definition of family success not exist anymore? And how does anyone adjust to this “new normal” overnight?

My family unit is not defined by these past experiences that led to our successes (happiness). I have to let go of the value I placed on them, or I won’t be able to adjust to a new level of success within our family. We work with many sales professionals who underachieve and stifle their growth because they will not give themselves permission to let go of the value they placed on past success. They are stuck in the past.

Nothing is Permanent

Even life’s successes in family and business are impermanent. It’s not always easy, but it is simple. We can’t move forward if we hold onto the value of the past. We must continually adjust and reassess the present. Getting caught up either in the lingering value we once identified with or the preemptive value we place on experiences yet to come will stall us as human beings.

As much as these adjustments can be painful and at times unwanted, they are necessary part of life and can actually hold a great deal of promise and potential. If we want to continue to be successful in each stage of our lives, we must face them and keep moving forward. Happiness is determined by how gracefully we embrace life’s transitions.

Those little routines with my twins created such happy times for all of us. They will always be great memories for me, and they will continue to be a source of energy and inspiration as the years progress. But I am learning to let go to make way for new experiences that will bring their own value, new value, as well as different channels of happiness and success to my family. Our lives will be great in this next phase, just different—and different can be tremendous.