As the gardener, by severe pruning, forces the sap of the tree into one or two vigorous limbs,
so should you stop off your miscellaneous activity and concentrate your force on one or a few points.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
Every year we undergo strong winds where I live. Among other things, trees topple under the force of the winds unless they are pruned ahead of time. So, we hire tree trimmers to come in and remove dead branches, reshape overgrown offshoots, and tailor the tree to withstand the storms.
Done correctly, this branch pruning and sculpting actually stimulates future growth and creates a stronger structure for our trees.
That got me to thinking . . .
Most of us undergo turbulence and disorder and instability in our own lives. If we have not addressed the unnecessary and unwanted in our lives beforehand, this metaphoric “bad-weather” we are experiencing can knock us down and force us to really question what we’ve been doing.
Much like pruning a tree involves removing specific branches or stems to benefit the whole tree, many people can benefit from removing certain habits, processes, and patterns from their lives.
I don’t know about you, but I tend to collect “stuff.” In fact, for awhile, we used to joke that my theme song could have been “Stuff” by Diamond Rio:
“Wait a minute, Scott. Wait a minute,” you must be saying. “You keep talking about wanting and getting and having MORE. Now you’re telling me to prune my life. What’s with that?”
Wanting and getting and having more is something that’s always—always—going to happen. It’s part of life. The real focus is not simply the “more” aspect. The real focus is the “more of what will make you successful and happy.” That necessarily means periodically saying “no” to some “stuff.”
So, I ask you:
(in addition to “things,” read that as habits, practices, addictions, traditions, traits, etc.)
have you collected in your life that is
that you could get rid of?
While this seems like a rather straightforward question, the answer is not always so easy to reach.
If you’re having a challenge discovering and identifying what needs to be pruned from you life, consider where your life is not flowing and growing as easily and freely and happily and successfully as you’d like.
In my live events, I ask people to write out all the things that currently define them. Take the time right now to do the same thing. Sit down and make a list of what defines you. Your “things.” Your emotions. Your family. Your friends. Your job. Your successes. Your failures. ALL the things that make up who you believe you are.
Now look through that list. Really look at it.
What things on that list are getting most of your attention?
What things on that list are getting the least of your attention?
Presuming you want a life of happiness and success, what things on that list should be getting most of your attention?
Presuming you want a life of happiness and success, what things on that list should you be paying the least attention to?
Do your answers to these four questions coincide?
Sometimes, to manifest a life of success and happiness, you need to start saying “no” to “stuff.” Sometimes, you need to start simplifying. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of pruning those things from your life that are taking you away from the things that are most important to you (or should be most important to you).
You have an obligation to be a success.
You have an obligation to be happy.
Sometimes, fulfilling those obligations means focusing on one or two things, only.
If you don’t learn to focus on your main goals and objectives, you can end up with an impenetrable canopy of leaves and branches made up of meaningless and fragile things, people, and activities. If you want to thrive, you need to reduce the superficial and flimsy that is part of your life.
That means you need to start pruning.
And the sooner the better.
Right now, commit yourself to eliminating those wastes of time and energy and money and attention that suck the life out of you.
Commit yourself to cutting out whatever is eating at you, spoiling your chances for success and happiness, and gnawing at you (figuratively and literally).
Commit yourself to getting rid of anything that is crossing paths with your goals.
When you start to thin out your life, you start to see the sunshine again.
You start to breathe easier.
You start to grow, again.
It’s never too late to remove the lifeless, unnecessary, excessive, and unessential from who you are and what you’re doing.
It’s time to recover your personal power and energy. That begins with you discovering what (and why) things need to be pruned from your life. So, make your list and create an action plan. Decide what you need—really need—to be successful and happy and prune the rest.
Some of this will be tough.
Some of it will hurt.
It’s all going to be okay. You will heal.
Remember, you can also continue this conversation by subscribing to my blog at http://thinkingmagically.com or you joining me on any of the major social media sites to take this discussion to an even deeper level.