How to Weed Out What’s Not Working In Your Life

Last night, as I pulled weeds from my flower garden, I started thinking about the importance of tending to our “personal gardens.”

Your personal garden could be your mind. Perhaps the positive thoughts that flow through your mind are beautiful zinnias—and the negative ones are the weeds that try to suffocate the healthy blooms!

Or maybe your garden is your business, your family, your spiritual life, your friendships, your future dreams. And the weeds are those big and little things that keep you from fully enjoying them.

My gardening thoughts are inspired, in part, by the book I’ve been reading. In The Pumpkin Plan, author Michael Michalowicz tells of a farmer who dedicated his life to growing giant pumpkins. He makes the point that in order to grow the biggest pumpkin and get it to thrive, the farmer had to weed out all the other things that were getting in the way.

The book is technically about growing your business. (That’s why I’m reading it … because I want my life coaching and education consulting businesses to thrive!) But I think there are lessons in this book that can be applied to other aspects of your life. So I’ve adapted his ideas into “rules” for growing yourself, your family, and more:

1. Plant the right seeds. Don’t waste time doing a bunch of different things trying to please everyone. Decide who counts the most in your life (including YOU), and plant seeds of love, time, energy, and experiences with them. Those seeds will grow into something meaningful in your life.

2. Weed out the losers in your life. In a pumpkin patch, small, rotten pumpkins stunt the growth of the robust, healthy ones. The same is true of people. Figure out which people add the most value, mean the most to you, and provide the best opportunities for you all to grow. Then ditch the worst of the worst (a.k.a., toxic, judgmental people). Pluck from your life anyone who doesn’t elevate your energy to make room for new growth. 

3. Nurture the winners. Once you figure out who belongs in your sphere, blow their minds with care. Discover their unfulfilled needs, innovate to make their wishes come true, and overdeliver on every single promise. Be there for the people in your life and allow them to be there for you. 

4. Prune unnecessary expenses (and fertilize your future). If there’s something you want to invest in, but can’t find the money, then decide what needs to be removed from your “financial garden” to make it happen. (The monthly subscriptions to Netflix, Hulu, iTunes, and Spotify; the extra dinners out; the $14 socks your kid just has to have.) What can you do without so that you can have what you truly desire? And how can you invest in yourself in smart ways to make your future flower?  

So, you have the rules. Now what will you apply them to growing MORE of … financial freedom, healthy friendships, intimate relationships, meaningful experiences?

And what will you “weed” from your life to make it happen?

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