A couple of days ago, I shared my new-found passion for Dr. Henry Cloud’s book, Necessary Endings. I also promised to share my personal pruning tidbits, as I cut away all that might block the path to my highest purpose in life.
Here are just a few things I’ve changed in my present circumstances, to make room in my life, so I can flourish in the future:
- I’ve pruned procrastination. Instead of putting a task off, because I don’t want to do it, I talk myself into doing that thing first. This frees my mind of guilt, worry, and makes me more valuable to my teammates.
- Rushing off to work without morning Bible study had to go. Spending more time might seem like the opposite of pruning, but in reality, when I take a few minutes each morning to fill my mind with timeless wisdom, and positive information, I’m sharper and more productive. When I don’t read, time seems to slow down, and I can’t get as much done.
- Feeling sorry for myself has also been cut. Instead of focusing my attention to what I don’t have, or can’t do, I’m investing in my blessings and strengths.
As a writer.
- I sometimes struggle with when to end a story, a chapter, or a whole blog or book. Pruning encourages me to cut away all that detracts from my message, and keeps focus simple and clear. This makes what I write easier for a reader to digest and apply.
- I’ve ended too much television time. For years, I lost precious moments zoning out in front of the tube, and they can never be recovered. Now I invest that time in doing things that will further my passion as an author and speaker who has messages to share.
- Pruning activities, even worthy ones, has enabled me to do what I’m called to do as a writer and speaker. I’ve carefully trimmed back the yes’s I allow in my life.
- I’m reducing poor eating habits, and wasted time doing nothing. I’m replacing these patterns with nutritious food, and exercise. It makes me feel better, and gives me more energy — making me more pleasant to be around. The extra strength also empowers me to do more toward my dreams and goals.
- Projecting my unreasonable expectations onto those I love is not acceptable. This is another area I’m cutting back.
- Getting rid of unhealthy guilt has freed me to place my attention on the people, activities, and projects that matter most. Perfectionism has no room in a life that’s moving forward.
As a leader.
- I’ve trimmed what information I allow into my presence. Crude, disrespectful, irreverent, and dumbed-down data is not something I tolerate. I now choose to remove myself from environments that won’t feed a positive future.
- Pruning my allowance of peer pressure has protected me from falling into the trap of following foolish practices. I decide in advance to choose well, based on facts, not emotions. I resolve to do good, before I’m faced with a choice.
- I’m removing any circumstances, people, or activities that might hinder my moving forward in being the person I was created to be.
The idea of pruning makes me more effective as it gives me the courage to make decisions I know in my gut need to be made.
Too often, I allow doubts, questions, and fear hold me back from doing what I deep-down-know needs to happen. Sometimes we humans need permission from a credible source to prompt us to act on what our head knows, but our heart fights. Dr. Cloud offers that permission in Necessary Endings. Pruning helps me make room for a brighter future — the one I was created to live.
Anita Fresh Faith
Anita Agers-Brooks is a Business and Inspirational Coach, Certified Personality Trainer, Productivity Specialist, Certified Team Training Facilitator, Marketing Specialist, national speaker, and author of the upcoming release First Hired, Last Fired — How to Become Irreplaceable in Any Job Market.
She’s a member of the Christian Writer’s Guild, client of WordServe Literary Group, graduate of CLASS for Leaders, Speakers, and Authors, a co-founder of The StoryWriting Studio, and speaker on circuit for Stonecroft International Ministries.
Anita’s passionate about business with integrity, healthy relationships, and issues of identity. She travels the country teaching others from her personal experiences and research. She believes it’s never too late for a fresh start with fresh faith. Anita lives in Missouri with her husband Ricky.