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1. You must remove all negative influences from your life
If the garden is full of weeds, the beauty of the ornaments is concealed. More so, it is all the more important to pluck weeds off your garden so they don’t compete with your flowers and trees for nutrients from the soil.
You likely have had or still have people in your inner circle that simply drain you. Being around them, you may find yourself wondering, ‘Why do I continue to surround myself with this person?’ Our friends are supposed to make us feel refreshed, energized, happy, inspired and loved. So here is a rule of thumb: if you continuously feel robbed of your energy after hanging out with one of those “negative” friends, you’ve found yourself a weed. Get rid of them or at the very least, create a safe distance.
It’s a given that we all have our own group of friends, cliques and circles. If there is that one person or more that is weighing you down and creates a shadow around you, you have to get away and find the sunshine.
2. Get to the root of it all
Plucking the weeds is one thing. Plucking them from the root is another. This is better so that the weeds won’t grow back. It may require additional effort and may cause a sore hand, but it will all be worth it. Weeds are problems so you need to get to the root of it in order to
a) comprehend the task
b) find an effective solution, and
c) inhibit its comeback at some point
To provide a real-life example: When I was diagnosed with cancer, I knew that chemotherapy would only treat the problem on the surface (aka treating symptoms versus treating the cause). The root of cancer was my lifestyle, the things I consumed, the lifestyle choices I made. Making meaningful changes to my diet, work-life balance, and my life perspective was the key to maintaining good health long-term.
3. Check in with others in your uncertainties
A few times throughout the weeding, my friend and I couldn’t differentiate between a fruit-producing plant and a weed. Turns out, some weeds are really good at disguising themselves. We turned to my father for help. He has had plenty of experience gardening and was able to offer his guidance when in doubt.
While it is true that our own shadow leaves us when we are in darkness, it shouldn’t stop us from seeking for the light. There is light at the end of the tunnel they say. But if you are not in a tunnel, the light can come from the sidewalks. It is wise ask for assistance when we doubts on the roads that we are travelling. If one trusted comrade has travelled that road before, he can help you with directions and warn you with possible dangers. All we have to do is be humble and ask. And if there is nobody to ask help from, go with your gut. It’s usually always right. You just have to act out what it is in your gut or mind.
4. Be extra diligent towards the finish line
As we were approaching the finish line of the 4- foot row, I was getting antsy and just wanted to get the job done. I lost focus which resulted in a few sad fruit-producing plants getting plucked, instead of weeds. After the second time this happened, I had a little talk with myself because I truly felt bad about having done so. Focus, I would say, focus.
Focusing more on the finish line more than the process will yield problems that are irreversible. We make mistakes along the way yes and this is especially true if we look ahead on the goal post and not focusing on our footing. We fall, but we can stand up again. It is natural that we make mistakes but we can prevent them from occurring in the first place.
5. Only look back once you have completed your journey
Once in a while, my friend and I would look back at what we had accomplished, but this turned out to be very counterproductive. The act of looking back opened up the gates to a flood of emotions that manifested themselves as doubts, distractions and discouragement. “Why are we moving so slowly? I feel like we haven’t progressed at all.”
After every task done, it but natural to reflect on what you have accomplished. But it would be sensible to do that AFTER you have done the task and not while you are doing it. And while reflecting, don’t ask yourself what you could have done better. This can only mean that the outcome was bad. Instead, ask yourself how you can overcome the same task in a different yet more effective way.
6. Pause to renew
Spending all your energy on one task can be exhaustive over time. When my friend and I would find ourselves becoming bored, overwhelmed, discouraged, or straight-up drained, we made a point to take a break. We would focus on another task, whether it was reading or playing a round of cards. Frequent breaks are said to improve one’s mental agility. It worked for us!
You will observe that the more time you invest on one task, the less alert and active you become. This will show in the quality of your output.
Time management techniques such as Pomodoro and Timeboxing help overcome procrastination and create boosts of creativity and focus. Try it for yourself!
So you see, a lot can be related and learned by just picking weeds in the garden. Understanding the nature of weeds, finding solutions and performing actions, and reflecting on what has been accomplish can do you wonders.
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