Life. Pared Down.

For Folks with Everything Except Peace of Mind

Growing Out of Ourselves

In my last blog, I had to trim back my very healthy Bougainville because it was infested with the dreaded Virginia Creeper. One of the other things I noticed about it was that it was becoming so gnarly that it was turning into a wound up ball of prickly branches. It appeared to be turning in on itself. That got me to thinking about how easy it is for me, even when I am trying to do my very best, to get caught up in my own weeds and focus too much on the immediate, or on my own program.

Has that ever happened to you?  You know, you’re going along working on a project and someone inevitably needs to discuss something with you or get you to do something ‘right now’. It always feels like such an intrusion. “Yes, as soon as I finish this”, is my typical answer.

It is my job to help my clients get to their finish lines with as few distractions as possible. So what I am going to say next may come as a surprise: Look at the needs of others as possible adventures for yourself.  Some new insight might come along as you assist your co-worker for a few minutes even though you really need to get that project finished.

You will like yourself a lot more if you put others first. You may not get everything done to perfection or in record time, but you will have put your mind at ease because you helped someone when they needed you most. Perhaps you will even find a fresh perspective when you go back to working on your own project. It will also make you the kind of person others will appreciate and love to work with.

And while we are on the subject, there is another aspect of growing out of ourselves to consider. The most interesting and enjoyable people are those who are interested… in others, in ideas, in learning. It is the uninterested who are challenging to be around, precisely because that seem to have grown into themselves. This was perfectly depicted in the film The Aviator with Leonardo DiCaprio’s brilliant performance as the reclusive and very-long fingernailed Howard Hughes (just thinking of those nails gives me the willies). After all he had accomplished, I suppose there was nothing left of interest to him.

So, instead of my misbehaving Bougainville, think of yourself as a budding rosebush, ever fresh, ever fragrant, enjoying whatever the new day brings, and don’t be afraid to present a bloom to a friend in need.