The key to moving on to the next stage of your life and reaching your potential may not be in what new thing you have to add to your life. It might be in the things you have to unlearn, the people you need to cut off, the ways you have to realign, and the habits you need to shed.
Often, when we want to improve ourselves and our lives, we focus on things we can add. We look for new habits we can pick up, new connections to make, new hobbies to try, etc. While this is a valid approach, we don’t think often enough of what we can take away and how we can edit our lives.
To prune means to reduce, remove, cut back, and weed out what is unwanted, unhelpful, or superfluous.
When I think of how we need to edit our lives, I think of the art of pruning gardens. Gardening involves not only planting new and beautiful flowers but also pruning them. Gardners selectively remove plant parts such as branches, buds, and withering flowers to get the desired look for the plant, garden, or landscape. Just like some plant branches are cut off, not everything that comes into your life gets to stay there.
When you work on your growth, also work on editing your life. You may have all the tools to grow and reach the next stage of your life, but you are distracted by the superfluous things cluttering your mind and time thus reducing your ability to focus. Pruning gives you a chance to look within and cut out the unnecessary so you can focus your time and energy on the important things.
Pruning requires insight, an introspective dive into your life, and the discernment to take away what is not needed. To prune is to simplify yet magnify, to put away childish things, to end toxic dynamics, to shed yourself of the unnecessary, to free yourself of the shackles of bad habits, and to unlearn certain behaviors so you can evolve.
Life is easier when you know what you want but figuring out what you want takes work. And oftentimes we are so distracted by other things that drain us and use up our time. Activities that do not compound and company that does not edify. Some things provide no true value or lasting significance to our lives and to grow means to leave such behind. Remember, the goal for you and I is to evolve and reach our fullest potential. For this reason, you have to prune.
How to edit your life
Take a few minutes today to have an introspective moment. Ask yourself these questions:
- What things in my life right now am I complacent about?
- What is something I spend time on that adds no true value?
- What is an activity or company that I don’t enjoy but tolerate regardless?
- What bad habits do I need to get rid of?
- What behaviors or beliefs do I need to unlearn?
As you answer these questions hopefully, you start to clearly see the things that are holding you back from being your best self.
Happy pruning ✂️