We often talk about making positive change. New initiatives, practices and habits that are additive. And, that’s wonderful. What I want to talk about today is the flip side of the same coin – cutting out the sh*t in your life.
Cutting out the sh*t
Cutting out the sh*t is not necessarily the same thing as creating what you truly want. But, it might be a good start. Often half the battle is about removing those things that are negative and that drag you down. And, the importance of this can be highly undervalued. Let me illustrate with a few examples:
Better to be single than in an emotionally abusive relationship.
Better to have a “normal” job (or even no job) than a “good” job in a toxic environment.
Better to spend an evening alone than in the company of bigots.
Better to read no news than read garbage or journalistic pseudo science.
Better to receive no advice than bad advice.
Better to have no meetings than wasteful ones.
You probably get the picture now. Something is NOT always better than nothing. In fact, that something might be so toxic that it makes you feel like nothing. By stifling your enthusiasm, your energy and your creativity.
Power of your environment
Your environment is so important to your emotional and phycological wellbeing. Don’t tolerate toxicity and negativity. You don’t deserve it. None of us does. And, keeping it out requires effort and vigilance, and, that’s not always easy.
I spend quite a bit of energy actively staying away from meaningless meetings, client engagements and dinner parties. But, it’s worth it. I’ve never regretted a boring dinner or draining meeting that I didn’t go to. And, as saying “no” becomes second nature, you will find that it takes less-and-less effort. Practice I suppose.
A crucial first step
Cutting out the sh*t in your life is not the same thing as going straight to exactly what you want. But, it can be an important start, particularly when how to make the shift from where you are, to where you want to be, is not obvious. Having a neutral, non-negative base to work from can then be the gateway for better things to come. A crucial first step.
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