This post is by my friend Kaarina Dillabough. Kaarina is a business consultant, coach and strategist who helps you set and attain your goals, to be the best you can be, in business and in life. If you want to create more success in your life, grow your business and become an even more extraordinary entrepreneur join her at http://www.kaarinadillabough.com and subscribe to her content at http://feeds.feedburner.com/KaarinaDillabough. You can also follow her on Twitter @kdillabough.
I was looking at my antique suitcases the other day. They aren’t mine. Well, now they are. But they once belonged to someone from another time and place…a time and place far removed from today.
As I stood admiring the suitcases’ frayed leather straps, now-fading stickers from far-flung places, intricate brass corners and fancy lock-and-key closure, I imagined what the original owner might have packed inside…for what trip…for what purpose.
Did they take a minimalist approach, packing only the essentials? Or did they cram every conceivable “might need this” piece of clothing and paraphernalia inside, ‘til the suitcase required a feat of strength, simply to close the latches?
Were the items neatly folded and arranged, making maximum use of the space while maintaining minimal disruption to the contents en route? Or were things simply thrown willy-nilly into the case, with much grunting and groaning about how things just didn’t fit…there was just too much to fit into this small space…and there was just no time to re-pack it, or pack it properly in the first place.
Each day is like a suitcase. It has a limited amount of space and time. And that space and time can be crammed full of “stuff”, or it can be filled with the essentials.
How heavy is your suitcase? Are you struggling under its weight, or moving along with ease? If you’ve packed too much into your suitcase…your day…then it’s inevitable that you will feel weary, frustrated and exhausted as you haul your day’s work, like an anchor behind you, only to fall into bed depleted…to start packing the next day full to the brim.
Lighten your load. Remove the things you do not need. Pack the important things. Include the beautiful things. Place the productive things into the suitcase that is your day.
And if you’ve tried to make your day one of multiple suitcases…stop. Cast a critical eye on all that you’re carrying.
I often use imagery when working with clients, and the suitcase image is one that seems to fit quite well when someone is feeling overburdened, overwhelmed and just plain tired. This is how it goes:
Imagine yourself on a beautiful beach. You’ve arrived from your home, laden down with suitcases, full of things you think you’ll need. You’ve over-packed, and you know it. Your neck is stiff. Your arms are tired. Your back is aching. The weight of all that you’re carrying feels like the weight of the world.
Now picture yourself taking a few steps along the beach, placing one suitcase down. This allows you to stand a little straighter and walk a little lighter.
Take a few more steps and place another suitcase down. Whew. That feels good. You smile. You actually take in the scenery around you for the first time. It’s really beautiful.
A few more steps and another suitcase left on the beach. You now feel liberated, expansive, light and full of energy. You continue until all the suitcases are lined up behind you along the beach, and you have moved beyond them. You look back, seeing the burdens you’ve been carrying. You laugh, realizing that most of what you were carrying was unnecessary, and served only to burden you, not lighten your load. You resolve to pack lighter now.
For me, that means doing the important things each and every day, and not permitting time-wasting, energy-sucking people or things to take priority over the important stuff. It means putting the big rocks in first.
What are your big rocks? What baggage can you leave behind on the beach today?