We had a big change in our life this week. It shook things up a bit and we’re still trying to figure out what to do next.
We cut down a tree in our front yard.
And now our front yard looks so empty. Although we’ve only lived in our house for ten years, that tree stood there protectively for over 5 decades. It was good-sized, added a bit of character to our property, and provided some nice shade on our front sidewalk. It wasn’t the prettiest tree, but I liked it. It was familiar. It was comfortable.
Unfortunately, it was dying and needed to go. It had actually been dying for a few years. Each summer, I pruned off the dead limbs, hoping to prolong its stay of execution, all the while knowing it should be cut down.
Do you know why I didn’t cut that tree down sooner? It was because I didn’t wan’t to go through the transition required to replace the tree and grow a new one. I dreaded losing a big, shady tree and putting a smaller one in its place. So I dragged my feet for at least three years before finally swinging the axe — even after the tree repeatedly threatened to cause damage by dropping limbs on our house and cars.
Now I’m three years behind in growing a new tree because I let my excuses for keeping the old, mediocre tree overshadow the benefits of planting a healthy, strong new one.
With a new tree I can actually make my house look nicer and maybe even increase its value. A new tree, properly treated, will grow quickly and steadily. And it will no doubt be a lot easier to care for than an old tree that has stopped growing and started dying.
I dreaded the transition so much that I never really looked for the kind of tree I needed/wanted to replace it with. If I had found a desirable replacement, I probably would have acted sooner.
We all have at least one dying tree that limits our personal growth.
- A mediocre employee?
- A toxic relationship?
- An unhealthy habit?
- A destructive personality trait?
- A lack of focus?
- What will I lose if I let this dying tree limit me for another month, quarter, or year?
- What will I gain if I grow a new tree instead over the next month, quarter, or year?
Go. Swing that axe.
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