We start out with simple goals. The more we accomplish, the more we dream. Our goals expand and we often awaken one day and ask ourselves how our lives got so complicated. Our commitments are such that we are pressed for time to pursue our goals at all. And if something doesn’t change, we wonder how we’re ever going to accomplish anything we want to accomplish.
And so we weigh all that is on our plates. Often this emotional review results in us identifying things we would like to remove from our lives and our schedules. The problem is that these items are usually selected from an emotional standpoint, and usually the first things we select to go are those we don’t particularly enjoy doing. Things we wish we could eliminate. But that criteria measuring stick is insufficient (and flawed) to use to decide what things best serve us and our goals.
When we cull the unappealing (versus what does us the least amount of good) we don’t achieve the objective we desire. So we review again and eventually conclude that we need a little less emotion and a little more logic and objectivity in our review. We work at what exactly benefits us and we review all aspects of our lives and their impact on us as a whole, and then finally on our goals and objectives specifically.
Once we’ve identified all aspects of our lives, then we can begin to assess what serves us well and what doesn’t. This is a big and sometimes uncomfortable task. It requires honesty and looking hard at things we don’t love as well as those things we do. Then begins the more difficult task of culling that which isn’t working hard for us.
As you might expect, it’s easier to let go of the things we don’t much like and we deem difficult. It’s also a test of our determination to cull things we love that just aren’t working for us. This is the “close the door” stage.
We’ve all heard, “When a door closes, a window opens.” Don’t recall who said it first, but we’ve all run across the quote at some point in time—usually when we’ve had a proverbial door slam in our faces and we were forced to seek an open window. This is the same yet different in that we are the one closing the door.
Why would we close a door in our own face?
Because the door leads to something that isn’t in our best interests. It isn’t producing desired results, or we’ve deemed it a time sink that is preventing us from reaching our goals, our purpose, or fulfilling our responsibilities.
Once we determine something we’re doing isn’t working and we must cull it from our lives, we then must take the action to cull it to make room for something that will work and will assist us in reaching our goals, our purpose, and/or our responsibilities. In other words, we cull something holding us back to make room for something positive that will advance our goals.
We all have the same twenty-four hours in a day. We all must choose with what we fill those hours. Obviously, the more we fill those hours with things that work and the less we include those things that don’t, the greater are our odds for success. So we cull what doesn’t work and focus intensely on what does work.
Or, we close a door… and open a window.
Culling isn’t easy, particularly if others are involved. If they rely on us to fulfill a larger obligation, they aren’t happy with us for culling. We can give notice, warn that our departure is coming, and still meet with resistance and, at times, even resentment. We must cope with that but not permit ourselves to feel guilty and continue participating in something we know should be culled. If we love that thing marked for culling, it’ll be easy to be persuaded to stick with it, yet we know that isn’t for the best and we should cease and desist.
So we cull, and restructure and open the window that has appeared, and we draw closer to our goals.
Some say the window was there all the time. Maybe it was or wasn’t. That isn’t as significant as your ability to see and open the window at the appropriate time (for you), which you now can do since you closed that other door.
Reviewing and culling isn’t a fun task. There are always things we enjoy that must be put on the backburner for a time while we’re in pursuit of goals. There are always doubts about whether or not we’ve selected the right things to cull, and the worry that we’ll ditch the very thing we later discover we need to succeed.
That well might happen. But if we review and base our decisions on more than emotion, then we’ve done what we can to avoid those regrets. If we find we made a mistake, we can revisit and reinstate at a later date. That’s a perk of closing the door yourself.
What you close, you’re more apt to be able to reopen at at a time of your choosing.
An important thing to remember is that we have short-term and long-term goals. We have to structure aspects of our lives to enhance our opportunities and maximize our success rates at given points of time. As goals change, aspects can change, too.
Short-term refrain for long-term gain. That’s reaping the benefit of the new open window.
So do not fear change. Embrace it. Review, cull, and enhance what works in your life. And if doors must be closed in your life, close them and immediately look for open windows.
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© 2016, Vicki Hinze. Vicki Hinze is the award-winning bestselling author of nearly thirty novels in a variety of genres including, suspense, mystery, thriller, and romantic or faith-affirming thrillers. Her latest release is The Marked Star. She holds a MFA in Creative Writing and a Ph.D. in Philosophy, Theocentric Business and Ethics. Hinze’s website: www.vickihinze.com. Facebook. Books. Twitter. Contact. KNOW IT FIRST! Subscribe to Vicki’s Monthly Newsletter!