This week I revisited Necessary Endings by Dr. Henry Cloud, a book I first enjoyed in 2011 and was once again captivated by the chapter on “Pruning: Growth Depends on Getting Rid of the Unwanted or the Superfluous.” While the book is primarily about business and leadership, the concepts of pruning and necessary endings apply equally to all of life.
If ever you’ve done any flower gardening you know that to harvest the choicest blooms, you have to water, fertilize and prune those blooms that are less than their best for the most promising to flourish. It’s the same way with growing a business. Periodically, you have to prune both employees and customers who are less than their best and show little promise of ever flourishing. In life, those of us who hang on to every friendship, acquaintance, membership and publication we’ve ever had, will soon find our lives cluttered with anything but the choicest blooms and much that is superfluous!
If you’re a leader committed to personal growth, as I am, you must accept and become comfortable with the fact that to grow is to leave some people behind. Dr. Cloud minces no words when he says, “The areas of your business and life that require your limited resources—your time, energy, talent, emotions, money—but are not achieving the vision you have for them should be pruned.”
Who among us hasn’t experienced the sadness of loss and endings? Whether it’s the end of a relationship, the loss of a family member or friend, or the recognition that something you desperately wanted to work, isn’t going to work, loss can be a heavy burden to bear. Yet it is in weathering the storms of life, working through them and reflecting on their meaning that we grow. In growing we realize that with every ending comes a new beginning and often even better things lie ahead.
What endings are you dealing with—or perhaps wrestling with? Have you been “stuck” too long with feelings of loss, remorse or guilt when it’s clearly time to move on? What’s holding you back? Endings are a part of life and until you accept them, you’ll be stuck with the status quo and deprive yourself of the joy of new beginnings.
Endings and beginnings, in that order, open doors to personal growth, joy and fulfillment. It is in the deserts of our lives that we experience the greatest growth. Get help if you need it to embrace necessary endings and get comfortable with change because it’s here to stay and like it or not there’s more coming down the pike for all of us.
©Judy DeLapa/High-Impact Coaching 2016