You Have To Eliminate To Progress In Life.
If you read my blog last week, it was all about PROGRESS.
I was encouraged to write it because I kept seeing that word everywhere. And then after writing it, I saw the word even more.
I walked into my friends work office and it was written on the wall. I opened a new book about business planning and it was popping off the pages. I looked at the cardboard box that my new bathroom lights were shipped in and the company’s name is Progress. Weird. Interesting. Some call it a coincidence, I call these GodIncidents. Usually when things like this happen, I know I’m on the right path.
So, then this week all I kept seeing was the word ELIMINATE.
To make progress in life, usually you must eliminate some things that are holding you back. We all have time wasters, distractions, energy suckers, and excuses that prevent us from moving forward in life.
It reminds me of a chapter I wrote in my mini book called, Get Ripped (available on Amazon.com). The “E” stands for Eliminate and it’s a short story about a mentor who challenges his mentee to stop adding stuff to his plate, and instead engage in the practice of getting rid of things.
Check it out below.
A man sits down at the bar with his mentor.
“This year is going to be different,” he says. “I’m going to do big things. Train more. Take on more. Work more. This year is the year.”
The mentor looks at the young man and responds, “First, put down your beer.”
“Why? Can’t I have a beer?”
“You can have the beer when the beer doesn’t have you,” says the mentor. “For now, listen closely. If you want to accomplish goals this year, you don’t need to add anymore. You need to eliminate more, especially distractions.”
“There are three distractions to start eliminating from your life immediately.
#1: ELIMINATE TIME WASTERS
“If you sit down and evaluate your time, I bet you would find you’re not using it wisely. You need to constantly evaluate your daily actions to ensure you maximize every second in your day most effectively. You don’t want to treat yourself like a robot, but this practice is a great habit to engage in regularly.
Don’t be the type of person that says you don’t have time to workout yet you watch a marathon of your favorite television series. Don’t say you feel rushed for time at work yet you spend two hours a day gossiping with your coworkers. Don’t say you can’t keep up with laundry and dishes but you spend plenty of time playing around on social media.
We all have time wasters in our lives. In small quantities they are manageable and healthy escapes. But you need to get rid of the ones that are negatively halting your progress.
#2: ELIMINATE BAD PEOPLE
There are some people in your life who are doing nothing positive for you. They are zapping your energy with their emotionally draining antics.
Maybe they are negative people. Maybe they are stuck in addictive habits. Maybe they are selfish by nature and only into themselves. Maybe they are rude and nasty and bring you down anytime you’re around them.
You need to eliminate or drastically reduce time spent with these vitality suckers.
It doesn’t mean you don’t love them. It means you love them so much that you won’t condone their habits. If they don’t change then unfortunately you can’t be regularly a part of their lives. Your ship is sailing. If they want to jump on board then they can. But you are moving along no matter what they decide.
A hard TRUTH is what Jesus says about being willing and ready to drop everything and leave everyone to follow him. This includes our family, our flesh and blood. Listen to something he says that may be hard to swallow: “If you want to be my disciple, you must hate everyone else by comparison — your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters — yes, even your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple. (Luke 14:26)”
Sounds harsh doesn’t it? Hate your own mother and father. Jesus uses the word hate to get his point across. He doesn’t mean literally hate them. He’s emphasizing that He must be our first priority. We must put him first above all else. If people are for whatever reason preventing us from getting closer to him, then we must be willing to leave them to follow him more. Love them, but Jesus comes first.
It isn’t easy but you have to eliminate toxic relationships, even with people you love. Here’s the good news, “And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or property, for my sake, will receive a hundred times as much in return and will inherit eternal life. (Matt 19:29)”
#3: ELIMINATE EXCUSES
Finally, you have to eliminate excuses. Ultimately it’s your responsibility for how you live your life. That’s the freedom that’s been granted to us. God gave us free will. After years of conditioning you may not believe that.
But it’s another major truth. You are not stuck. There is another way. You really can be what you want in life. Well, for the most part.
There are of course extenuating circumstances and situations that may be holding you back right now. There are phases in life that require us to bite down hard and grit our teeth to make due with very restricted lifestyles. These times may provide good reasons to hold other things off. But even these phases are choices we made and we have to accept them. If you really sit down long and think about it, then usually there is no other reason why your desires aren’t being met, other than you are making the choices to just not meet them.”
The young guy at the bar looked at his mentor, “Wow man, I just wanted to have a beer with you today.”
“Well, sometimes what you want isn’t what you need. If you really want to achieve great things in life then you need to eliminate anything that’s getting in your way. And usually that’s yourself.”
Start there. Remove yourself from the equation. And it may be an absolute game-changer for you and everyone in your life.