If you are following my page on Facebook you might have seen me post a picture of the weeds that completely covered our beautiful lilac bushes at the end of the garden. I spent a whole morning pulling those things out and still I only managed to do just one side. Tedious job, but necessary. In the process I remembered the quote from “The Little Prince” about the nature of baobabs and thought about how often we forget that baobabs unattended happen to grow very fast.
A baobab is something you will never, never be able to get rid of if you attend to it too late. It spreads over the entire planet. It bores clear through it with its roots. And if the planet is too small, and the baobabs are too many, they split it in pieces… (Antoine de Saint-Exupery “The Little Prince”)
Whether we are talking about the actual weeds or about metaphorical baobabs such as the negative thoughts or bad habits the advice is the same: take care of them as fast as possible before they ruin your garden, your personality or your life.
Let’s take negative thoughts as an example. If you focus on the negative day-in and day-out, if whatever happens all you see is what’s wrong with it, then you end up in the negativity funnel. This funnel will eventually suck you in completely and drain all your energy out. You will be constantly upset and grumpy. Nothing will work. This negativity will push away all the people around you, but also for yourself – it will simply destroy you. Don’t be surprised that also your body will start hurting! Don’t allow this. The next time you find yourself focusing on how bad everything is, just pause for a moment and remove that “baobab”. Try to see at least something good, bright, beautiful and you would be surprised to discover how many positive things actually surround you.
I am not talking about neglecting or disregarding the evil, nor about ceasing to empathize with the hurt. It is more about mastering your own personal ghosts, your personal energy drainers: low self-esteem, constant comparison with others and feeling bad about yourself as a result. Don’t do that to yourself. You are worth much more than that.
If you happen to know Russian, there is a flash-mob starting on the 20th of June – “It’s good to brag, or 20 accomplishments in 7 days” – if you need that positive boost in your life – subscribe here. The organizer – inspiring Olga Silverman – personally leads every participant and there is also a chance to win a full-fledged training “Managing your accomplishments”.
If Russian is a problem, try it yourself – for just a week every day write down your 3 daily accomplishments. It can be some small things, like you finally got up on time. Or it can be something spectacular, like you completed that impossible project. You pick. Any positive result is an accomplishment. At the end of the week you will have 21 of them. That’s a great positive energy boost to your self-esteem!
What you can also do – and that is what I did couple of times when a lot of things in my life were just breaking apart – you can instead of accomplishments just write down 3 to 5 good things that happened in a day. A moment of good feeling, something that made you smile, something that excited you – just write it down! If focusing on positive doesn’t come easy by itself, this little exercise of actually writing some small things (or big things!) down can help you learn the skill.
Thus, I would say, get those “baobabs” out and let your “lilac bushes” reveal all their beauty!