Fighting the Weeds of Life

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Fighting weeds, that’s my analogy for focusing on the negative.


Dead Tree

We moved to a new house in late 2011. It was a foreclosure, and had been somewhat neglected for a couple of years. needless to to say, the yard needed some work. And, our property was surrounded by vacant lots, so lots of weeds.

I spent most of the summer of 2012 fighting weeds. Pulling weeds, spraying various weed killers and preventers. It was a loosing battle. A very frustrating exercise in futility. No matter what I did, the weeds were winning, taking over my lawn. I was so happy after we had our first freeze. The battle had been put on hold for a few months.

I realized that what I was doing was not working. I needed a new plan of attack. I had to do something different. Change was in order.

I met with the guys at our local nursery for advice, expecting to be persuaded to by all kinds of products to fight the weeds. To my surprise, only one weed product was recommended. And they said I only needed to apply once in the spring. The surprise was the method to be pursued.

This year I worked on making my lawn and soil stronger. Adding nutrients to the soil for a healthy lawn. Watering correctly. All positive stuff. This year the weed battle is minimal. Just pulling the occasional weed, spending minutes per month instead of hours per week. The healthy lawn choked out the weeds.

The big difference? I focused on the positive instead of the negative. Like every other part of our lives, we tend to get what we sow. Concentrate on the negative, reacting to the bad things that happen, and life is a painful uphill battle. But, get proactive, focus on the positive and life seems smoother.

Rather than worry about what I don’t have, I try to give thanks for the many blessings I do have. I try to enrich my life by learning new skills. Reading and studying about a positive attitude, putting encouraging ideas in my head. Looking for new ideas and creative inspiration.

We will all have setbacks and failures. Focusing on the positive helps me to see the light at the end of the tunnel when facing negative circumstances. Focusing on the positive helps us come to better solutions to problems. I know this from both sides of the fence. I used to have a terrible negative attitude. Anything bad seemed like the end of the world. I’m sure my attitude didn’t make me much fun to be around. I realized that what I was doing was not working. I needed a new plan of attack. I had to do something different. Change was in order. I slowly changed my attitude. I had to, and I am blessed to have a wife that made me aware of the need to grow. Sure, I still have my moments, I still jump to the negative conclusion from time to time. More often now, I can find the positive, even if I have to ask for help sometimes. Life became much less painful when I decided to count the many blessing I do have. Don’t fight the weeds (the bad stuff that inevitably will pop up), cultivate fertile soil soil for the good stuff to grow. Over time the positive will choke out the negative. Just like my lawn choked out the weeds.

What are some of the weeds in your life? What did you do to cultivate a positive healthy change?

  • I fight the weeds by doing exactly as you’ve suggested, I don’t focus on them. As best I can, I try to focus on the positive, the blessings, the good stuff. It helps too!

    • Thanks Rich. I also find that when I focus on the positive, I am more rested, I have more energy, and my thinking becomes more clear. Battling the negative is so draining.