It’s winter here in the Mid-Atlantic. Every year I burn about a cord of wood in our family room fireplace. I’ve gotten pretty good at it. One critical discovery I made early on is the delicate space between the logs on the fire: too little and the flame is snuffed out; too much and the energy burns out.
2020 began with a list of goals. Lots of new initiatives. I came out of the gates hot.
But I quickly realized that the logs were too close together; there wasn’t enough negative space in my schedule, which meant the pace wasn’t sustainable. All of my ambition and best intentions were going to go up in smoke.
Too many logs.
So I had to make another list. Alongside my 2020 to-do’s, I had to identify my to-don’ts. For example: 1) I had to scale back my content creation (not necessarily less, just a longer lead time to create); 2) I removed a few appointment availabilities from my calendar (that was hard); 3) I had to say “pass” to an opportunity I’d been saying yes to.
If you’re like me, I think of human development only through the lens of adding to, expanding, or increasing. But the word itself gives a clue to the greater meaning: DE-velopment (as in DE-construct, DE-volve, etc.) is as much about shedding as it is adding.
All of the changes I listed above – and others – are going to allow more space for the energy to breathe and maintain a consistent, sustainable burn.
What about you?
Where do you need to get out of the way?
Where do you need to create more space?