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Drop the Rocks

The climb ahead of you will be so much easier if you drop the rocks.

I remember the moment that this advice came to me. I was sitting in the living room of a spiritual leader. I was a young man, ready to go take on the world. I was telling this man all my worries, concerns and troubles. I regretted not doing a few things right. I felt troubled and burdened by some poor decisions that I had made. Looking back now, I realize how silly that was. I was 21 years old. This man was at least 65. He had a good 40 more years of experience than I. He had started and failed in several careers. He had loved and lost. He carried the weight of the lives of his children on his shoulders and was volunteering to help many others.

Now here I was, in that moment, expressing my concerns about all the troubles that I had. As if I had any comparable trouble at all! Yet, the man listened with patience. He focused his attention on what I was saying, listening. His eyes were kind, but difficult to read. This was a strong person, with a stern demeanor and a rarely seen sense of humour. A former shoe salesman, a former bank executive, and now an older man listening to a kid like me talk of trouble.

After finishing, he asked a few follow up questions. He said, so you have come this far and now you regret that you made a few bad decisions? Yes. So you are looking back on this hard trail of life and you see a few places where you took a wrong turn? Yes. You are looking up ahead and see a great climb in front of you? Yes. You worry that you may not have what it takes to traverse this great mountain? Yes. You feel intimidation that the expectations on you are too great, the mountain too steep? Yes.

He looked at me. Paused. Looked at me with great care. He then put his hands together and leaned in close. He looked me dead in the eyes and said with a great sense of drama, “then why are you carrying this sack of rocks?”

“Drop the Rocks.”

The climb ahead of you will be so much easier if you drop the rocks. Stop worrying about what could have happened, what should have happened. Stop worrying about the failures and regrets of the past. Instead focus on what is ahead and stop trying to lug this giant sack of rocks up the mountain with you.

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