Stress blog

Clear away the clutter of the past

By Edward T. Creagan, M.D. December 8, 2010

A trip to the dump on a bitterly cold Saturday morning provided me an incredible insight. My wife and I recently made our annual trip to the landfill and among the items we discarded were a television that no longer worked, a printer that turned English into some ancient language and a hair dryer that didn't dry your hair so much as it vaporized it. At one point, these were important items in our life. They weren't crucial to survival, but they made life a little more pleasant. With the passage of time, however, they'd become extraneous clutter.

It made me think that events and circumstances also outlive their usefulness. Situations that once consumed your attention and drained your energy appear small and inconsequential in the rearview of life. If you've wrung the lessons out of these experiences, it's important to let them go. Hanging on to them only clutters your mind.

As Woody Allen once said, "Eighty percent of success is showing up." To me that means that if you're persistent, and have faith, family and a focus, you can survive and endure just about anything. Maybe things never go back to normal. But that's not the end of the world. You have to set the dial to a new normal and face the future with courage, conviction and hope.

With

Edward T. Creagan, M.D.

Follow on Twitter: @EdwardCreagan

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Dec. 08, 2010