I’m someone who likes to keep his options open. I like possibilities. When it’s time to choose, I’ll choose. But in the meantime, I don’t like to limit my options.

A friend recently reminded me that this is exactly what an unpruned tree does. It grows lots of suckers, lots of branches heading out in all sorts of directions. It looks vibrant and green; life let loose.

But with the aid of some unsophisticated trimmers, a wild tree can become a cultivated tree. Its strength, which is diluted into many branches, can be channeled into fewer branches. This results in sweeter fruit on stronger branches.

Sweeter and stronger. Those are great qualities in a tree. And in a person.

My friend was trying to get me to take a trimmer to myself, to reduce my options and to commit to just a few things. Stop being a jack of all trades and a master of none, she said.

Options are good, but only so far.

When I ask my phone to map out directions to somewhere I’m going, I like it when it offers me optional routes. Most of the time, I like the fastest route. But sometimes, I’ll take a more scenic route, one I’ve rarely or never taken, if it doesn’t slow me down too much. Options can bring variety.

But when I start driving, the options need to go away. I need to commit to a route, a path. Are there times to adjust this? Surely. But for the most part, the time of considering options is over. Getting on with it is now required.

So, if I don’t want to end up a shriveled prune, it’s time to get out the trimming tools and get on with the pruning.

Where do you need to reduce your options, pruning yourself back a bit, and get on with the few things you’re supposed to be doing?

Tagged with: