Have you pruned your projects lately?

I started thinking about this last week when I was pruning our rosebushes. In case you’ve never done it, pruning plants is more art than it is science. It requires you to consider both the growth that’s on the plant at the same time that you think about how you want the plant to grow. Each limb, each fork, and each new bud requires examination and intuition-based decisions.

It’s always a bittersweet process for me. I don’t like pruning the new growth that is already there, but I know that with a gentle trim, the plant will flourish better than if it just grew wild. Trimming the right growth causes the to plant divert its precious life energy to the growth that will bring the best blossoms.

How similar we are in the projects and commitments we grow! Every new project and commitment requires the time and focus that is our creative life energy, and, at a certain point, the upkeep on them is such that it’s hard to get any one of them to blossom. Instead of remarkable products and budding relationships, we end up with projects continually half-done, friends/family/clients half-satisfied, and experiences half-lived. Twenty buds that never got the nourishment they needed never outshines the ten blossoms that did.

Unfortunately, we do not have the gentle gardener that comes through and delicately trims our projects and commitments so that we grow the way we could. Instead, the sometimes harsh storms of time, money, and stress force us to pare down what we’re trying to do, and all too often the growth that helps us flourish is the first growth to be broken by the winds – we respond and fix urgent crises and are left with so little energy for the important stuff that those things never get a chance to grow.

The month of May happens to be a great month for pruning both roses and projects. We’ve had a few months to see which of our New Year’s Resolutions or ideals have made progress and which have not. The mere possibilities of the summer are now much closer to nexus of actuality and impossibility. It’s time for us to choose what major things we will grow this year now, in the spring sun, before the summer sun comes and scorches the weak growth into the ground.

Take a look at your projects, someday/maybes, and dreams for this year. Which are you going to prune so that the others can blossom?

Originally published at productiveflourishing.com