One of my favorite quotes — one that guides much of my life and work — is a Japanese proverb:
Your garden is not complete until there’s nothing more you can take out of it.
A garden cannot have EVERYTHING in it. If it does, it ceases to be a garden and instead becomes a mess. A tangled mess.
Beautiful gardens are those in which the person who tends to it carefully and with great thought removes that which is not necessary.
The result is that those plants and flowers that remain are able to get all the nourishment they need and thus they grow strong and true.
People who see the garden or who walk through it notice the care and fore-thought that went into the planning can care and they appreciate the beauty that surrounds them.
The same holds true for your life.
As you remove that which isn’t necessary to you, you begin to nourish those notions and ideas and things that do mean something to you.
So, first you remove the weeds.
Next, you remove the things that, while not weeds, tend to occupy your time to no end.
After that, you remove the not so important flowers and plants. This is where it gets tricky because it may be a close call between what you will keep and what you will discard.
Life is full of tough choices, though.
And they need to be done.
You will finally come to the point that there will be nothing more that you can take from your garden.
What you will be left with is your completed garden. If you tend to it and care for it properly, then you will have a resplendent garden that you will be proud to show.
Sometimes, life and work and play isn’t about acquiring or attaining. It is about removing, trimming, honing, and discarding.
Think about that quote for a little while. I think that as you do that, it will make more and more sense to you.
“Your garden is not complete until there’s nothing more you can take out of it.”