My friend Alex recommended this book to me and WOW am I glad that he did!  The book?  Necessary Endings by Henry Cloud.

Cloud’s premise is that as we go through life . . . in our personal life, business life, relationships, spiritual life, etc. . . . we need to prune.  When do we prune?

1.  If an initiative is siphoning off resources that could go to something with more promise, it is pruned.

2.  If an endeavor is sick and is not going to get well, it is pruned.

3.  If it’s clear that something is already dead, it is pruned.

You get the picture.  Apply the pruning principle to every area of life.

Cloud walks through step by step recommendations on how to define, evaluate and take action in every area of life.

A few choice quotes:

“You have to be able to admit when more effort is not going to bring about a different result.  That is the moment, when you really get it and know that something is over.”

“Failing well means ending something that is not working and choosing to do something else better.”

“I am not doing this ‘to you.’ I am doing it ‘for me.'”

“There is a difference between helping someone who is disabled, incapable, or otherwise infirm versus helping someone who is resisting growing up and taking care of what every adult (or child, for that matter) has to be responsible for: herself or himself.  When you find yourself in any way paying for someone else’s responsibilities, not only are you stuck with a delayed ending, but you are probably harming that person.”

“Pay attention when something is over and it is time to create urgency around the new.”

“The fool tries to adjust the truth so he does not have to adjust to it.”

“Whether in business or personal life, when you do something difficult but worthy, it confronts people with their own lives.”

“Getting something done is hard, or more people would be doing it.”

“Know that when you hit obstacles, they might just be a good sign that you have done the right thing.”

I wish I could have read this book 20 years ago.  My advice is is to read it today!