On a recent trip to Hawaii I snapped a photo of a sign I spotted, as my sister and I strolled the Botanical Gardens. It read:
“Do not stand here: Falling Mangos”
That sign was pretty darn clear. Move away from the mango tree or you run the risk of getting thumped on the head.
This picture got me thinking of when else in life we get a thump on the head.
Something from my life, that had been metaphorically hitting me on the head and wearing me down, immediately came to mind. This nudged me to make a big decision to move away from the matter.
And boy did that feel good.
I bet you can think of times in your life when you’ve moved away from something.
For elderly folks, knowing when to stop driving can be one of those situations. My mother, now 93 years old, chose to give up driving when she was 86. It was a gift to our family to not have to wrestle the keys away from her. So, what happened?
Her thump on the head came in the form of a minor fender bender on a wet Florida road and she said, “What do I need with all of this stress!”
What do you need to move away from?
Sometimes it takes a good thump on the head to get us to change. You know, the proverbial “wake-up call.”
But, what if you don’t get that aha moment?
Take a moment right now and stop to consider the question:
What is thumping you on the head?
I doubt you have to worry about falling mangoes.
But, what is it that you need to move away from? What do you find yourself complaining about?
Maybe it’s a toxic friend. A demanding boss. A soul-sucking job. An under-performing employee. A bad marriage. A money-pit home. An unhealthy diet. A shopping habit.
What might you be ignoring, pushing down, defending, compensating for or wishfully hoping will go away.
What if removing this problem has an easier solution than you may have imagined?
I’m all for working at making life better. It often takes shifting our attitude or behaving in a new way.
But, there are times when moving away from a situation just might be the better course of action.
So, how do we know it’s one of those times?
For me, this usually happens after I’ve done all I can and am still feeling out-of-sorts. I’m talking about months or years of trying to make things better. I don’t bail easily.
A skilled coach or therapist can be a huge help in figuring this out.
Once I have clarity it’s time for me to “move away from the mango.” To stop complaining and take action.
When I make that choice, and begin to step away, I feel a spaciousness and opportunity for something new and wonderful to come into my life.
That’s why I say:
When we vigorously grasp hold of something that’s not gratifying, we limit our chance to reach for something that could be.
What is your mango?
Once you’ve named aloud the thing or person that’s thumping you on the head then it’s time to consider what you can do to remedy the situation? Or, maybe you’ll realize the time has come to move away from your mango tree.
So, I’d say that there are times in life when moving away from a toxic person or stubbornly difficult situation is the best way to keep from repeatedly getting thumped on the head, while opening us to new possibilities. What would you say?
For more tips on leading a less stressful life checkout my book: Less Stress Business: A Guide for Hiring, Coaching and Leading Great Employees