Maximize by Minimizing

“Grandpa, why are you picking those Apricots? They’re still green?” The 10 year old watched as his grandfather removed his wide brimmed hat and wiped his forehead with the back of a hand.

“I’m not picking. I’m thinning.”  Grandpa came over and knelt down by the boy, holding out his hand to show some green apricots he’d pulled from the tree. “You see,” he said, pointing back up to the nearest branch heavily hung with small, green apricots, “those apricots are too close. There’s too many of them. I have to thin them out every year or none of them will grow big or taste very good.”

Grandpa stood and guided the boy around to the other side of the tree to where he’d started thinning earlier. “Look at this branch. I’ve left a space between the apricots about a popsicle stick in length. Doing that gives them space to grow, to take moisture and nourishment from the tree without having to share it with so many others. Once they ripen, I’ll actually end up with more apricots pound for pound than if I’d left them all on the tree. They’ll all taste sweeter too.”

“Oh,” the boy said, and ran off to join his other cousins who’d come over to play. Grandpa watched and wryly shook his head. “I wish you were old enough to understand the lesson you just heard. I wish I would have learned it earlier myself.” Grandpa went back to the branch he”d been working on.

Each year, thin your life of unnecessary and unimportant things. Make room to nourish and grow what really matters most. It’ll make the overall harvest better and the fruit of your labor taste all the more sweet.

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