My wife Lainey made a brilliant observation a while back (not an odd occurrence). We were setting up for a yard sale and she said that you could take something that looked pretty good in the living room and move it out to the yard and it looked like junk.
I think this really says a lot about location and perspective.
It reminds me of the person who finally quits a dead-end job or ends a bad relationship. Once they’re out and have the benefit of distance and a new perspective they shake their head in disbelief and say, “I can’t believe it took me that long to get out.”
Face it…like the sunlight in the yard, when you shed the bright light of knowledge, wisdom, insight and distance on something how different it can look. What looked pretty good in one place is diminished greatly in another setting.
Do you have something you suspect is junk? Do you need to get something out of the house for a new perspective? Here are three keys to cleaning house:
- The first step to cleaning house is to do the hard work of getting the stuff out of the house and into the yard so you can see what it looks like from the new perspective. You have to remove yourself from the equation to get a better look; see it from a new angle. When you look at the couch in the living room you only see if from the front. When you move it out in the yard you can walk all the way around and get a much better look. Take a sabbatical or an extended vacation. Get some distance. Distance brings perspective. Perspective brings new insights. New insights bring the courage to change. Whatever it is, get it out in the yard where you can see it in a new light.
- The next step is the courage to actually get rid of it. It’s one thing to make the decision to get rid of it, it’s quite another to be brave enough to stick with the decision…courageous to watch someone else walk away with it. How many “break ups” become “make ups” because of the lack of courage to stick with the initial decision? We’ve seen this before, in toddlers. It’s Christmas and the presents have been opened and the toys are out in abundance. But one little guy has monopolized all the toys because even though he doesn’t really want to play with all of the toys right now, he doesn’t want anyone else to play with them either. Be brave enough to let it go…whether it’s the couch, the job, or the relationship.
- And finally, (like number 2) have the resolve not to move it back into the house. You’ve gone through the hard work to move it out into the yard. You’ve had the courage to actually negotiate to get rid of it. Now don’t waste all that by caving and moving it back into the house and accepting the status quo. Do you know why? Because once you move the stuff to the yard, it’ll never be the same. Whether it’s a job or a relationship or a couch, once you see something in a new light, you can’t “un-see” it.
You’ve tasted the new wine. Now you need the new wineskins.