A garbage truck travels its route stopping at every garbage can and dumping the contents into the truck. The truck continues until it is full and can't hold any more garbage. Then it goes to the dump in order to empty all of the garbage it has collected.
You can behave as a garbage truck. This happens when you pick up and store mental garbage on a regular basis. Unlike the garbage truck, you don’t often empty the accumulation and may even carry it around with you for a lifetime. As a result, you get bogged down as your mental garbage accumulates.
Continuous refuse accumulation results in numerous negative impacts. Elevated stress levels, moodiness, sadness, anger, eating and sleep disorders, ulcers, high blood pressure, and headaches are just some of the manifestations.
You will find and pick up trash everywhere. Worries, bad experiences, opinions of others, criticism, insecurities, doubt, fear, and uncertainties are some examples of the mental litter gathered and stored.
Obviously, the best way to deal with mental garbage is to avoid picking it up in the first place. Most of the stuff you get bogged down with isn’t worth any attention at all. Worries are a perfect example. Worry is like being in a rocking chair. It’s a lot of activity that doesn’t get you anywhere. Don’t waste time worrying. Instead, either take action or let it go.
Worries lead to fears which cause you to project the worst possible outcome. This is a precarious situation because your mind tends to attract whatever it’s fixated on. When you carry around fears, you are focused on your fears. You have created the probability of a self-fulfilling prophecy which will reinforce your fears.
Letting go of your worries helps you release your fears. Additionally, you should replace your fears with an ideal mental vision of whatever result you would like to have happen. This directs your mind to attract what you want instead of what you are afraid of.
Bad experiences also weigh you down. You carry around all of the negative effects of the emotions you felt. As a result, these experiences accumulate, acting as an anchor rather than learning experiences. Stored bad experiences cause you to become skittish, limiting your ability to move forward.
Analyze your bad experiences. Determine the cause along with what you could have done differently. Use this information to become wiser. It’s impossible to live a mistake free life. Your objective is to avoid repeating the same errors.
Criticism from other people is added to the mental garbage you carry around. You fret over any negative comments you receive. Your hurt feelings create emotional pain. You then try to conform to what you think will be accepted in order to avoid future criticism. You change course to meet others’ expectations rather than your own.
This reaction bogs you down. It’s a no win situation. You are unhappy because either you are not following your path or you are not being accepted. The only way to jettison this mental garbage is to live life on your terms without worrying about or seeking anyone else’s approval.
Uncertainty about the future clogs your mind, preventing you from enjoying the present. Squandering today by fretting about tomorrow accomplishes nothing for today or tomorrow. Unless you break out of this cycle, your days will be needlessly filled with stress.
Each day must be treasured by appreciating all the blessings in your life. The foundation for tomorrow is built by appreciating today. Today is when you take action to prepare for tomorrow.
Now is the perfect time to purge your mental garbage. Once you clear your mind, don’t start picking up new trash. You have much more important things to focus on.
NOW AVAILABLE: "Dare to Live Without Limits," the book. Visit www.BryanGolden.com or your bookstore. Bryan is a management consultant, motivational speaker, author, and adjunct professor. E-mail Bryan at
or write him c/o this paper. 2013 Bryan Golden