Saturday, February 21, 2009

Dead heading


A long time ago before I was a mom to two little boys under 3 I loved gardening. I still do - these days it just looks more like an appreciation rather than a love especially if you've seen my gardens.

There's a principle in gardening that I get. It's one of those like anything that just clicks for you... it just makes sense. It is the idea of dead heading.

What is meant by the phrase dead heading is that you prune, or even just pinch, off spent blossoms in order for the plant to thrive. It is a redirection of energy. The plant no longer has to use any energy supporting the faded bloom, rather it can spend all its energy on growing and producing more buds.

I've seen this principle at work like crazy in my gardens and it makes a world of difference.

At work in my own life is a similar principle but I have to say I'm just now learning it and paying close attention to it. It's marketed these days as strengths training. Gallup has done research and books have been written (so it has to be true!) that stress that we should be spending the best part of our energy working in the areas we are already strong in and find ways to delegate tasks that are not in areas of our strengths to people for whom those are their strengths.

This is SO counter-cultural in America. We usually look to find our weaknesses and work hard to improve on them.

So, in my day-to-day I wonder, where am I spending energy trying to support a spent flower? Where do I need to dead head and watch some crazy, beautiful growth take place?

Have you implemented this idea in your life? What have you learned?

1 comment:

I'm Jan said...

Learning my Strengths has transformed the way I do life, marriage, motherhood, and ministry (and no I did not mean for most of those to start with m). Knowing why I operate the way I do has been tremendously helpful in relating to other people and getting the most out of me. I also know how what drains me to death and how I can surround myself with people who will be honored and engaged if I release those things to them!