Saturday, September 19, 2009

What Are You Tolerating?

On the way downstairs this morning, I stepped over a pile of accumulated stuff that my kids have left on the steps -- for days and days. I passed the sample boards for bathroom tiles leaning against the wall that the guy brought over four months ago for a fix-up in one of our bathrooms. A project yet to be started. And now as I've begun to write this post, I can't move my darned mouse around because it has to circumvent a maze of the clutter on my desk.

These are minor irritations, but irritations nonetheless. And I've been putting up with them. As busy people, we humans tolerate a lot. Not just the small things, but big, important things like living on the edge financially, being overweight, or putting up with negative, energy-draining people.

Why do we do this? Yes, we are all busy, distracted, pulled in many directions and short on time. And many of us have been taught to accept the status quo, not to complain or rock the boat, or to put up with other people's bad behavior. But what if you started eliminating the tolerations in your life? What if you made the decision to start addressing the irritations, energy drains and negative habits that stand in the way of a happier, fuller life? A life focused on what you really love and value rather than one marred by tolerations.

I know. It can be overwhelming. There are so many things we tolerate, it's difficult to know where to start. But now that your attention is focused on it, can I challenge you to just start somewhere? Dave Ramsey, the financial advice guru, encourages people who are in debt to start paying off the smallest debt first. Every early success can motivate you to tackle the bigger issues. And every success is a gift to you -- a gift of more energy, more time, more peace of mind.

So here's my challenge for you: pick one small thing in your life that you are tolerating and eliminate it this week. That's all. Just start there, and maybe you will be motivated to challenge yourself next week to take on another!

I'd love to hear back from any of you about your toleration and how you handled it.


  1. Omg I am tolerating so much. How could I possibly choose? Okay but here is a good one: I talked to my insurance company today and officially straightened out the legalities on Paul living somewhere else. I just learned yesterday that this is an issue with our auto policy. So it's fixed now. Check one off of the list of 100.

  2. Procrastination. I'm so quick to identify it in my husband and kids - probably because I am guilty of it myself. If I could somehow keep in the front of my brain how good it feels to actually deal with the "thing" I've been putting off. And its funny, I find that once I face it, the "thing" is usually not as difficult as I've built up in my mind.

  3. I know exactly what you mean! I have recently set aside a day to deal with my tolerations. I have created a list of them in different categories. I try to tackle 2 or 3 easy ones and 1 hard one each week. Thank you for reading my blog!