I planted three rosebushes in our front yard a couple years ago. They are right in front of the windows and have a direct view from the street. When they were first planted, I watered them daily and made sure to fertilize them so the bugs wouldn’t eat them. Last year, I got pretty lax and began to let things go. Cut to this year, where I didn’t pay much attention to the three rosebushes. However, I did notice that two were looking quite beautiful and were producing vibrant flowers.
You see, I assumed that the other one would just catch up to the beautiful one. I really didn’t spend much time thinking or worrying about it. I also didn’t spend any time watering, fertilizing or feeding them. It just seemed like too much work.
I just ignored it.
Three days ago, I was coming into the house from walking the dog. For the first time, I took a really good look at my rosebushes. The one in the middle was completely dead. There were no flowers and no leaves. It was completely, unequivocally, absolutely dead.
I went in the house shocked and thought about how that could have happened. Why didn’t I notice that there was an urgent problem with the bush? Couldn’t I see along the way that there was a problem? Why didn’t I water, feed and fertilize it while it still had a chance?
Sound familiar? You’ve probably seen this unfold in your own life at some point or another. Maybe you have a problem dealing with an employee at work or someone in your personal life and you see little signs of an issue here and there. You let things slide day after day because you don’t really want to deal with it. To be honest, you have better things to occupy your time and you believe that it’s not a priority. So you put it off and go on to the next task.
You do this because dealing with relationships can be uncomfortable. Having these types of conversations can be difficult. So you just ignore it and hope it will get better.
But guess what happens instead? Left unattended, the situation grows, expands and festers until the little issue becomes a full-blown serious problem. When you finally take a really close look, you see the reality. You wonder how you let it get to that point in the same way that I wondered how my rosebush went from growing and healthy to totally dead. It just felt like it happened overnight.
This is a hard lesson for you to learn. It takes energy and discipline to solve the little problems that crop up daily. Solving the problem might involve having an uncomfortable discussion with someone and that’s not a pleasurable experience. But hoping that it will go away just doesn’t work.
So you need to make a CHANGE in the way that you view the world. You need to recognize the tension or the uncomfortable feeling,when you have a situation that is just a bit off kilter. Deal with it NOW and don’t let yourself look the other way. Force yourself to confront the situation, no matter how small it is. You need to do this because before you know it, that small problem can grow and infect your whole family or organization.
Make the commitment to water, feed and fertilize your relationships daily.