There was a man walking down a busy street. In one hand, he carried a bag of bricks; in the other, a bag of rocks. Attached to his belt were little bags of dirt and each of his pockets were full of sharp stones. If that weren’t enough, on his back, he carried a nap sack filled with sand.
A woman watched him walking with his heavy load and asked him, “Why are you carrying that bag of bricks?” The man answered, “I don’t know. I didn’t know that I was carrying it,” and then he dropped the bag of bricks.
As he continued walking, another person stopped him and said, “Why are you lugging that bag of rocks?” To which the man responded, “I’m not sure. I didn’t know that I was lugging it,” and then he dropped the bag of rocks. He noticed he felt a little lighter.
Moments later, another person approached him and asked him why he had bags of dirt tied to his waist. The man paused and said, “I didn’t know that I was carrying them. They certainly have been wearing me down.” Then he released the bags one by one to the ground.
As the man continued his walk, others made him aware of the burdens he was carrying – the stones in his pockets and the nap sack filled with sand on his back. As he became conscious of each burden, he discarded them, eventually becoming a free man.
The point of this old story is that the rocks, bricks, stones, dirt or sand were not his true burden. It was the fact that he was unaware that he was carrying these burdens which was his real burden.
When he became cognizant of that fact, he dropped his burdens and became a free man. Think of some of the mental burdens that you carry around: worry, guilt, envy, pride, sarcasm, resentment, cynicism, blaming others, self-doubt, anger, negative thinking. Why would you carry these burdens, when by dropping them from your mind, you can become free? Consider the mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual drain they have had on you.
Should you decide to “drop them,” here are 3 steps to help get you started:
Step #1) Pick a mental burden and decide to be without it for a day. For example: Say you feel worried about something that “may” happen in the future. Decide to not allow any thoughts of that worry to enter your conscious mind for a whole day. Whenever you begin to worry about this “possible” event, brush it aside and immediately begin to concentrate on something else.
Step #2) Fight your ego or “lower self” which maintains that you must think of this worry. That is false. You never have to worry about anything. You can be concerned or alerted to something, but to worry about something means that you have tied a story to your thought. You choose to worry.
Here is a good example of what I mean by choosing to worry. Imagine that you get an invitation to a party that will be held in two weeks. It’s a big party, and you call the hostess to tell her that you will attending. During the conversation you find out that someone whom you really don’t like has also been invited.
As you hang up, just the mere thought of possibly seeing or – even worse – being forced to interact with this person ties your stomach up in knots. You feel miserable. You can’t seem to stop thinking about this horrible situation. You worry about what you will say and what will “that person” say or do, etc.
However, a few moments later, you realize that your favorite television show is about to start and you turn on the tube and watch it. Not once during the show did you think about the party or “that person.”
Now when the television show is over, the worry/anger/fear about the party returns. But wait! Where were these emotions – these horrible thoughts – while you were watching the TV? As soon as the show was over you CHOSE to worry/be angry/feel jealous just like you would CHOOSE to put on a different top or shoes. You CHOOSE what you worry about. So stop that! Why carry that burden of worry?
Step #3) At the end of the day, examine how you feel. At first, it may have been a challenge to drop the burden of (in this case) worry – but as the day progressed, it got easier. How do you feel now?
Could you do this again tomorrow with the same burden or a new one? It’s a choice as to whether or not you will honestly look at yourself and analyze how false burdens have created and affected your current life.
Should you choose to continue to carry these burdens, they will create a chain of misery like the one worn by Jacob Marley in Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. “I made it link by link; yard by yard. I girded it on by my own free will and of my own free will I wore it,” said Marley.
Break the chain now. Refuse to carry these mental burdens by working on yourself, applying self-study and then taking action.
No one understands your burdens and why you have them better than you. No person, no teaching, no seminar or book can release these burdens for you. They may give you ideas as to why you carry these burdens, but you will only receive a variety of conflicting opinions. You have to do the work yourself. It can be done.
Imagine the day when one of these burdens appear and you say, “I’m not going to pick you up. I don’t need you anymore.”
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Known as a guy who took a dream and turned it into reality, Bob Garner is a successful business person, author and funny motivational speaker who speaks for Fortune 1000 corporations on personal and professional development.