Prune your Relationships

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How far you go in life is going to be determined by who and what you surround yourself with, be it humans, books, affiliations, or priorities. You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with – show me your friends, and I’ll show you your future and who you are. Most of us hold on to familiar relationships and allow people to mistreat and abuse us because they are family. The word family is from the Latin Familia 1 “servants of a household,” or “domesticus”. We hold on to the known and familiar even when it is not taking us to where we want to go or giving us joy. Life is too short to spend time or energy with someone or something that is not serving your pursuit of joy.

We stay on social media platforms because of the fear of missing out and staying connected. That is necessarily not bad but when you dig deep, you realize that it might not be really worth it. We spend a large chunk of our waking hours using various screens, communicating on various instantaneous chat platforms such as WhatsApp and Slack, unlocking our mobile phones 90 times a day, and numbing ourselves through dumb scrolling through other people’s well-curated timelines. Our relationship with our phones, social media, screens, and other humans takes a large chunk of our precious time daily. We are all given the same amount of time daily but most of us unconsciously waste it on relationships, platforms, and situations that are not going to take us to the promised land.

To do what you have never done, you have to do things differently by embracing discomfort, staying disciplined, and safeguarding your sanity by pruning how you spend your time and the people you allow into your life. As author, Jim Rohn once said, “We must all suffer from one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. The difference is discipline weighs ounces while regret weighs tons.”

We know our friends during adversity, and our friends know us during prosperity. Grief re-orders your phonebook, showing you who your foxhole friends are, your frenemies and those just there to watch you suffer during your trying times.  As Maya Angelou once said, when they show you who they are, believe them the first time. We allow people to treat us anyhow because of a lack of healthy boundaries, low self-esteem, and giving them the benefit of the doubt. Most time, when you continuously give people the benefit of the doubt, they get the benefit and you get the doubt.

In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends” – Martin Luther King Jr.


In Necessary Endings: The Employees, Businesses, and Relationships That All of Us Have to Give Up in Order to Move Forward 2, Clinical Psychologist and New York Times bestselling author Dr. Henry Cloud shares mindset-altering methods for managing and pruning our relationships. He writes:

Certainly, there is talent and art behind every beautiful garden. But there is also a method behind the beauty. It is called pruning. Pruning is a process of proactive endings. It turns out that a rosebush, like many other plants, cannot reach its full potential without a very systematic process of pruning. The gardener intentionally and purposefully cuts off branches and buds that fall into any of three categories:

1. Healthy buds or branches that are not the best ones,
2. Sick branches that are not going to get well 
3. Dead branches that are taking up space needed for the healthy ones to thrive.

Whether we like it or not, endings are a part of life. They are woven into the fabric of life itself, both when it goes well, and also when it doesn’t. On the good side of life, for us to ever get to a new level, a new tomorrow, or the next step, something has to end. Life has seasons, stages, and phases. For there to be anything new, old things always have to end, and we have to let go of them. Infancy gives rise to toddlerhood, and must be forever shunned in order to get to the independence that allows a child to thrive.

Cloud classify necessary endings into three:

Necessary Ending Type 1

Rosebushes and other plants produce more buds than the plant can sustain. The plant has enough life and resources to feed and nurture only so many buds to their full potential; it can’t bring all of them to full bloom. In order for the bush to thrive, a certain number of buds have to go. The caretaker constantly examines the bush to see which buds are worthy of the plant’s limited fuel and support and cuts the others away. He prunes them. Takes them away, never to return. He ends their role in the life of the bush and puts an end to the bush’s having to divert resources to them.

In doing so, the gardener frees those needed resources so the plant can redirect them to the buds with the greatest potential to become mature roses. Those buds get the best that the bush has to offer, and they thrive and grow to fullness. But the rosebush could not do this without pruning. It is a necessity of life for rosebushes. Without the endings, you don’t get the best roses.

Necessary Ending Type 2

Some branches are sick or diseased and are not ever going to make it. For a while, the gardener may monitor them, fertilize and nurture them, or otherwise try to make them healthy. But at some point, he realizes that more water, more fertilizer, or more care is just not going to help. For whatever reason, they are not going to recover and become what he needs them to be to create the final picture of beauty he wants for the bush and the garden. These are next to go: necessary ending type 2.

Necessary Ending Type 3

Then there are the branches and buds that are dead and taking up space. The healthy branches need that room to reach their full length and height, but they cannot sprlead when dead branches force them to bend and turn corners; they should be growing straight for the goal. To give the healthy blooms and branches room and an unobstructed path to grow, the dead ones are cut away. This is an example of necessary ending type 3.

The areas of your business and life that require your limited resources—your time, energy, talent, emotions, money—but are not achieving the vision you have for them should be pruned. Just like an unpruned rosebush, your endeavors will be merely average without pruning.

It is time to prune that relationship if it is not elevating you or helping you become a better version of yourself. You have the remote control of your life in your hands, given the agency to pause, stop or exit any relationships that are not serving your purpose. It is tough making the necessary decisions and endings, but it is better to have just one or two trustworthy family and friends than to continue to delude yourself that you are a people person because you have 50 people you constantly chat with on your WhatsApp. The real test of our relationship is if people would be there for us when we need them during trying times.


  • Daily Calm with Tamara Levitt – Grounding
  • Daily Jay with Jay Shetty – Habit Stacking
  • Habits we all have for better or/and worse, some are automatic like brushing your teeth or making your morning coffee. When it come to establishing new habits that could be daunting because it can be incredibly tough to get new behaviour to stick whether it’s flossing your teeth or journaling. It can be hard to remember, had to make time for, hard to prioritize.
  • Habit Stacking is a way of taking advantage of your current practices to develop new ones.


Ep. 254: The Laws Of Less – Deep Questions with Cal Newport

All the best in your quest to get better. Don’t Settle: Live with Passion.

Lifelong Learner | Entrepreneur | Digital Strategist at Reputiva LLC | Marathoner | Bibliophile |

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