The Inner Bottom Line ®
A Column on Personal Choices & Ethical Dilemmas by Olive Gallagher
In the past week, at least three clients have said to me, “I’m so ready to start taking things apart and clean out the clutter. It always makes me feel better.”
Spring cleaning. http://is.gd/nTZUQA Simplifying. Organizing. Music to my ears. As well as a prompt for the sun to come out and show me the way to those ever-present smudges on the windows that are invisible when it’s raining and gloomy.
Now I recognize for some that the mere idea of straightening anything is depressing, even unnecessary. But for a much greater percentage of us, there seems to be an instinct within us, as in most species, to clean house, tidy up the nest and throw away the debris that’s piled up. http://is.gd/bEmk8Q If you’ve ever watched an eagle nest being prepared for the arrival and raising of the newborns, it’s astounding how much housekeeping gets done daily, especially by the father.
So may I suggest while you’re going through this annual routine, that you consider including The Inner Bottom Line® that belongs exclusively to you.
It functions much the same way. Within this totally private, internal place where our choices and values protectively live, clutter and debris from too many thoughtless, even destructive, choices we’ve made lie in wait to trip us up, usually at a moment when we can least afford a awkward spill.
And it’s also on The Inner Bottom Line that your Short List is found, a list of the ten or twelve things in your life that are non-negotiable and that you wouldn’t, couldn’t, abandon or compromise, no matter what. Now if, within the last year, you’ve taken stock and made adjustments to accommodate those people and relationships in your life that are most important and primary, as well as take into account the essential things you need to feel safe and content in your life, then You’re Playing with a Full Deck.™ But if you haven’t taken a personal inventory in the last one-to-five years, chances are, your list is out-of-date and in need of a good spring cleaning.
Think about it. What mattered to you most when you were a teenager isn’t what matters to you in your thirties, much less your fifties or seventies. So constant examinations and adjustments must be made.
To jump start simplify the process, here are four key questions to help you begin:
1.) What’s Keeping You Awake at Night?™
2.) Who’s in control?
3.) How long has this (annoying, stressful, abusive, or disappointing situation) been going on?
4.) What’s it going to cost to resolve or get rid of this stressful dilemma?
Yes, there’s always a price for every choice we make. And when the price gets too high, then something has to change.
Control, along with power, is at the heart of any dilemma or problem. Gaining clarity and getting uncluttered about what people and things in your life matter most and which choices will ultimately be best for you will reduce your stress and change everything.
So lighten up your load. Jettison the excess and toss the debris. And that includes any relationship in which you are not being treated with respect, honesty and appreciation. After all, why would you want to have any person in your life that treats you badly or doesn’t even notice that you’re there?
Good luck and Happy Spring Cleaning!
Olive Gallagher, a life coach, ethicist, and national columnist recently moved to Lake Oswego, OR and is currently offering classes on The Inner Bottom Line twice a month at the LO Adult Community Center.
You can submit your questions and ethical dilemmas or book consulting appointments and private coaching sessions with Olive at 503-908-7842 or www.theinnerbottomline.com.
Hard cover, Kindle and audio versions of Olive’s book, The Nude Ethicist: A Simple Path to The Good Life™, are now available on amazon.com.