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Motivational and Inspirational Stories

Get Rid of the Splinter.
By: Sue Dickinson
At the start of a new year, everyone is focused on improving things. New Year's resolutions abound, everything from vowing to wear more skirts to the office to committing to advanced education or maybe even trying for another baby! Everybody seems to enter the New Year with refreshed hope that all those wonderful things that we dream could happen will really come true this time.

But, is there something that you already HAVE in your life that is holding you back? The other day, I saw my four year old was limping noticeably. I asked him if something was wrong with his foot, but he replied "no". This happened three or four times before he finally admitted that he had stepped on something and it had gotten into the bottom of his foot. If there is one thing Douglas does not like, it’s mommy or daddy having to remove splinters. He was willing to put up with the pain of the splinter rather than admit that he had a problem. It was hard for me to understand why he preferred the pain of the splinter to the solution. But, he was in denial. He had talked himself into believing that the splinter wasn’t that bad, that it would go away, and that the pain would get better.

We laugh when we see a child behave this way. But do you have a splinter in your life that you are ignoring?

Maybe your health isn’t so great, or you owe too much money. Maybe you are having family problems or are afraid to fly in a plane. I’ll bet almost everybody has something that they are choosing to ignore.

I have a splinter. But I’m not going to tell you what it is. And I won’t ask you about your’s. Because I think the thorns in our life are too personal. It is easy to talk about our goals, our dreams and our schemes. It’s fun to share with people our hopes for the future, especially when we have set solid resolutions to see them to fruition. But, the splinters in our life are different.

For one thing, for a long time, we just choose to ignore our splinters. We behave like Douglas did with the real splinter. We tell ourselves that it’s not so bad, that it will go away. We can handle it. So, although it’s there, we don’t even recognize it.

But then, there is a point in our life when we face the splinter. We realize it won’t get better unless we leave our denial behind, stop ignoring it, and act. Maybe we discuss it with people close to us. Maybe we seek guidance from a doctor or a support group. In fact, sharing the splinter with loved ones or professionals can be very helpful in dealing with the sorrow we are feeling. But, ultimately, when it comes down to the final solution, it is all up to us. With splinters, we can’t expect anyone else to solve it for us. We have to admit it is there, that it needs to change, and that we need to change it.

Brian Tracy said in his book "Focal Point" that one of the great life lessons we all have to learn is that "your life only gets better when you get better". It seems such a simple statement, but has a tremendous impact to our lives when we accept it.

It’s the time for making resolutions, and we should all do that, looking forward to achieving our dreams. I have made several this year. But, I have decided that this is the time to finally deal with my splinter, as well. I’m not looking forward to it. It will be much more difficult, and much more painful than going for my goals. But, I think that unless I do face it, I’ll never be truly happy even if I do achieve my goals. Maybe, in order to achieve our destiny, we have to find the courage to first eliminate the splinters in our lives. Once they are removed, we are free to fly!

Sue Dickinson publishes the Unlimited Mom Newsletter, a newsletter dedicated to helping working moms recognize and value all facets of their lives…their families, their work and their personal development. Visit for more information.

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