As I stood proudly overlooking my newly planted vegetable garden, I noticed that the last row was already shaded. And, it was only 11:30! I looked up at the offending branch leaning out from a large maple. Bah! I can’t have that!

I eyed the tree through narrow eyes, studying how three large trunks joined together at its base and had grown skyward in three different directions. I studied the size and location of the branches, the first of which was a good twelve feet above the ground. Then it occurred to me. I could climb the maple tree and cut down the overhanging limb with my handsaw.

After retrieving the ladder from the garden shed, I extended it and leaned it against one of the three trunks. I checked the stability and noted that I would have to climb up stepping only on the center of each rung since the ladder hung off the tree on both sides. One wrong step and the ladder would slide right off the tree.

With the folding saw tucked securely in my back pocket, I slowly climbed upward until I could grab the lowest branch. Then, stepping off the top rung, I was climbing the tree. For a moment, I felt seven years old again! I smiled mischievously and inched upward until I found myself near the overhanging limb. With my right leg firmly planted on a strong limb and my left leg wrapped tightly around the trunk, I reached for my hand saw, opened the blade and began sawing.

The limb I was cutting was actually the top third of one of the three trunks – the very trunk I was clinging to. You can imagine the words that came out of my mouth when I heard, and then saw, the wood begin to split downward. In a flash, I folded the blade, stuffed it into my back pocket and descended to where the three trunks joined (imagine super-shero speed here). Once safe, I looked back up to see how far the tree had split and realized it was not enough for the limb to drop. I tried to shake it and entice it to fall to the earth, but no such luck. There was only one thing to do – climb back up!

Let me stop right here and clarify that I do NOT recommend you try this at home. Tree work is for professionals (and crazy forty-seven year old women with fond memories of tree-climbing as a child).

It took a couple more trips up the tree before the limb finally fell to the ground with a loud thud. Feeling satisfied, I carefully climbed down and once again looked over my garden. The last row, previously shaded, was now basking in the sun. Ahhh! Success!

I had a formula for achieving my goal. Knowing what I wanted to accomplish, why it was important to succeed and having the willingness to go out on a limb (yuck, yuck).

I’d love to hear your formula for success. You can post it in the comment section below. And, if you are feeling stuck, check out my seminar Yes, you can! Overcoming obstacles to create the life you desire, listed on my events page.


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