It was so overgrown and the foliage so dense little did I know what beauty was underneath it all. The task was beyond trimming a little hedge. It took all day and it wasn’t easy as I cut and pruned away huge branches from the trees that lined my backyard. A rustic old fence covered in beautiful ivy vines revealed itself. Suddenly there was more sunlight pouring through. A hidden rose garden was uncovered. Now, my newly seeded lawn and gardens could finally grow! 

Today I’d like to talk about a wake-up call from a very recent experience that I think has turned a page in my personal life. It’s a lesson, not a complicated one, that life has been trying to teach me for about 30 years. I’ve paid a premium for it and I think I’ve finally got it! Thus, I want to share it with you. 🙂

Be it a kick in the ass, a twist of the ear or a jab in the ribs, wake-up calls are never comfortable…

When wake-up calls happen they’re usually a little bit rude, an “interruption”, but the lesson that I learned here is that these wake-up calls only seem that way because I’m forgetting that we set ourselves up to have the same lesson repeat itself until we get the message; the big picture.

This is the part of life, the “trimming of the hedges” so to speak, that we all need from time to time.

ivy vines on fence
A beautiful ivy vine covers my backyard fence.

…It was as though I couldn’t catch a break.

There was a point a few years ago in my life where I thought I had everything figured out. I had all I wanted materially. I achieved all this by “keeping the hedges trimmed” – by being diligent, working hard, and maintaining laser focus. However, it seems that when you commit to growth, the more you work on yourself or your business, the more you uncover, the more there is to work on. I found this, over the last couple years, to be quite frustrating.

No matter what I did, no matter how far I stretched myself, no matter how much I grew as an individual, there was always something around the next corner. I never felt like I could let up or like I ever arrived… one after the other they would come.

“Jay, you have to let go of your resistance to growth!”

This was a tough pill for me to swallow because this is what I do for a living. My business is about growing, expanding as an individual, challenging status quo, it’s about questioning everything you’ve been taught and what you believe to be true; it’s about reinventing yourself and looking to see if you can do it better, smarter, more efficient.

Yet, there remained a small part of me that had an aversion to growth. Was it the child in me from back when learning happened in a fear-based environment and thus, to this day, I associated lessons with being uncomfortable…

Like a young tree that’s growing, if left to grow without being pruned, this tree will sprout branches in every direction and most likely block out the light.

Finally, it’s not so much about having the same lesson repeated until we get it. Rather, it’s about continuing to “peel away the layers of the onion” meaning, every time we experience growth life presents another opportunity for even more growth. Once I understood it that way, something shifted in me.

Sometimes the “trimming” is more like a pruning. Entire branches are lopped off and the cuts are deep. The process is messy, stressful, and can take years to complete. Relationships shift, business partnerships transform, and everything seems chaotic.

Yet, it’s the pruning that makes way for new growth…

Roses in Jay's garden
Roses in my garden.

Light now streams into the backyard through the openings that were once overgrown with unkempt branches. The once hidden rose bushes bloom vivaciously now. The grass has become a lush lawn…

Seeing growth in a new light, I now welcome opportunities where I can continually remove the layers to reveal a better person. I welcome opportunities for growth because that is what life’s about. You see, growth is only uncomfortable if you resist it. Pruning only hurts when you fail to understand it’s big picture importance… at least that’s my personal experience.

Maybe you can find something of value in what I’m saying here… What does growth look/feel like to you?

I’d love to hear your comments/feedback.

All my best,


Jay Kubassek

Listen to the Wake Up podcast below.

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