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BBH Feature: You Must “Eliminate” to Accelerate Your Life or Business

the importance of elimination

Elimination: The Source of Health

For as long as I could remember I had a mole on my right calf.

It was a pretty good size, but I never thought twice about it.

That was until I was in shorts a few times and I had a some people ask, “Have you ever got that checked?” After that, I decided to get it looked at.

I asked my primary care doctor about it and he said he looked fine. He told me not to worry about it, so I ignored it and went on with my life.

Months later, someone else asked me about the mole again, so I decided to go back to my doctor. Again he said it looked fine.

This time I wouldn’t settle for that. I asked him if I could see a dermatologist. He said yes.

On July 18th 2008, I went in to see the dermatologist. She was very nice. But her reaction surprised me.

The moment she saw the mole she said, “I don’t like the way that looks at all. I am going away on vacation and I don’t want you to wait to deal with it. Can you wait around? I want to remove it today and get it checked.”

I said, “Sure.

A few hours later she removed it and sent it away for testing. When the results came back we found out it was cancer.

I was fortunate that it was the best kind of skin cancer you can have.

It was only in the outer-most layer of my skin and fully contained in the mole. She did another operation later to remove more skin around it – just to be safe.

But I was so thankful that I asked for another opinion and for her being diligent about it!

There are only two things to do with cancer when it is found:

1. Remove it
2. Kill it – usually with chemo

We All Have Cancer

We have all have a cancer in our lives or our business.

We all have something – at least one thing – that we’ve allowed into our lives and/or our business, which – if we leave it be – will one day produce death.

It’s usually not something that will bring literal death, but  it will produce “death” of some sort:

  • Death of a relationship
  • Death of a dream/goal
  • Death of your savings
  • Death of your business
  • Etc.

And because that is true about all of us, we all have to make a decision to make about the “cancer” in our lives.

We need to decide: Do we ignore it, remove it, or kill it?

Elimination: The Source of Growth


“The Great Vine” –

I  heard that in Hampton Court Palace, near London, there is grape vine that is the largest grape vine in the world.  Not only is it large. It is extremely old. 

How old? As of 2016, it is 248 years old! It’s currently such a special vine that it’s protected by a huge glass house. But the vine wasn’t always this big or special.

You see, the vine was originally planted by a man named Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown, who oversaw its planting from a cutting which was taken from the Valentines Mansion, in Essex.

It has grown so large since then that they have had to build five or six glasshouses, because the vine kept outgrowing them! You’re probably wondering: How has it grown so large and remained alive so long?

There’s one reason: pruning.

Every year, once the new shoots reach the length of 2.5 – 5cm or so long, it’s then time for the gardeners to reduce the number of new shoots.

Then again in the summer, the gardeners thin the leaves so that the sunlight can reach the ripening ripening fruit. 

Someone that didn’t understand gardening, would never do the things these gardeners do. They’d want to protect the young shoots. They’d want to leave the leaves alone.

And if they did? Then you’d never have the world’s largest grape vine!

As scary as this might sound, the same advice that Stephen King gives about writing is the same thing that applies to life and business…

“Kill your darlings, kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler’s heart, kill your darlings.”― Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

This is the only way you’ll ever see unbelievable growth!

Elimination: The Source of Beauty

Over 2,000 years ago a young Greek artist named Timanthes studied under a very respected tutor.  After several years, all of the teacher’s efforts seemed to have paid off when Timanthes painted an amazing work of art.

Unfortunately, he became so enraptured with the painting that he spent days gazing at it.

That is until one morning, when he arrived to admire his work and he was shocked to find it was blotted out with paint.

Timanthes was so angry that he ran to his teacher to tell him what happened. It was then that his teacher made a shocking admission. It was he who had destroyed the painting.

Why would he do such a horrible thing?

His teacher revealed the surprising reason why. He said, “I did it for your own good. That painting was retarding your progress. Start again and see if you can do better.”

Timanthes took his teacher’s advice and produced Sacrifice of Iphigenia, which I is regarded as one of the finest paintings of the ancient world…

Sacrifice of Iphigenia

Sacrifice of Iphigenia by Timanthes

Removing or “killing” something in your life or business can seem harsh or cruel. But it’s really not. It’s the only way to deal with a “cancer” of any kind.

In fact, it’s the only way to change a life or business that has become”ugly” into something “beautiful” again. As Elbert Hubbard once said…

“The sculptor produces the beautiful statue by chipping away such parts of the marble block as are not needed – it is a process of elimination.” – Elbert Hubbard

Need Some Ideas on Some Things to Eliminate?

You will have to take a serious look at your own life or business to really get a good idea of the things you need to eliminate. But let me give you some ideas to get you started.

What are some of the things we could eliminate?

  • Bad habits
  • Wrong thinking
  • Unhealthy relationships
  • Bad employees
  • Unprofitable products or services
  • And this is the surprising and maybe most difficult part… we will need to eliminate things that are good, but not great things in our lives.

Don’t prune or eliminate things in your life or business carelessly.

That’s dangerous. And even stupid.

But if you really want to see new health, new growth, and new beauty in your life or business, then you must eliminate things!

Do it wisely. Do it carefully.

But you must do it, no matter how much it hurts you to do it!

And most importantly, be like my dermatologist. Deal with it now.


Old scapels photo from Flickr Sarah G…


About Scott Aughtmon (1872 Articles)
I’m author of the book 51 Content Marketing Hacks. I am also a regular contributor to and I am the person behind the popular infographic 21 Types of Content We Crave. I’m a business strategist, consultant, content creation specialist, and speaker. I’ve been studying effective marketing and business methods (both online and offline) since 1999. ===> If you would like to see ways that we could work together, then please click here to learn more.