More than 10 years ago, I read the book, “What Should I Do with My Life: The True Story of People Who Answered the Ultimate Question” by Po Bronson. I remember generally enjoying the book, but one idea in particular really stuck with me. And, perhaps changed my life. For more than a decade, I have been sharing the idea in my own imperfect but helpful versions.

Po writes in reference to our habit of suppressing our emotions (specifically fear), “Carrying this negative energy around is like carrying a 20-pound watermelon – you can’t give a hug when you have a watermelon in your arms.” So. So. True.

In the spirit of the season, I would like you to think of carrying a pumpkin. Think about it. What can you get done when you have a GIANT pumpkin in your arms? Not much, right? You can’t eat, sleep, type, google, etc. In fact, you can’t really even focus on much else because the damn thing is so heavy. You have to keep shifting it around or you’ll drop it.

I see people carrying these giant pumpkins every day. They sit down at the table and, unintentionally, plop their pumpkin down with them. As entrepreneurs embark on launching or growing their ventures, they bring with them a lot of emotions…fear, doubt, sadness, anger, loneliness, and so on. These emotions are what make us fully human. They are natural and welcome. There is nothing wrong with our emotional pumpkins! But sometimes, we let our pumpkin grow way too big. So, big that it prevents us from reaching our fullest potential.

So, this October I invite you to right-size your pumpkin. Think about how much energy you expend on the negative thoughts and feelings that are getting in your way. All those emotions that make you doubt yourself, question your vision, worry to much about what others think of you. That record that plays in your head saying, “Who the hell do you think you are to [insert your dream here]?”

When you find yourself engaging that negativity, just stop. Just make the decision to stop. And, then stop.

Instead, use your power and energy to get cool shit done. The world needs you to bring all of yourself to your life and to the work. We need you to stop wasting your time carrying a fucking giant pumpkin around. Please.


With love and support,