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July 29, 2012

Problem Crumb Trail

Leave nothing to clean-up later 

What it is


The residual headaches and guilty feelings we leave ourselves when we make poor choices. 

Why it's Important

Problems are avoidable – well most of them, anyway. Think of cleaning your blender after making a fiber-filled protein shake.  Waiting means you’ll spend triple the time scrubbing-off the dried fiber bits, but rinsing right away is a snap. 

The Problem

Delay is increasingly expensive in time, energy, and money.  Too much time and energy is lost fixing things or feeling bad about something we did or didn’t do.  All that energy gets siphoned away from feeling good and confidently moving toward something awesome. 

The Tip

Leave nothing to clean-up later

Problems are immediate opportunities to learn something, resolve something, or change something.  Problems are simply red flags pointing the way to improvement.  With this perspective, you’ll drop fewer and fewer crumbs. 

Top 5 Crumb-Free Experiment Ideas

  1. Distractedness has crumbs – Stop multi-tasking because you’re not able to do your best work on anything.
  2. Complicated tasks have crumbs – Simplify life and take the path of least resistance. There is usually a better and easier way of doing everything.
  3. Roles have crumbs – Roles are like Velcro for expectations and rules—both are crumby.  If you’re “the soccer mom” consider the cost in crumbs and drop the role if it’s too crumby. 
  4. Clutter has crumbs – Clutter breeds crumbs like dust bunnies.  Start with one small corner and systematically de-clutter your home one corner at a time.
  5. Hope has crumbs –Hoping that someone else will do something or that a problem will go away is like waiting for someone to clean up your crumbs.  Assume that no one but you has a broom and get busy on your own behalf.



Thinking about crumbs keeps your attention and it’s easier to get your arms around.


Problems are hard to face; facing crumbs is easier.


Without crumbs slowing you down, you’re moving faster and with way more joy.


You’ll demonstrate responsibility and accountability.   

Promise Kept

We promised to teach our kids how to think for themselves and to make good choices.  By living life without creating crumbs, we’re making good on the promise.

Related Articles:  Integrity,  Paradox of Perfection

Related Tip of the Week: Self Evaluate, Dissent 

 I'd Rather Be Dancing 

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