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Separating Out the Wheat From the Chaff in Your Life

Susan L Reid

Need to make a change in your life?

Are you tired of the way things are? Are there just some things that aren't working for you any more?

If so, then it sounds to me like it's time for a change. Time to take a good hard look at your life and start separating out the wheat from the chaff.

Are you up for the challenge? Sure you are! Read on.

While the phrase, "separating out the wheat from the chaff" is most often associated with the harvesting of grain crops; it is equally applicable to the process of sorting out what is of primary benefit in your life from that which is secondary.Combine Harvester

Before the combine harvester came on the scene in 1838, making it possible for farmers to harvest, thresh, and clean their crops in one easy step, harvesting was a three-step process.

First, the farmer went into the fields to reap the harvest using a scythe or sickle to cut the wheat. Afterward, the wheat was gathered for threshing.

Threshing was the process of loosening the edible part of the wheat grain from the scaly, inedible chaff that surrounded it. This was generally done by hand, beating the grain using a wooden flail on a hard, level surface called a threshing floor.

Once completed, the wheat was cleaned and either stored as seed for next year's crop, used immediately, or bartered and sold for things needed. The chaff, then, was either chopped and spread on the field to be tilled under, or baled for feed and bedding for livestock.

Separating out the wheat from the chaff was as valuable to farmers of old as it is to us now.

Three Step Process to Separate the Wheat From the Chaff in Your Life

Wheat From Chaff

Step one: Harvest your grain.

Take stock of all the activities, events, people, and things that are currently in your life. Then ask yourself these five questions:

  • Where am I going with my life?
  • What do I want it to look like in five years?
  • What excites me?
  • What would I like to celebrate this time next year?
  • What is the most important thing I need to do this year to make my life better?

Step two: Separate the wheat from the chaff.

This is the tough part—the threshing process. The time when you will need to take a good hard look at your life and be absolutely honest with yourself about what you want, where you want to go, and who you want to go there with you.

To do that, take a sheet of paper and draw a line down the center. At the top of one column write, "Wheat." At the top of the other write, "Chaff." Now, it's time to get to the heart, the truth of things, and decide:

What and who are the primary, main-stage people, events, and activities that will most greatly benefit you and enhance your life this year (wheat), and what and who are secondary (chaff)?

Before you go on to the next step, make your mind up about what and who in your life will be culled, cleaned, and made a priority, and what and who will be spread on the field to be tilled under or baled and used for something else.

Step three: Put together an action plan.

Action plans include these three things:

  1. The activity is required to make it happen.
  2. The result.
  3. By when.

To get you started on creating an action plan, consider what you'd need to do in order to announce to your friends and family, "I successfully completed _________ this year " or, "I'm proud to announce the beginning of _______." Then decide what three steps you will need to take next in order to make that happen.

CowgirlSeparating out the wheat from the chaff is a powerful process requiring you to take a good long look at your life to decide what is of primary benefit to you and what is secondary. Just like it was for farmers of old, the process of separating the wheat from the chaff is a three-step process. Follow this three-step process to separate the wheat from the chaff if you're considering making a change in your life this year.

The rewards will be well worth the effort.

Copyright © 2009 by Susan L. Reid

Copyright ©2009 by Susan L. Reid, DMA

Intuitive small business start-up expert Dr. Susan L. Reid is the award-winning author of Discovering Your Inner Samurai: The Entrepreneurial Woman's Journey to Business Success, and business coach and consultant for entrepreneurial women starting up home-based business for the very first time.

If you are feeling both excited and overwhelmed at the prospect of starting a business and haven’t a clue where to begin, help is a click away. Get your free PDF copy of “Doing What You Love: Multiple Streams of Passion” at

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