Of Boogers and Baggage

WARNING: Disgusting child humor ahead. May be inappropriate for non-parental units!

Do you remember Rosanne Rosanadana – Gilda Radner’s character back in the golden days of Saturday Night Live?
Well I had a good laugh this morning when my daughter reminded me, unintentionally of one of the most hilarious Rosannadana skits. You know the one I’m talking about… Boogers! Getting stuck on one finger and then you try to flick it off and it gets stuck on the other finger and then you try to pull it off and it starts stretching…

Well this morning, Ella and I were sitting on the front porch eating our oatmeal when she realized that she had a booger in her nose. She started trying to blow it out but could only get it to the opening. It wouldn’t come all the way out. I could see it hanging out there, so tempting!

But then she reached up ever so daintily and grabbed it, pulled it out and said, “Ta Da!”

I congratulated her on her success and handed her a napkin to wipe it off. But she said, “No I’m going to throw it over the fence.” (The porch railing is what she meant).

So she walked over to the railing and started shaking her hand and saying “Go away. Go away. GO AWAY!”

I started chuckling as I watched her shaking and flicking and trying to get that darn booger off her finger. Finally I had to get up and walk into the kitchen to keep from bursting out in laughter!

All the way into the kitchen I could hear her shouts of, “GO AWAY” getting more and more insistent.
I went about my business in the kitchen, getting her lunch ready for camp and finally, she came running in and said, “I did it!”

“Great job!” I said, wondering how she had finally managed to jettison that unwanted baggage.

Now there really is a point to this. And if you’ve read this far I appreciate your patience – especially for you non-parental unit types!

You see, those sticky boogers are a lot like our emotional baggage and the limiting thoughts, beliefs and patterns that come with it: We try to shake them off, flick them off, knock them off, bash them off, but they just won’t go away.

And like Ella, when we realize that they are not going away, our tendency is to keep doing what we’re doing… just more of it!

We go into this “No more mister nice guy” routine. The problem is that doing more of the same is not going to get that booger off or make that limiting belief go away.

I mean let’s face it, some of those little boogers – literally and figuratively speaking – are pretty darn sticky! So shaking your hand harder is not going to get it off.

The solution is to stop doing what you’ve been doing and try a different approach. In the case of a booger a good solution would be to use a tissue or a handkerchief, or to rinse it off in the sink, or even to rub it off on a tree!

Brute force is not going to make it go away. And brute force is not going make those limiting beliefs go away either.

So the next time you find a little booger stuck on your finger… or rather, the next time you find yourself stuck in an old pattern of limitation, stop what you’re doing, take a step back and see if there’s a different way to approach it. Obviously the way you’ve been approaching it up to now has not been working very well!

When you do step back, get a new perspective and take a different approach, you may be surprised to discover how easy it can actually be to get those little boogers out of your space!

And for those of you who don’t remember Rosanne Rosanadana, here’s a little video clip from SNL. I couldn’t find the booger skit, but this will give you a sense of her style and hopefully a chuckle or two!

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    3 Responses to “Of Boogers and Baggage”

    1. Jeannette on July 24th, 2008 4:56 pm

      Ed, only you could get a self growth opportunity out of a story like this! ha!

      And so true.

      Thanks for the memorable AND inspiring lesson.

    2. The Marketing Goddess on July 29th, 2008 8:54 am

      “some of those little boogers are pretty darn sticky!”

      I think this is the Quote of the Day. 🙂

      Thanks for a great post!

    3. Edward Mills on August 2nd, 2008 2:14 pm

      @Jeannette: Thanks for the compliment… I think it’s a compliment anyway! 😉

      @mktgGoddess: I’ve always wanted to be the author of the “quote of the day!” Thanks.

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