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I decided to make my father a batch of chocolate chip cookies yesterday. I creamed the butter, sugar, and maple syrup, then added in the flour and baking soda. I tried using a spoon to mix everything together, but after a couple of minutes, I wasn't making any progress. There was only one option if I wanted really good cookie dough.

I'd have to use my hands.

I took a breath, reached in, and started mixing. It didn't take long before my fingers were coated and sticky. However, my hands worked much better than the spoon and in a few minutes, I had a ball of perfect cookie dough.

As I washed up in the kitchen sink, I began thinking how this was a perfect metaphor for life. Here at The Garbageman's Guide, we talk a lot about dumping the trash in your life, whether it's at home or at the office. However, it's not always easy to just stop thinking or acting a certain way. Old garbage usually comes with strong emotions, unresolved issues, and bad memories. Reaching in and mixing all of that up can be messy and uncomfortable. The thought of getting your hands dirty with the sticky residue of your past can be very unappealing.

As I hesitated before plunging my hands into that bowl of wet ingredients, I thought about the end result: warm, sweet chocolate chip cookies. I realized that the reward was worth the dirty hands. When you find yourself questioning the wisdom of dumping your old trash, focus on what you'll get in return: less conflict, new opportunities, and a better outlook on life. While these may not be as instantly gratifying as fresh-out-of-the-oven cookies, the long-term benefits they bring are usually worth the temporary untidiness of stirring things up.

So get in there and make a mess. If it works for cookies, it can work for you.


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An Introduction to Forgiveness

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How to Break Out of Your Comfort Zone

The #1 Tool for Tossing Trash

Chocolate Chip Cookies: The Perfect Garbage Metaphor

What to Do When Life Throws Garbage at You

Why Recycling is a Waste of Time

Routes, Goals, and Garbage

Cerebral Spring Cleaning

How Breaking My Arms Got Me Into College

How to Trash Your Career

The Unconscious Connection

How a Broken Heart Can Increase Your Property Value

A Tribute to Sam Berns

Why Thoughts Smell

Why the Holidays Have No Value

Why Dumping Trash Matters