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Morning Mindset with Paul G. Markel

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Jan 25, 2018

When I was young my mother planted a garden every spring. We also had fruit trees and grapevines as well. Part of the upkeep process was the ritual of pick out the weeds from the garden and pruning the grapevines and fruit trees.

What is sapping your strength? What weeds are keep you from growing to your full potential. Take stock of your garden or tree. What distractions and energy suckers need to go in order for you to blossom?

Episode Transcription


♫ Trenches by Pop Evil ♫


Welcome to Morning Mindset. A daily dose of practical wit and wisdom with a professional educator & trainer, Amazon best selling author, United States Marine, Television and Radio host, Paul G. Markel. Each episode will focus on positive and productive ways to strengthen your mindset, and help you improve your relationships, career goals, and overall well-being. Please welcome your host; Paul G. Markel.

*Professor Paul*

Hello and welcome to another positive, proactive and productive adventure that we’re calling Morning Mindset. I am your host Paul Markel, as you should know by now. We’re really in the weeds now, we’ve got several episodes underneath our belts, and today we’re going to talk about What is Sapping your Strength? Now when I was young, my mother planted a garden each and every spring, from the time… well as long as I can remember. When I had memories, all the way up through the time when I graduated from High School, moved out and went on my own.


Every spring my mom would go out and plant a garden, and part of that planting a garden meant that she had a ritual, and that ritual was pulling weeds. Now not only did we have gardens, but quite often where we would live, we would have grapevines and/or fruit trees, depending on where it was at the time, but I remember there was a time where my mom had a huge vegetable garden, we had grape vines, and we also had fruit trees, and every one of those things needed upkeep and maintenance.


That meant that when I was a little kid, I think that my mom might have paid me, I don’t know… a penny a piece or a nickel an hour or something, *Laughs* to go into the garden and pull weeds. I remember one time when I was real young, I thought I was gonna do my mom a favor. I was gonna be nice, and I went out into the garden, and I pulled weeds, and it turned out that I pulled out all of my mom’s rooting, sprouting carrot plants. Because I thought they were weeds, I didn’t know better.


But as we got older, my mom taught us “Okay, these are tomatoes right here, and these are carrots, and so forth. But these right here are weeds and they need to go. Because as long as the weeds are there, the plants aren’t going to get the nutrition they need. The weeds will choke them out.” and we had a similar routine, my mom had a similar routine with the grape vines. You know, every year she would go through the grapevines and she would prune the grapevines, and we would prune the fruit trees. We had a very small apple orchard, we had maybe 6-8 trees, but we would go through and if we wanted good apples my mom, she would prune all the little saplings that would start growing out of the truck of the apple tree, because those were not productive.


Those were not productive vines, those were not productive branches, and my question to you is, what is going on in your life that is keeping you from your full potential? What weeds do you have growing in your own personal career garden, your relationship garden, that is keeping you from growing to your fullest potential? I don’t know what those are, but this is when it comes to Self-Assessment time. Now when it comes to strength, how many of you have heard the term “Sapping your Strength”? Probably every one of you, right? Unless you’re a millennial and you make up your own language, but the vast majority of you have heard the term “Sapping your Strength”.


Where does that come from? Well a sapling is actually just a small branch that grows out of a larger tree, and when we’re talking about fruit trees, if you have a pear tree or an apple tree or what have you. What will happen as the tree grows and matures, is all these tiny saplings will start growing out of it. Now, the more saplings you have growing out of the base tree, the worse your fruit production will become and if you don’t take care of that, if you don’t prune those, you’ll eventually have no fruit at all. Because the tree is sending all of its strength, all if its energy to all these tiny non-productive branches.


So when you go to a fruit tree, like a pear or an apple tree, and you take, well whatever it is. Your pruning shears, your machete and you chop those things off, you cut them off. Now to the layman, he might think “Why is he cutting branches off the tree? Doesn’t he want it to grow fruit, aren’t those alive & living branches?” Yes they are, but they’re non-productive, they’re Sapping the Strength of the tree. We need to get rid of all those non-productive branches. Now maybe you’re stuck, maybe you’re stuck in your career, maybe you are stuck in your family or your life goals. Maybe you’re stuck when it comes to your fitness goals, maybe you wanna be stronger, wanna be thinner, wanna run faster, wanna perform a sport or what have you.


But you find yourself not moving along or not growing as quickly as you think you should. This is a time where I want you to sit back, and think about your daily routine. I want you to think about what you’re wasting your time, or spending your time and energy upon. What are you focusing on? Are you finding weeds and distractions in your life? Are there things in your life that, when you have a moment of self-assessment and honest clarity, you say “You know what, that habit I have? That is a weed. That is a weed in my garden and I have to get rid of that bad habit.”


Perhaps it is Friends or Acquaintances. There can be people in your life that are saplings, they are sapping your strength and energy, even though you may have thought originally that that person was going to be a friend, or a fun acquaintance or what have you, you may find yourself thinking “Well ya know, every time I spend time with that individual, every time I talk to that person, they are like an energy vampire. They bring me down.” How many of you know people in your life, I mean I’ve had those people in my life, that we all go through troubles. Alright let’s be honest, everyone has good days, everyone has bad days.


I would find it strange if every single person you encountered on every single day, it’s their best day ever. That’s, I mean, that’s a rarity. We also have those people that, every time you encounter them, they stop to tell you how terrible things are. All the time, and it gets to the point where, even if they’re a close friend of yours, even if they’re someone you once enjoyed spending time with. Now you find that every time you get on the phone with them, by the time you get off the phone you’re depressed. Or you’re frustrated, or you find yourself drained, and why is that?


Because that person is allowing all the weeds and the distractions in their life to bring them down. There’s never anything good, every time you talk to that person, and as hard or as hurtful as it sounds, you may need to or want to minimize contact with that person. Now it may be a situation where you say “Look, we need to have a talk” and you say “Bob, Suzy, Fred, whatever. Kyle, it seems like every time you and I have a conversation, something is Bad. Something’s wrong, something’s terrible, something’s not going your way, someone has done you wrong. And it seems like it’s all the time. Is that really the case, or is that all you’re focusing on?”


Now they may say “Screw you, I thought we were friends and I thought I could share with you.” and ladies & gentlemen, being a friend is not just dumping all your garbage on your friend’s doorstep. Sometimes you need to help your friend, sometimes you need to bring them up, sometimes you need to elevate them. If your idea of friends is having people around so you can continually dump garbage on their front doorstep, that’s not really being a friend. You may have bad habits that you’ve developed over the years, and if you’re completely honest with yourself you say “You know what? These habits, whatever they may be, are Sapping my Strength. These are weeds in my garden and I need to pull these things out if I want to grow.”


So my challenge to you today is this; examine your daily life, examine your weekly life, examine your work life, and check & watch for those distractions. Those energy suckers that need to go. What do you need to cut off? There may be something that you thought was a positive or productive, or maybe it’s fun or maybe it’s entertaining, but when you get down to it, you realize that that habit, that behavior is actually a weed, it’s a sapling. It’s keeping you from growing to your full potential, and the challenge you’re going to have is plucking that weed out, cutting that sapling off, and giving yourself the opportunity to grow.


Alright thank you very much for once again joining me for Morning Mindset, I am your host Paul Markel and all of my books are available on You can go to, put in my name, Paul G. Markel, and you can find all my books in paperback & in Kindle versions. We will talk to you again, real soon.


♫ Trenches by Pop Evil ♫


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