If you want to kill the weeds, strengthen the grass.

January 1, 2023

If you've ever tried to have a beautiful lawn in Texas without wasting water, you know what a challenge that is.

After buying my first home many years ago, I went into Lowe's to get some weed killer for my yard. The problem was, I didn't know anything about lawn care. I just knew my yard was 90% weeds.

By sheer luck, I found an employee in the lawn & garden section who just happened to be a retired greenskeeper who took care of golf courses in Florida for most of his life. He taught me a lesson I'll never forget.

"Forget about the weed killer and most of those fertilizers you're looking at. Use this winterizing fertilizer once, maybe twice, each winter. It won't happen in one season, but you'll be feeding the roots of the grass little by little until there's no room for weed roots to grow. If you want to kill the weeds, strengthen the grass."

At the beginning of a new year, I know how tempting it is to make resolutions that "fix" what's broken about your life with a few hyper-focused goals. We all have unwanted weeds that burden us. Things that cause us pain, that feel out of our control, that we want to eradicate as quickly as possible.

But growth doesn't happen overnight. Small improvements in your habits over a long period of time will be more effective than short sprints of intense effort. One of my favorite quotes of all time is "Try a little harder to be a little better" (Gordon B. Hinckley). It's my mantra for life as a husband, father, community member, and Jesus follower.

Know your strengths, and give yourself credit for what you're doing well. Then continue to work on yourself. Work on your habits. Work on your mindset. Work on your mental health. Find a teacher. Find a mentor. Find a therapist. Find a coach.

Invest in yourself, and be at peace with the time it takes to see lasting change rather than expecting to address all of your shortcomings at once.

If you want to kill the weeds, strengthen the grass.