Like most authentic heroes, Hercules had a god as one of his parents. He was the son of the supreme deity, Zeus, and a mortal woman. Zeus’s queen, Hera, was jealous of Hercules, and when he was still an infant she sent two snakes to kill him in his crib. Hercules was found prattling delighted baby talk, a strangled serpent in each hand. Hera, determined to torment Hercules, made him lose his mind. In a confused and angry state, he killed his own wife and children.
When he awakened from his “temporary insanity,” Hercules was shocked and upset by what he’d done. He prayed to the god Apollo for guidance, and the god’s oracle told him he would have to serve Eurystheus, the king of Tiryns and Mycenae, for twelve years, in punishment for the murders.
As part of his sentence, Hercules had to perform twelve Labors, feats so difficult that they seemed impossible. Fortunately, Hercules had the help of Hermes and Athena, sympathetic deities who showed up when he really needed help. By the end of these Labors, Hercules was, without a doubt, Greece’s greatest hero.
Hercules performed the first four Labors flawlessly. King Eurystheus was very pleased with himself for dreaming up the next Labor, which he was sure would humiliate the hero. Hercules was to clean out the stables of King Augeas in a single day. Augeas possessed vast herds of cattle which had deposited their manure in such quantity over the years that a thick aroma hung over the entire Peloponnesus. Instead of employing a shovel and a basket as Eurystheus imagined, Hercules diverted two rivers through the stableyard and got the job done without getting dirty.
Putting Your Life in Order: The Clean Sweep
When Hercules was ordered to clean up King Augeas’ stables, he knew this job would mean getting dirty and smelly, but sometimes even a hero has to do these things.
With this issue of the Newsletter, we are initiating a five-part series based on the Clean Sweep Program. Created by the founder of Coach University, Thomas Leonard, who passed away a year ago this month, it comprises 100 items which, when completed, give you the vitality and strength you want and need to live fully, alive and awake. You have more natural energy when you are complete with your environment, well-being, money and relationships.
Dr. Leonard challenges you to complete all 100 items in one year. Here is a list of the Four Topics, and a sample two items under each. Look for the complete program in the next four Newsletters.
The Herculean Task: Cleaning Up Your Life
Note: If true, check the box marked True. Be rigorous; be a hard grader. If the statement is sometimes or usually true please DO NOT check the True box until the statement is virtually always true for you. Then work to make the statement true. You may change any statement to fit your situation better.
1. My personal files, papers and receipts are neatly filed away.
2. My car is in excellent condition. (Doesn’t need mechanical work, repairs, cleaning or replacing.)
3. I rarely eat sugar. (Less than 3 times per week.)
4. My teeth and gums are healthy. (Have seen dentist in last 6 months.)
5. I currently save at least 10% of my income.
6. I pay my bills on time, virtually always.
I have told my parents, in the last 3 months, that I love them.
There is no one who I would dread or feel uncomfortable “running across.” (In the street, at an airport or party.)
Good luck with this sample of the Clean Sweep. Some of the tasks may seem easy, others more difficult — as difficult as cleaning out the stables of King Augeas! But, remember, like Hercules, you have the gods at your side to help you.
Look for the complete Clean Sweep Program in four parts in the next four Newsletters.
Antoniak has boiled down 101 major life projects to their most essential steps. The book is divided into four parts: “The Basics,” which covers how to approach a problem in general; “Career and Business,” which tackles how to find a job and get a raise, etc.; “Personal Finance,” which discusses how to improve one’s credit rating and so on; and “The Consumer,” which includes guidance on buying a used car. Each project is given an overview of up to two pages, followed by a to-do list of 20 to 40 steps.
Are you truly ready at this time to make a ‘clean sweep’ of your life? If not, what might be holding you back from deciding to undertake the effort?
Have you tried to tackle several loose ends of your life before? What was the result?
How does having unfinished business in many areas of your life affect your energy level? Give examples.
Can you think of other topics to include in a ‘clean sweep’ of your life besides the four given above — your environment, well-being, money and relationships? What are they? How would you begin a ‘clean sweep’ of those areas?