Dave Jenks: Futurist on a Free Enterprise Mission


For over 40 years, Dave has been a promoter of individual freedom and service-oriented enterprise. As a teacher, speaker and author, he has become a respected thought leader. This website provides an in-depth look at the man, his thinking and his work. The archives include over one-hundred recorded hours of his talks and podcasts. He invites you to join him on this mission of freedom, purpose and prosperity.

Dump the Baggage

It’s amazing how much extra weight we pick up along the way.  And, I don’t just mean on the bod.  In my recent move from Texas to New York I got to once again marvel at my incredible ability as a collector of extraneous stuff (other words can be substituted here).  And, what a life enhancing experience it was to let all that baggage go.

A friend of mine from Phoenix once said to me, “Every morning I empty my little red wagon.”  I asked him what he meant by that provocative statement and he told me.  “I picture myself as a little boy heading out to meet a new day.  I’m excited and I am pulling my little red wagon behind me.  During the day I pick things up and put them in the wagon – toys, pieces of brightly colored paper, smooth stones, bottles and the like.”

“As an adult, I realize that I have been putting things in my wagon everyday – harsh memories, needless worries, hurt feelings and irrational fears.  They weigh me down.  Sometimes I can barely pull the wagon it is pilled so high with these heavy rocks.  So, I have learned to just dump them out.  They don’t serve me any more.  And now I can move into the day with lightness, joy and anticipation.”

I’ve never forgotten that mental image he shared with me.  Of course, I still let my wagon get too full of the wrong things.  But, his words remind me that I can simply empty it out and pull a lighter load.

As I left Texas in January, it was the perfect time to empty the wagon – I sold my car, put my house on the market, gave away all my furniture (even the big-screen TV and surround sound system), trashed at least 80% of all the paper stuff (what in the world was I saving it for) and donated 70% of my books to the local library.

What was left fit easily in the front half of the smallest rental truck.  Which I drove to from Austin, TX to White Plains, NY.  It would have been more efficient and time-saving to have it moved commercially, but I would have still been caring some baggage – in my mind and my heart.

The three days on the road were therapeutic.  I let my mind wander around and sort through whatever it found.  Some precious memories were reviewed, enjoyed and stored.  Some regrets, mistakes and doubts were released.  And, along about Knoxville, Tennessee (in the mid-afternoon of the second day) my mind shifted and I began to focus on the future – the hopes, the plans and the possibilities.

By the time I got to New York, my life had changed.  So much baggage had been dumped.  My wagon was empty, shined up and read for a new day.  The little boy inside me shouted: “It’s a big world, let’s go play.”

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  1. Jodi Samuels says:

    I want to experience this. I need to empty my wagon. And apply attention to the positive world we live in. This was a great blog as I am on my journey in finding my place. Thank you for the inspiration.

  2. Diane Clearwater says:

    Wonderful words to live by Dave…..you are still an inspiration.

  3. I recently enrolled in a class about which today’s post is related. It begins in early March. I will share some of its exercises because I believe they will assist many of us who should do what you did as you took your 3 day journey to NY. I have seen a little of the class’ content….so one day, we will write down all our “should dos”–those things we tolerate….like “I should organize my bedroom closet” or “I should clean out that drawer in my kitchen that collects my daily junk.” And another class is about “getting complete”–listing all the things that we have going on in our lives–personal and business that are incomplete. We cannot expect to keep our promise to complete something new when we have broken promises of incompletions lingering in our lives. I am looking forward to the class. I will tell you more as it happens.

  4. Dave,
    It was wonderful to see you at FR and thanks for your advise! I hope I didn’t intrude on your time.
    By the way, you looked “lighter”.

    My best to you always,

  5. Dave – You have always been an inspiration to my husband and myself. This post, here, is awesome. I need to deal with my little red wagon. Thank you.

  6. Perry Hurth says:

    This post really hit home to me Dave as we go through the flooding here in Fargo… Our entire community has pulled together to sandbag and help protect against the rising Red River…

    In our Market Center we have had discussions of all the material “waste” we have – and if we lost it in the flood- would it really matter? We all agreed it wouldn’t. We have have our health, our families, our careers (including a good real estate market), we are truly blessed.. This flood tests our strength and our values. It gives us clarity and understanding of what’s important..

    Thanks for all you do.


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