Weeds will grow even in the best prepped field, featuring the cleanest rows, and the most fertile soils. The spontaneous sprouting of unwanted plants will appear in the most unexpected parts of the field. How you handle the weeds of life may be the very element that defines you.
Once in a while – okay, sometimes always- life will throw you something beyond your control and you are faced with choices. You must decide if you are going to allow the weed to quickly multiple and choke out the seeds you sow or deal with the temporary nuisance. Weeds of doubt can be life’s way of making you set priorities or establish how determined you are to harvest your most bountiful crop.
What is your first reaction to a weed?
Do you close your eyes and walk away? Hoping the weed will magically disappear. Ignoring a problem from the beginning usually is never the answer.
Do you hook up the row cultivator and immediately tear up everything-The seeds you sow and the weeds. Often our first reaction is being quick to anger. Keeping our emotions in check can be the hardest thing to learn.
Do you put hoe to hand and hack out each weed leaf by leaf, root by root, plant by plant?
Do you step back, research the weed, and establish the best method to remove the weed?
Weeds can teach you the most valuable lessons.
- A weed has the natural ability to produce seeds abundantly, rapidly spreading, and establish dominance. Theoretically speaking, a weed is confident in its agenda and does not stray from its plan but all to eager to hinder with your personal plans.
- A weed has the ability for its seeds to remain dormant for long period of times. You may think you proactively prevented the weed to form or re actively took care of the weed. Yet, it will reappear at the very moment that you think you have everything under control and the ultimate yield is in sight. It is essential to develop the ability to evaluate your field conditions in all stages of growth. Why did the weed form? Could I prevented the weed from forming? Did I remove the weed effectively?
- A weed will also bury its seed so deep that it survives for long period of time. If you believe in the seeds you sow then you must nurture your roots to grow deeper than the most obnoxious weed seed. The strong will survive. So you must utilize all the tricks to outlast the weeds.
- A weed is highly adaptable to any field condition in order to spread wider. Learning to adapt to any situation is vital building block in personal development.
- A weed prefers not to grow within the rows. Following the path that other’s paved is not always the correct path for you even if you aim for the identical bountiful harvests.
Honestly dealing with obnoxious weeds of life can only make your stronger. Evaluating the weed. Knowing when to deal with the weed and determine the time to hook the field cultivator or just simple use your hand to pluck away the weeds of life.
Like a farmer after the harvest; it is important to take the time to step back, gather data, and develop a routine of hard thinking before actually sowing the seeds again.
Formulating your life’s Field Script should include investing in good thinking. The seeds of ideas will not magically plant themselves. You have to search for them. Once you establish a routine of good thinking, ideas keep coming.
Author John Maxwell in his book Thinking for a Change: 11 Ways Highly Successful People Approach Life and Work wrote these words:
“Good thinking can do many things for you: generate revenue, solve problems, and create opportunities. It can take you to a whole new level—personally and professionally. It really can change your life.”
In his book, Maxwell points out that most people who are not content with his or her life do not know the reason why. Even the most self-aware individuals cannot put their fingers on where the problem lies. So often we desire the change but do nothing differently in our daily lives. Changing your thinking can change your attitude towards life.
What is your bountiful harvest?
Have you vision your most bountiful harvest? Exactly what does the ultimate yield include. If you were to write a life script for one, ten, or twenty years then what would it look like?
Formulating Personal Goals
Actually writing a Field Script for your life, can produce motivation, confidence, and direction.It is important to establish long-term Personal Goals first. So fire up the computer or break out the pen and paper and start formulating your Personal Goals: Career, Financial, Character Growth, Physical, Spiritual, Family, Education etc. Try to write Personal Goals with some details to establish guide posts.
Once you have finished writing your Personal Goals then start breaking them down into smaller short-term goals with reasonable deadlines or measurable marks. Prioritize your steps in logical timeline will nurture your movement forward. It is reasonable to set one year -five year- ten year goals that lead to reaching your lifetime goals. Remember, you must prepare the soil before you plant, you must plant before you harvest.
Based on the SMART mnemonic, you need to build your life’s SCRIPT on a foundation for success.
C - Calculable
T – Time-Bound
- Post your goals in place that you see everyday
- Know when to apply Super-Fertilizer
- Realize that everyone encounters set-backs and time of replanting
- Be Flexible
- Know when to adjust for conditions out of your control or when not to adjust
- Evaluate after each success or failure
- It is reasonable that goals change but do not tear up your seeds in the heat of anger. Give it much consideration first.
The craziness that we call life can erode away the darkest, richest soils. Sometimes we reach points in our lives that we are just going through the motions from season to season. We allow the nutrients necessary for growth to evaporate. It is easy to accept the status quo in times of bountiful harvest or periods of drought. When we stop evaluating our personal growth, we stop reaching for our dreams.
Is it time to take a Soil Sample?
Even the most successful person must continuously re-evaluate personal growth, goals, wins, failures, and the what-could-should-ofs. Just like a farmer after the harvest; it is best to step back, gather data, and write a field script for your life .
It is not a crime or act of selfishness to take time in your busy schedule and make investment in yourself. It is therapeutic to actually block out time in your schedule for heavy thinking.
When is the last time you sat down in quiet place and took a personal growth inventory? A soil sample of your life should include taking an honest look at yourself.
How would you describe your daily mood? How would your friends or family categorize your routine attitude? Have you noticed that simplest thing like spilling your coffee on your shirt can shape your mood for the day?
Attitudes are contagious. Are yours worth catching? - Anonymous
You can honestly make a habit of foul moods by hanging with individuals contaminated with the spores of negativism. Your attitude affects everything you do from completing a task on the job to working with your kids on homework. Every person needs to do a complete attitude check periodically.
A simple task in your personal evaluation should be inventorying your strengths and weakness. Consider confining in a fellow colleague that you trust and respect to give you authentic feedback. Perhaps you can gather facts from recent career evaluation or critique. The important thing is to document the current condition of your field.
What seeds do you plan to sow?
If you have not decided the harvest that you want to reap then how can you plant your seeds or prepare a fertile bed for it to grow? You must vision the crop you want to harvest. However, visions do not come true in less you are willing to perform the labor.
Field Script for Success
Build your Field Script by establishing short and long-term goals. Goal setting is the key to success. Look, have you ever found yourself in this situation. You volunteer for a committee or organization and become involve. As you commit more time to the committee, you realize the group is not moving forward. The group is going through the motion and keeps going in circles. As a participant you get frustrated, bored and very soon lose interest in the organization. Honestly that is your life without goals.
Formulating your life’s Field Script will motivated you to move forward. Make a habit in writing down your goals in black and white. Post it in spot that you will view several times a day.
Developing a Field Script based on a realistic assessment of your Field Condition will build a fertile, rich foundation that will reap numerous bountiful harvest despite the growing conditions life will hand you.
“Whether it would be useful to us to carry all our own productions, or none?”, was the question John Jay proposed to Thomas Jefferson in 1785.
In a response Thomas Jefferson wrote these words…
“We have now lands enough to employ an infinite number of people in their cultivation. Cultivators of the earth are the most valuable citizens. They are the most vigorous, the most independent, the most virtuous, and they are tied to their country and wedded to its liberty and interests by the most lasting bonds. As long, therefore, as they can find employment in this line, I would not convert them into mariners, artisans, or anything else.”
In his letter, he compared two classes of workers: manufactures vs. agriculturalists. He believed in empowering the most “valuable citizens” -our agriculture forefathers. You see, Jefferson believed in the power of cultivators to guide the new nation towards being self-supporting. Investing in cultivator to loosen the soil and remove the weeds would not only accomplish the short-term task of feeding the new nation but foster a community full of Energetic, Resourceful, Honorable, and Loyal citizens that will reap a return on investment tenfold.
Do you owe it to yourself to invest in your internal cultivator?
Forward thinking leaders like Jefferson are the master of their internal cultivator. You may never consider yourself with a nurturing gene or lack a green thumb. Perhaps you have actually killed every plant you have touched or have that gut reaction to run in the opposite direction when a child approaches you with tears flooding down their face. However, I believe that everyone possesses some form of an internal cultivator.
Every morning you wake up and face the person in the mirror. What does the inner voice say to you every morning?
Examine the wrinkles life has blessed you with?…..
Do you hear voices of wise cultivators from your past?…...
Has the voice gone mute?
I think it is natural at some point in your life that you hit the mute button and find yourself going through the motion. You are no longer evaluating your live and setting goals for yourself.
Only you know the condition of your field
Do you need hook up your Field Cultivator – do you need to loosen the soil? Bring in the warmth? Prepare the seed bed. Provide a solid foundation to establish strong roots.
In the next few blog post we will discuss preparing your field and developing your inner cultivator.
On Sunday morning, my preacher revisited the story of Adam and Eve which defined the beginning of man and woman. As revealed in the book of Genesis, he explained man was made from dirt and woman was made from man’s rib.
Experts have spent billions dollars and hours studying the difference between man and woman. Drawn from their roots, men are biologically attracted to getting dirty and the natural order of things. They are focused on “things”. In contrast, women made of the body are naturally focused on people. Just as the ribs guard the heart, women work to take care of “people”.
As an active volunteer in agriculture organization, I find myself many times working with a variety of demographics. Sometimes I am the only female in the room and other times I am surrounded by hundreds of females. No matter the talents and knowledge you bring to the group, your gender can play a role in how you organically interact with the others.
I personally do not like general categories of skills, characteristics, or behavior assigned to genders. We are all individuals uniquely, genetically wired. Environment and just plain life lessons can cultivate anyone from breaking the gender generalization. However, lack of communication among volunteers tends to be the root of all unproductiveness. Therefore, sometimes it is necessary to re-examine the broad communication styles naturally occurring in males and females in order to successfully achieve the group’s agenda.
Clearly from the beginning, men are drawn to “things”. Small talk will be about things: crops, equipment, and sports for example. Men are quite concerned with status and approach to conversation is often strategic. They are biologically driven by competition and gaining the upper hand.
In a group setting, men set high priority on facts, order, and structure. When speaking, males will give a report with the documented facts rather than asking questions or gain support. Men tend to build relationships through interaction to complete a task. In situation of dissimilarity, men will be quick to move to another subject and they will wrestle with problems and decisions inward.
In comparison, women are focused on people and emotions. They want to build relationship before beginning a group activity. A women’s small talk will focus on questions to establish common ground and always looking for commonalities.
In a meeting setting, women will talk to ask questions and share experience. Women often are more articulate. Their presentation can be more appealing because their passion is often worn on their sleeves. However, when faced with a decision or problem females will want to openly discuss the issue. Once a disagreement occurs, it becomes an obstacle in the relationship building path.
Sometimes, the gender characteristics outlined above are text-book interaction between male and females. In fact, you may be reading this blog and shaking your head in agreement or saying “duh – I knew that”. It is often important to step back and re-evaluate the basics to revolve into an individual who can to adjust his or her communication style to the group, person, and/or situation.
The right mix of ingredients
Grassroots Association comprised of members from assortment of geographic locations, experiences, knowledge, personalities, and age can create the makings of great soup. However improperly building a leadership team without the balance of these great ingredients can cause the mission of organization to scorch.
So what are the ingredients of great association soup?
All organizations have members who serve as the water holding tight to the traditions and history of the group. These special members usually represent or perhaps are actual founding members of the organization. Their role is more valuable than historian but as solid foundation that establishes the reason for forming the organization. Their experiences hold the key to wisdom and many mistakes can be avoided if newer members take the time to listen.
The water remains at a simmer if the normal procedure is followed at all times. However, when the traditions are challenged the water begins to boil.
Noodles come in all shapes and sizes. Some are fun and a great source for building morale. Others are curvy and unpredictable. Managing the focus of the noodle can be frustrating. The fun, colorful noodle can remind the group that all work and no play make an organization dull and lack appeal to new members. An effective organization has members that build relationships and welcome the perspective of others.
The unpredictable noodle can at times be frustrating to productivity. When the actual business needs to be discussed or hard decisions needed to be made the noodle will appear limp and lifeless often removing themselves from tough situations and absence during strategic planning, controversial topics, or mind-numbing tasks.
The Meat of the organization is the workers, current leaders, and future leaders who see the vision and make it happen. They roll up their sleeves, take on challenges head on, and never back down during difficult situations. When tenderize or properly seasoned the meat can be versatile accepting to all perspective before making decisions.
The Vegetables can be a great mix of new and old. The baby vegetables can sprout new ideas and life. The stable vegetable can provide the common ground between traditional and new. They welcome new ideas, cultivate the new members, and embrace change with caution. Like the meat group, the vegetable can be dependable team players bringing essential sources to the growth of the organization.
The spice of the group is always introducing contrary thoughts. These individuals will question the action of the organization. Sometimes they are viewed as the cayenne pepper but play an important role to analyze decisions and make all members especially leaders accountable to the group’s goals and not individual’s initiatives. They challenge the group with fire and can be the source of the water to boil. However marinated with the meat, this type of member can become the visionary of the organization and advance it to new heights.
It is important to recognize that each ingredient can take the flavor of any other ingredient. All members properly prepared can add essential nutrients to the organization.
You joined a Grassroots Association and invest personal time as a volunteer because you passionately believe in the mission of the organization. So as a member it is your responsibility to elect the right ingredients to an executive board. A leadership team with the right balance from each ingredient category could be the secret recipe of success to accomplish the goals of the association and does not become cloudy with the personal agenda of an individual.