We’ve talked a lot before about comparing the mind, soul, and life to agriculture. It’s really a great all around analogy for development. Planting a seed you hope for a good crop, if it doesn’t yield anything then you know something went wrong in the process.
Sometimes good seeds can be planted, but result in bad crops. Usually they come from one of these causes:
- Poor Soil/Fertility
- Poor Planting
- Poor Weather
- Poor Management
To grow, a seed first takes energy stored in itself. That’s why we get energy eating produce the would otherwise be buried (i.e. carrots, potatoes etc.). Once that energy is used, it starts to draw nutrition from the soil; Nitrogen and Potassium being two of the largest required depending on the crop.
Applying this to our lives, and our minds, ideas can start with a spring from their own energy, but once that gives out, it has to draw its strength from within us. Many great ideas haven’t made it past the sprouting because of this problem. Too frequently they dry up from a lack of nutrition, be it a lack of ambition, knowledge, or patience.
Much of agriculture is based around timing, if the crops planted too late or too early it can have a significantly damaging effect on the final result. The same can be said of Produce, but with the wrinkle that it can sometimes be damaged in the actual planting itself, resulting again in a poor crop.
If knowledge is consumed for the shear purpose of consumption, it loses worth and value. It makes as much sense to read faster than your comprehension as to enter a speed eating contest to enjoy the food.
There are moments you just have to set the book or idea to the side, acknowledging that you need to revisit it at another time to do it justice.
On a farm, you’d be surprised how much of your life is dictated by the Weather Channel. Virtually nothing is done without consulting the Oracle. Never has someone who has been so wrong ever been so relied on.
Planting without regards to the weather has happened, but sometimes results in your crop being ruined before it’s even had a chance to start sprouting. The difficulty is, that it is one of those things genuinely out of our control. While we can plan as much of our lives as possible around what weather is predicted, it will still surprise us.
The same applies to ideas, our projects can be entirely derailed by something we don’t have control over. Frequently, life throws curveballs at us when we don’t even have a bat. A stroke of genius can be ruined by a moron dropping coffee on your pants at the wrong time, your thesis could be destroyed by virus on your computer, there are countless unpredictable and unavoidable ways that your work can be destroyed.
This is not to say there are not ways of protecting yourself from such random acts, but even the best weather man’s council can’t help when the tornado is ripping up your barn.
Imagine it, your field is planted. The weather was beautiful, the soil fertile, and nothing can go wrong. All you do is kick up your feet and enjoy the rewards of your labor. If this is what you expect, than you need to visit that uncle’s farm you’ve been avoiding.
Once the seed is planted that is just the beginning, now you have to cultivate, work on weed control, pest control and continue to encourage the development of your crop. It’s the work that remains un-romanticized in the modern era (much like sticking your hand in a cows butt).
The quickest way to ruin your crop at this stage is to abandon it for other pursuits, hoping that it will develop by itself. You may get lucky once or twice that way, but it won’t be a sustainable way to ensure a healthy harvest. Not only will it require work, it will require the right work. If done right, you may end up with a good crop, if done wrong you’ll never have a great crop.
Once your idea is started that when the real work begins also. It will never succeed unless it is managed right and raise to completion. So many novels, companies, and creations end this way! They are conceived, even planted, but because their steward made a misstep or followed bad advice they fade into nothing, as good as dust.
What’s especially galling about this problem is that, unlike the Weather, this is a problem that is entirely on your head. You are the only solution to the problem, if failure is in this arena it is due to your actions.
Whether you are planting a field or forming plans for the future, remember to watch for these dangers, and Lord willing you’ll reap a good harvest in due time.
Keep farming the dream!