Reposted from July 2015
We’re all gardeners
Every day, we wake up to a set of possibilities. Each one presents a choice and the effects of those choices ripple through our day, week, month, and year. Simply put, we reap what we sow. In this sense, we’re all gardeners. Looking at the bed in front of us, we plant the seeds of our future and when the time comes, we harvest the results.
I love this metaphor for its pure physical dimension. It is so easy to picture a seed growing into a plant and imagining the resulting fruit of that labor. As gardeners, we decide what fruits or vegetables we want, plant the seeds, nurture them by watering and weeding, and then we harvest the results. It sounds so very easy.
So why aren’t we harvesting all that we dream?
Gardening is hard work
The reality is that it isn’t easy. In our garden we have to be:
- clear on our objectives
- deliberate in what we plant
- disciplined in our daily work
- timely in our harvest
All sorts of things get in the way. People, events, and myriad other distractions disrupt our efforts. Or, put another way, we allow these disruptions to interfere with what we’re growing in our life.
The truth of the matter is that sowing and reaping is hard work. In our garden, the physical and mental elements can be difficult to master. Maybe the choices are too numerous: we become distracted with the opportunities available to us. Maybe our vision is too narrow: we limit our possibilities simply because we are unable to see them in our own mind. Perhaps our will is weak: we find it difficult to do the tasks necessary to meet our goals.
Whatever the barrier, you hold the solution. Gardening requires intention and discipline on a daily basis. There is no other answer.
What will you plant this week?
As we move into the second half of the year, this is a good time to ask yourself the question above. It is easy to look back over the last six months and gloss over the daily details that brought you to this point. Instead, look forward. Look at Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.
- What phone calls will you make?
- What emails will you send?
- What meetings will you set?
- What tasks will you complete?
- What is it you want to accomplish?
- What are you doing today to accomplish it?
Your life is your garden. The seeds of opportunity are in your pocket. All you have to do is decide to plant and nurture them – daily. If you planted the seed of weight loss in your garden, what will you do today to nurture it? If you planted the seed of a new job in your garden, how will you pull the weeds of distraction away from its budding success? If you planted the seed of debt reduction, what effort will you apply today to make it a reality in 6, 12, or 18 months?
The longer the horizon on your objective, the harder it is to stay on track. But you can do it. Just do it every day.
By the way, did I mention that gardening can be fun? Yes, it can be so very rewarding. This particular garden is in season year round. You can plant and harvest daily. There can be joy in the sowing and the reaping. What will you plant this week?