I spent part of my early childhood with my late grandfather on a farm in rural east Texas. And while I left that farm many years ago, I still live by the lessons I learned there. These 9 principles of the farm can help everyone make improvements in their personal and professional lives.I spent part of my early childhood with my late grandfather on a farm in rural east Texas. And while I left that farm many years ago, I still live by the lessons I learned there. These 9 principles of the farm can help everyone make improvements in their personal and professional lives.
1. Get to work early.
Many productivity masters swear by this principle. If you do the hard stuff first thing in the morning, you create a sense of satisfaction early in the day. You also set yourself up for a more enjoyable day, free of stress.
2. Work smart.
Don't just do what needs to be done in whatever order you feel like. Work smartly based on the resources you have available and the season you are in. This will keep your productivity level high while keeping your stress level at a minimum.
3. Don't waste time.
This principle is based off the saying, "Have to make hay while it's light." It is important to have fun but there is little time for dilly-dallying on the farm because every second of daylight is precious. Apply this to your own life by cutting out distractions that keep you from doing work that needs to be done
4. Everyone must pitch in.
Farm life is all about teamwork. No single person can be expected to manage the entire farm all by themselves. Likewise, people in your own life must find ways to contribute.
5. Take care of the tools.
If we want to keep doing good work, we must make sure our tools are sharp. This includes keeping your mind sharp by attending seminars and listening to podcasts. Or, it might mean something more tangible like keeping your computer up-to-date or your office more organized. Whatever tools you need to do your job well are the tools you need to stay sharp.
6. It's messy in the garden.
Disorganization and disarray are inevitable on the farm. These aren't bad qualities, they're simply a normal part of life that should be embraced. It's okay to have a set plan for how things might turn out but you must able to adjust to unexpected changes.
7. Be patient with what you have planted.
Seeds that you plant aren't going to grow overnight. Likewise, your dreams aren't going to come true in just one day. Rather than waiting impatiently, do your part to nurture and take care of your dream. Just like you'd water a plant, do your part to feed your dream and remain patient with the process.
8. The farm will reflect back on the care you have given.
Like nature, farm systems are highly responsive to their external surroundings. Try thinking of the people and things around you as responsive to the way you treat them. Neglect them and they won't grow; nurture them and they will thrive. This will help you become more acutely aware of how your actions affect everyone around you.
9. Appreciate the harvest, no matter how big.
We live in a world where bigger is better, louder is smarter, and stronger is superior. But these ideals are not realistic and they do not reflect patience. Farm life appreciates the harvest no matter what size it is.
Please add to the conversation—comment below or on Twitter at @gregbellspeaks.