Have you wondered what it really takes for success?
I have an older farmer friend, Bart, who said to me a couple of years ago that he was planning to retire in five years so he had only five more shots at getting his life’s work; getting his harvest right. In a lifetime he had just forty opportunities to try. It was a rather sobering thought.
In the beginning there had been much to have learnt from his father from whom he inherited the farm. Each year brought its own risks through inclement weather, diseases and many more. He had to learn quickly from observation, awareness and from his failures.
We too have limited time.
While it is never too late to change our lives but opportunities can quickly slip by. We can spend all the time reading self-help books but never taking action. Taking action is the primary message in self-improvement. If Bart did not have his crops sown by certain dates in the year, the harvest would be compromised or lost completely.
The analagy to self-improvement and success is very clear. Before planting there is essential knowledge and research. What crop, which seed, when to plant, who to talk to, what are the risks and importantly what will be the end value.
In my profession – in common with all other professions – I have been obliged to continue learning and training throughout my life. Sometimes that involved a wasted day where I learnt nothing. A few occasions were amazingly informative. But more often than not I would glean just one little bit of information which I could take back and use to the benefit of my patients or indeed myself, make my working life more productive and enjoyable.
But every day of training was always wasted if I failed to take action.
There is no perfect self-help book or course. I have accumulated many over the years. I also accumulated shelves full of joke books to use for public speaking and have always said that if I found one great joke from a book, it hade been worth it. It takes many good jokes to make a speech. It similarly takes many little seeds of great ideas from self-help books to make real success.
Nobody has the monopoly on wisdom in relation to self-help because we are all different. We need to glean the seeds of wisdom which suit us wherever we find them, grab them, sow them and fertilise them.
What you need to do to get great outcomes!
Bart does not randomly plant his crops. He knows his land. He checks the chemistry of each field and he knows the strengths and weaknesses of each.
- Does it flood in winter?
- How exposed is it to winds and frosts?
- Does the field need a rest or a change of crop?
- What are the threats from pests and bugs?
- And so on.
If you take just one little nugget of information from this article it should be – just as for the farmer – to develop an interest in what really matters; how do we cultivate the seeds of our ability. Like the individual field on a farm where the chemistry and other factors dictate growth, our success has to do with internal chemistry and environmental factors which we can either leave to nature or by being aware of them, manage them. We can control our internal chemistry.
Motivation changes your chemistry.
If you read material which motivates you, makes you feel different, fires you up – whatever term you wish to use – you feel this emotion within you because it has caused a change in your internal chemistry. The thought is the seed which starts a cascade within your brain.
This is not some new age mind-body jargon. If I cry, or fall in love, or laugh till I cry or feel dreadful anger or exhilaration, it is because what has affected my thoughts at that moment has caused chemical changes in my body. If I am worried to the point of being physically sick it has required chemical changes to cause such a profound outcome.
A thought, the worry, caused a flood of stress hormones – cortisol – which causes the physical change of vomiting.
Similarly a pleasant thought causes therapeutic chemistry and relaxation.
A motivational thought works in the same way, firing up enthusiasm. I find that there is no end of proof for this.
The mindset of success is an end result, not a beginning. It will grow each day by collecting new ideas. It is built of thought patterns. These thought patterns provoke emotions. As you will learn, emotions are the result of body chemistry changing as it flows through the blood stream. This is a subject which fascinates me.
In terms of success these will be emotions of motivation, self-confidence or enthusiasm and all other such emotions. They in turn affect behaviour, leading to taking action which starts the next cycle of the drive for achievement.
- Find your niche = what crop to plant
- Start when you are properly prepared
- Understand your internal chemistry
- Learn everything about your interest
- Associate with likeminded people
- And so on!
Develop your area of excellence.
Farming is a way of life. It is a vocation which means that it is a particular mindset. But it is also a great analogy for success. The farmer knows his land and he knows that he has to take care of it so that it will be productive for him. He looks after the health of his fields to get maximum benefit from his seeds and his intentions. It is as if his fields are an extention of himself.
This is the meaning of mindset; when your niche is an emotional flow in your blood stream.
Whilst the information I’ve given in this blog post has been valuable, it’s only an overview of this intriguing subject. To get more in-depth information and step-by-step guidance, click the link below:
Also published on Medium.