What's the key to perseverance on our farm?
Yay! We did it, the garlic is all planted. Now to wait patiently until July, 2024.
Have you noticed that life is full of instant things these days? Quick push of the button, instant foods, harder to sit still for long periods of time without a phone to look at, fast switching between screen shots on TV, etc. I've noticed AND experienced it.
So much in society actually trains us to give up quick or rely on “crutches” like a movie, coffee, social media, a beer, or just “do what you want” to cope with hard situations or give up.
I have discovered some endurance tips that really work for me!
Perseverance is needed from day 1 in farming. The time from seed to harvest can be anywhere from 2 months to a year later (strawberries & garlic) & even longer (3-5 years) for fruit trees.
I mean really, all sorts of thoughts can rattle around in your brain when you look at a 50 ft bed of spinach to harvest, a 200 ft row of beans to pick, or a row of 1200 garlic cloves to plant.
We have all wanted to give up on tasks. We ALL encounter this in our daily lives, don’t we?
What's the key to sticking with it?
What I THINK really affects my ability to keep going when I don’t feel like it.
Here's a simple farming example...
At the beginning of 200 ft row of beans to pick, it can be daunting…thoughts like...
Oh, so much! I’ll never get done. I hate doing this.
Do those thoughts actually help me? NO! I go slower & it feels like FOREVER to get done.
How about these thoughts?
Such nice looking beans! How fast can I pick? How much will we get? I’m looking forward to having it all in the cooler.
One girl that worked with me said it made a huge difference when she realized changing her thoughts as she worked was key to her speed, perseverance, and attitude.
So, to be practical, what are thoughts that actually help me persevere around the farm? These can work for my pile of dishes, messy corner, difficult person to deal with, or any task I feel like avoiding.
Thoughts that help me persevere vs. stew or give up
- Expect some things are hard. When reality doesn’t meet my expectation, I feel like giving up. So, if I expect it's hard, I'm more likely to keep at it.
Think of my goal in a positive way.
I hate being so hot vs. I’d love to be cool.
I am so tired or overwhelmed, this is impossible. vs. I want to see this all weeded, harvested, packaged, pruned, etc. Then my mind actually starts figuring out how to accomplish my goal.
I’m looking forward to a clean counter.
- I like seeing all the tools in order.
I’d love to see a tidy kitchen.
Use the power of ONE. Set a doable goal.
I can do one foot, one section, one bin, one basket, one task at a time, 1 hour. Even set my stopwatch.
Realize my feelings in the moment aren’t always a useful thought. Instead, think of how I WANT to feel...satisfied, accomplished, happy, successful, a delicious flat of strawberries...that gets my mind going on how to get to that point instead of the "giving-up-point."
Think "What can I do differently next time?" vs. beating myself up that I left such a mess or didn’t get those weeds when they were tiny, etc.
Know that the more I do it, the better I get at it. I’m improving.
Distract my mind. Put on some good music, a sermon, a good audio book, call a friend while I work, etc.
Take time to think about it logically. Yes, part of good perseverance is knowing when to stick & when to quit. When we first started growing strawberries, we planted way too much and it was best to mow half of it! It was a sad AND happy moment. It can be better to start over vs. keeping at it sometimes.
A healthy balance in life...really helps!
If I'm too tired, hot, sick, overwhelmed, or hungry, it’s harder to make good decisions. Keeping my life in a healthy balance really helps me make the better decisions.
Take care of those needs. Get to bed earlier rather than escaping the problem with a movie, social media, etc. If I’m hot, get my hat wet or work in the cool of the day. If I’m cold, bundle up. Take time to eat healthy. Stop at meal times to eat rather than pushing myself too hard.
Call out to Jesus in the moment. Yes, just shoot up those thoughts to God. Lord, I’m feeling frustrated, overwhelmed, like giving up...those thoughts are not your kind of thoughts. Please give me your useful thoughts. “Call upon me in the day of trouble and I will deliver you.”
Recognize that I am dependent on God for success! So many times God works out just the right weather, help, attitude, customer needs, or whatever item needed at the right time. Yes, glitches happen, but telling myself that God is really in control and to flex with what happens in my day, knowing God allowed it and I can grow/learn through it, is such a hopeful thought for me.
Make a strong decision! vs. waffling in my mind.
Our minds do quick math and go with the bigger number (stronger decision).
- If you tell a kid "maybe", it means "yes" to their mind doesn't it?
We are actually building stronger muscles & nerve cells for a particular choice by making strong decisions! It's incredible!
- We are going to till this now. We are going to harvest this bed of lettuce. Nope, it's not the right time to plant, etc.
I don't always feel like saying this, but I actually love persevering! Hey, that's how you get such lovely produce. That's a great reason right there.
P.S. To watch a video interview with me on this subject, go to http://www.bmt.tv at 8pm this Thursday. It's on their Hometown show. They even have an app called Bluestream Media that you can download to watch all the shows they produce.