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Spring is here.  It’s brighter later.  It’s getting warmer.  It’s a time for growing things.  While planning our Summer harvest, let’s consider 10 Laws for Planting Seeds of Personal and Professional Growth.

1) Am I Growing? 

Am I growing personally?  Professionally?  Am I growing mentally?  Spiritually?  Do successful people ever stop growing?  If I stop growing, especially in a competitive environment, I guarantee myself defeat at the hands of another who’s out-grown me.  If I stop taking care of myself, investing in myself mentally, physically, and spiritually, I eventually break down and problems begin to compound.  I should always be growing – seeking progress, not perfection.

2) Everything in the World Begins with a Seed.

Ideas and dreams start with a seed (a thought).  Huge buildings, for example, start as a thought in the mind of an architect.  Everything that grows on this earth begins as a seed.  It’s the design of life itself.

3) Whatever I Plant is What I Harvest.

Apple seeds produce apple trees.  Orange trees produce orange trees.  I won’t try to fool myself – I reap what I sow.  Dishonest people get rich for a moment, whereas trustworthy folks harvest a reward that lasts.  To be who I want to be, and do what I want to do, what seeds will I plant today?

4) A Seed Has No Power if not Planted.

If a seed is not planted, it will not grow.  Most people would rather gripe and complain than plant seeds for growth.  We all know highly skilled people who never achieved their potential because they didn’t put forth the effort. 

5) Every Seed has Exponential Potential.

I harvest much more than what I plant.  A corn seed grows into a plant that produces several stalks of corn, which can produce hundreds of additional corn plants.  Grandparents with a few children can have over a dozen grandchildren.  What I start with seems small, perhaps even insignificant, but I’ll end up with much more.  In terms of love and kindness, we get back ten-fold what we give.

6) If I Want More, I Plant More.

If I sow sparingly, I’ll receive sparingly.  If I plant more, I’ll receive more.  If it’s working, do it more!  If it’s not working, do it less!  Am I making the same mistakes repeatedly?  Do I even set aside enough time before and after meetings to take an inventory of what I’m doing well, and where I can improve? 

7) I’m Not the Only One Planting Seeds in My Life.

Who, or what, am I allowing to plant seeds in my life?  Internet trolls?  Family and Friends? The sage wisdom of an elder mentor or collective conscious of a group forum?   Do I want the kind of fruit that will grow from the seeds being planted?  Are these thoughts and messages positive, or negative? Do they express love and forgiveness, or anger and resentment?  In terms of ideas, perspectives, habits, relationships, it’s up to me to stop the bad and start the good. 

8) If I Wait for Perfect Weather, I’ll Never Plant Seeds.

Perfectionism paralyzes potential.  Am I often afraid of change?  Can I imagine a farmer buying a bunch of seed, then being afraid to plant it?  To embrace change, I must be prepared to fail.  I must learn to fail to win.

9) I Harvest in a Different Season Than I Plant.

Growth in life is slow and gradual and happens in stages.  First, the plant sprouts through, then the tender stalk appears.  Then the stalk puts on buds, and finally the full head of grain or fruit appears.  When it’s ready and ripe, typically a full season after the original seed was planted, it’s time to harvest.  What do my calendar blocks say about my upcoming harvest? 

10) While Waiting for Harvest, I’ll be Patient and Not Give Up.

A seed is planted underground.  Then, during both the day and the night, whether I am awake or asleep, the seed is growing silently.  I cannot see how it’s growing because it’s hidden under the ground – but in the darkness, the soil is helping the seed grow.  I often can’t see the seeds growing in my life, and my growth often requires dark, difficult times. 

Are you in a bamboo situation?  In the case of bamboo, a piece can be cut, planted, watered, and fertilized, but nothing will happen for the 1st year, 2nd year, 3rd year, etc.  It’s sometimes not until the 7th year that it will sprout, at which point bamboo can grow 3 feet high overnight – and seven feet high in a week.  Often people quit right before things are about to grow, then someone else comes in and takes the credit when things grow overnight.  I will not give up, and things in this world will eventually change for the better.

What happens when I don’t keep my field plowed?  It hardens and cracks, turning dusty.  It becomes overtaken by weeds.  Therefore, I keep myself spiritually, mentally, physically fertile – I never stop cultivating myself personally and professionally.

Check out these blogs and podcasts to learn more about professional growth habits and best practices.

 

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