Gardeners use seeds, soil, water, a few basic tools and weed and pest management to grow vegetable, flower and ornamental gardens. As the gardener’s interest grows, the tools become more sophisticated. They add nutrients, plant support and various terrains. They learn how to prune, harvest, transplant and manage various plants. They learn which plants grow well when planted next to each other. The gardener may experiment with grafting two plants or alter conditions to grow non-native plants. Hydroponics allows for growing plants without soil.
There is ALWAYS more to learn.
As gardening becomes more complex, one thing remains constant. The plant that grows is a result of the seed that’s sown - always. When you plant a corn seed you get corn. When you plant radish seeds, you get radishes.
Yet when it comes to the results we get in our business and in our life, we have a tendency to forget that it all started with a thought seed.
Let’s step back for a moment to consider a premise. Everything is created twice. First it’s a thought, then it becomes form. You know this, but do you know the power of this? Before you say, “Yes,” let’s take a look.
The shirt or blouse you’re wearing was first a thought. Someone designed it. A pattern was created so the fabric would be cut into specific shapes, and it was assembled to become a shirt (or blouse). The timer on your stove was first a thought. The key you put in your car’s ignition was a thought before it was a key. The seed thought of a shirt and the seed thought of a key, when followed through with appropriate actions, becomes a shirt and a key. Almost everyone immediately understands this.
Let’s turn our attention to the workplace. One business owner might say, “We just don’t have the market to find good employees,” and they’ll offer proof. “I hired three different employees, but not one really engaged. It was a disaster.” It’s easy to go to outer conditions to explain why something didn’t work. Yet in the same town and in the same industry, there’s a business owner who successfully hires and trains employees. Why is that? Could it be the difference in the thought seeds of the two business owners – and not the market?
Uncovering our thought seeds is the first step to generating change at the source - where a new thought is formed. When applied and followed by right actions, that new thought generates a new outcome. It’s as predictable as a gardener planting a different seed to affect a different harvest. Rarely are we instructed on how to uncover our thought seeds, that is, to identify our root thought AND see that we have the power to change it. Instead we first apply our efforts to outer circumstances, which often leads to unnecessary effort and unwanted results.
How would your life (or business) change if you consistently made changes at the source?
A beginning gardener and a master gardener both understand the importance of selecting the seed of the plant they wish to harvest. So it is with the thought seeds we use to harvest our vision, dreams and goals in business and in our life. As human beings, our default is to blame outer conditions. We tend to rely on our habits and the way we’ve done things in the past. When they align with our vision, they’re useful. However, with the rate of change we’re experiencing, unexamined habits quickly become outdated, are rarely efficient, and worse - ineffective. Nevertheless, we rarely take the time or apply the courage to question them – and the truth be known, we prefer that no one else questions us either.
Given time, these unexamined habits put the brakes on.
Through study, reflection and applied action, we gain greater understanding of our habits, minds and the ability to tap our deeper resources. Selecting the seed and the soil are first steps. As any master gardener will tell you, the quality of the seed is vital to the quality of your harvest, and that’s just the beginning … So it is with our mind.
Our education system focuses on outer conditions. For example, most second graders can recite the five senses and many can elaborate on how they help us understand the physical world. Yet few adults know the six mental faculties and how to use them to explore our minds and tap our inner genius.
But that’s another story …