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Let Go and Reap What You Sow

Let Go and Reap What You Sow

Fall is in the air…

Another season, another transition…

Autumn is my favorite season because you get to reap the rewards of your work from the year. You get to reap what you sow.

As a former farmer, this metaphor really resonates with me because if we look to nature, it’s kind of comforting to see things work together to grow and stay alive. The tree doesn’t worry about whether or not it’ll have enough sun or water or air to survive. The branches, the roots, and the leaves don’t worry about survival, yet they’re all arguably separate pieces of the same whole.

In our lives and our businesses, as entrepreneurs, when we’re forced to do something we’ve never done before, whether that’s taking a chance on yourself or someone else, we effectively put ourselves out there. Metaphorically, we’re sowing; we’re planting seeds.

Today’s WAKEUP Call is about trusting yourself and trusting the natural process of things, because if you trust that process, if you look at nature and history as evidence that everything works out when you put your time in, and you stick to your path, you’ll have a bountiful harvest and all your hard work will come to fruition.

How many times have you heard this saying?

“You reap what you sow.”

That’s what this means, and you can’t harvest something that you don’t sow.

Now that’s not to say that you put in some effort and then let the universe take over. Putting ourselves out there is hard fucking work and stressful as hell.

Case and point: To this day, even though I haven’t been a farmer for more than 15 years, I still have planting nightmares in the spring and in the fall. Isn’t it crazy how our brains work and adapt?

You know that feeling when you’re stuck in a dream where you try to run but you can’t? Like you’re running underwater, or you’re stuck in the mud, and you can’t gain any momentum…that feeling means that you’re missing out on your window to plant…

There’s a lot of stress around planing time. In a matter of 6 weeks, millions of seeds need to be planted in the soil. The soil needs to be prepared with the right ratios, and there’s really only one shot to get it all right, and then…

You’ve got to let go completely and rely on mother nature…

That’s scary as shit!

Think about how scary it is to work your ass off and then just leave the rest up to fate.

But, if you look at this at a cellular level, our lives and our businesses and our relationships are exactly the same as those plants that sprout and grow into a beautiful creation when tended to properly.

Let me spell it out for you…

I firmly believe that if we do our part – fulfill on our half, our side of the equation, let go and let nature, the universe, let whatever you want to call it take over, the act of letting go in itself is what if feels like to grow. It’s uncomfortable as hell, and it feels awkward and painful, but once we do our part, we have to let go and trust that it will work out.

Growth can only happen when you let go and trust, which feels counterintuitive because all we want is to feel like we’re in control of everything.

Growth can come from adversity or from experiences. But when do you ever hear anyone talking about growth as being a passive act that happens to you only after you’ve done your part? Pretty mind-blowing if you think about it.

The act of letting go demands that we release our attachments to timelines, time frames, and expectations of how long something will take, and how it’s going to look along the way. These are all self-imposed boundaries and limitations, rules and standards and comparisons…

Letting go of how long it takes is the secret to being able to enjoy the process. Because at the end of the day if you don’t enjoy the process what’s it all really for anyway?

So my WAKEUP Call for today, the WAKEUP Call that even I need to hear, is to remember to do your best and then let things go and let them happen.

I know that when I haven’t held up my end of the bargain, I end up getting back to these nightmares that usually have to do with me being lazy or procrastinating. The next thing I realize in these dreams is that it’s the 15th of May and all the neighbors have their crops planted, and their machinery cleaned up and put away, and here I am not even able to get into my shed. I can’t get out of my own way. I’m panicked and stressed and anxious because I’m missing the planting window.

So what does it all mean?

We learned from a very young age that if you always do your best and you do your part, that’s the only thing you can control. If we can harness the power of nature by understanding how it works, we get to see how magical things effortlessly just manifest under the right conditions.

Nature will always do its part. The question is, will you do your part?

But what does doing your part entail? I’ll break it down into two buckets:

  1. The sowing or the planting
  2. The harvest

Sowing and Planting

These are the income producing activities, the act of setting things in motion. This could mean creating content, shooting videos, providing new offers. Whatever it takes to create the best possible environment to plant your seeds and watch them grow.

Now, income-producing activities are all well and good, but they’ll only take you so far. There needs to be a certain level of awareness that goes into planting your seeds as well because simply wanting something to grow and wanting results is not enough to make it happen. If the conditions aren’t right during planting in farming, nothing will grow. The same goes for business. Wanting something so badly that you try to force it, even knowing the conditions aren’t right, is a sure fire way to fail.     

Listen to your gut…

Your gut knows when something’s not right when conditions aren’t good. When this happens – fucking listen! Because once the seeds are planted, that’s it…

You can’t unbake a cake.

You can’t uncrack an egg.

You can’t unplant shitty crops.

When we force things and ignore the signs and that inner voice, things inevitably get worse. You’ll let yourself down and possibly others in the process…and believe me, you won’t be able to lie to yourself for long, you’ll know in your gut it isn’t right and you’ll have to sit with it and live with it, stressing and knowing that you won’t be able to harvest.

Be patient…

When we forget the big picture, we start to let fear take over, and there are many forms of fear. Greed being one of them. Wanting something before you’ve earned it is no different to going out and picking the tomatoes that are still green.     

Don’t let the fear in. Once you do your part, you have to trust and let go.

What I’ve had to learn is that patience in letting go is the most difficult lesson to learn in business and in life. Being impatient can end up making you stupid. You make stupid decisions that can end up costing you time, money, and most importantly, confidence.

Control only what you can…

Learn what you can control and what you can’t control, and do the things that you can control to the very best of your ability.

What if every decision we made within our digital businesses was made with the same foresight and care that you would make if you were planting crops, knowing you only had one shot and a small window?

We end up working on only the things we can actually control and start moving towards mastery.

The Harvest

This is the fun part. The feeling of seeing the results of your efforts and reaping the benefits. There’s no better high than reaping what you sow and knowing that you made it happen by setting yourself up for success and then trusting and letting nature do the rest.

Something will inevitably happen. Something will come out of left field. A freak storm or unexpected change in the weather patterns, but what I’ve learned is that if you do your best, you control what you can actually control, you’re over-prepared, that even when you do fuck up or that freak storm comes by, what you’ve planted will be able to weather the storm.

You don’t need to control everything…

Tell yourself EVERY DAY that you’re going to do your absolute best today. Think of each new day as a mini cycle of that one-year crop calendar and have a few hours each day of highly focused, productive, intentional work that’s done from a creative, uplifted, inspired state. Over a year of planting the seeds of your business and cultivating daily by providing content, value, offers, your business will inevitably grow.

It’s a labor of love…

If you do your part 100%, you can let go.

Let go and let grow. That’s how you cultivate dreams into lifestyles.

This doesn’t mean that we have to know exactly what to do and when to do it. When you’re patient, you don’t have to know what the next 25 steps are going to be. You wake up, you do your best that day, you set the intentions for the day, you put them into context for where you want to be in a week, a month, a year, and you take some time to get present and be mindful that this is a marathon.  

You do your part, and you let it happen…

If you go out every day pulling on that tiny little seedling wondering, “Are you growing yet” that poor little plant is going to die by a thousand tiny cuts and that’s how our dreams die as well.

You don’t harvest the same day that you sow…there’s a process of growth in the middle.

So the ultimate WAKEUP Call for today is that there’s nothing you can conceive that you can’t achieve if you just learn the rules of nature and the universe.

What will your harvest look like come Fall next year?

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1 comment

  1. Susan Lewis 8 October, 2017 at 22:19 Reply

    Thank You Jay. Insights as are written / spoken or in some other way communicated by you seem to always hit the nerve right on the head.

    Smiling, while these in themselves may be small reminders to some, the fun of an abstract awareness helps create a new beginning. At times a forewarned.. or as an up and coming event, either way thank you for being you.

    Sincerely

    Susan Lewis

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