When someone asks me where I’m from, I generally joke that I’m one of those “People of the Corn.” Born and raised in Indiana, a corn field had a substantive meaning for me, and brought me feelings of security, even though I did not farm. The fortunes of farmers rise and fall with the weather. Too much rain can be as bad as a drought. And even though I haven’t lived in Indiana for many years now, I have always loved looking at the neat rows of corn, reaching off into the distance and in some cases going forth for hundreds of acres.
I have always compared life and goal setting to farming. I perhaps did not realize this until I began writing this blog post. Where we are born has more to say about us than we may care to admit. Here are the five life lessons I learned from watching farmers grow corn.
1. In the spring, have your tractor serviced and filled with fuel. You never know when that window of opportunity will appear to plant a seed, or inspire an idea that’s worth cultivating.
2. Make sure you’ve tilled fertile ground, for plants and plans don’t like fallow or rocky soil.
3. Buy quality seeds because you reap what you sow.
4. Be patient. Plant your seeds in rows, sort of like an excel spread sheet, so you can more easily see the weeds or the obstacles that will choke out your dreams.
5. The harvest is hard, and few are willing to drive the tractor, but many are happy to enjoy the fruits of your labors.