I Think I Can. I Think I Can. I Think I Can Farm

Nor' east Thinkin'

You can learn a lot abou success in farm life from a children's story

Published on: August 8, 2012

Success in any business requires the ability to forward think – perceive what you want to accomplish, then develop the game plan for getting there. Agriculture and your farm are no different in that sense.

Where farming differs is that your family is an integral part of it. That can be very good – or not. But it places a lot more pressure on farm families to succeed.

It’s 5:15 a.m., as I begin to write this. I woke up thinking a somewhat stupid thought: I think I can . . . I think I can . . . I think I can. It’s a line from “Story of The Engine That Thought It Could”, a children’s story title about a little train engine struggling climbing a big hill.

To my amazement, I discovered (at 5:30 a.m.) that the original story was part of a 1906 sermon by the Reverend Charles Wing published in the New York Times. How times have changed!

If you haven’t read that story to your children, shame on you. Maybe you can share it with your grandchildren if you can find a book version of it at a library. Or secretly listen to it on the Web. Even videos have been made centering around the “I think I can” theme.

It comes to mind after yesterday’s separate visits with two farmers with much on their plates, and I’m not talking about food. Both were dealing with more than the usual life challenges on the farm. I won’t give you too many clues, because their struggles are private ones.

One wants Uncle Sam to fix his business problems. The other is reeling from a second farm business tragedy within several years and, right now, feels totally whipped.

Which one will recover faster?

Clearly the latter. That person has far more recoverability – ability to forward-think and innovate, with the emotional and perhaps physical labor of friends.

So why am I telling you all this? There’s a spiritual part of recovery that connects with a higher power, and I’m not referring to Uncle Sam! That power is the source of renewal and openness to thoughts beyond our own.

Tapping into that power is the first step toward: I think . . . therefore, I know I can. And that’s what ultimately determines your personal success!

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