Winter brings a needed slow-down after the hectic pace of farm fall harvest and field work. It should be a time of physical and mental restoration for your life journey.
If you feel like you need an upgrade on your life, "most of us have," says Dr. Sanjay Jain, a Potomac, Md., physician, life coach and public speaker. "Don’t be afraid of making your life clearer.
"Many argue that life isn't simple and, therefore, there are no easy answers," notes the Jain, who has been there and done that. But he suggests even farm families can learn from Chinese philosopher Laozi who said [paraphrased] ‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.”
“Lives are built from many small components which, when viewed as an assembled whole, can appear overwhelmingly complex,” adds Jain who also has a Master's degree in business administration. “But when we break them down and consider the pieces as we make decisions in our lives, it’s much easier to see how small adjustments can result in a better return on all of the investments we make – not only in health, but in relationships, finances, and all the other essential aspects of our lives.”
4 farm life ROI tips
Jain offers four points to keep in mind as you start the journey:
•Life is short, so live it to its fullest potential: This is your life, so don’t waste its most precious resource – time.
No matter one’s spiritual leanings, economic and education status, health, etc. – one thing is true for all: Your time on Earth is finite. There'll be a time for most of us when, perhaps after a frightening diagnosis from a doctor, you'll reflect deeply upon your time and consider the most important moments, and all the time that may have been squandered.
•Balance is key: Too much or too little of something, no matter how good, is actually not good. •Balance is one of the easiest tenets to understand, but arguably the most difficult to maintain.
Too much of even a good thing can be a not-good thing. Spending too much time in the barn can be as not-good as being an being an overprotective “helicopter parent.” The best antidote to overkill of anything is awareness; try to be aware of all measures in your life.
•Learn to tap your strengths and improve upon your weaknesses: Engaging your strengths at work and in your personal life is important. When we do what we’re good at and what comes easily, we feel self-confident and satisfied.
Some people, however, aren't in jobs that utilize their strengths, or they don’t put their talents to work at home because they’re mired in the prosaic work of living. Identify your strengths and find ways to engage them. Recognize your weaknesses and work on improving them – because you can! This is essential for achieving balance.
•Make the right choices: Integrative decision-making makes this easier. How's that?
Integrative decision-making involves the following process: 1. Define the problem. 2. Frame the problem. 3. Develop all your options. 4. Analyze your options. 5. Make and execute the decision. 7. Debrief yourself.
While experts may be the best consultants for compartmentalized areas of your farm business, only you know the other aspects that affect your well-being. And only you can determine how a decision in one area will affect another area.
Jain has authored a book, Optimal Living 360, scheduled to be published in February. For details, visit: www.sanjayjainmd.com.