What Are You Harvesting?

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Talk about a cliche - we actually went for a drive in the country last Sunday.
That's right, a "Sunday Drive," like people used to do two and three generations ago.
It was delightful to roam around the southern Colorado countryside, with no time pressures and no particular destination.
We ended up patronizing a roadside "farmer's market" fruit-and-vegetable stand, and it got me thinking about inspiration.
My wife picked out some delicious fresh food.
We drove home with tomatoes, peaches, chiles (a local specialty), beans, herbs, onions, and some other great stuff I'm forgetting to mention.
You can't find anything like this in supermarkets, where they have to sell "manufactured" foods that have longer shelf lives (and less nutritional value).
No, to get the best stuff, you have to go out to the farmland and buy it directly from the farmer.
And you have to find a farmer who received a bountiful harvest.
And that's what brought my mind to the topic of inspiration.
It occurs to me that inspiration is a lot like a farm-fresh tomato...
it doesn't look like what you might expect, and you can't force it to happen.
You have to get inspiration like the farmer got the tomato - plant good seeds, work hard to protect the plant, pray for the right blend of sunshine and rain, and harvest it at the right time.
Many of my clients, some of whom own a business and some of whom work to make an organization successful, aspire to be more inspirational as leaders.
There is no shortcut to inspirational leadership - you, yourself, must be inspired in order to be inspirational to others.
And there's no shortcut to personal inspiration: you have to grow it, like a juicy farm-fresh tomato.
What inspiration are you growing? If you haven't done so, plant the seeds for inspiration today.
Read inspiring books.
Watch inspiring movies and TV shows.
Talk to people you find inspiring.
And simply spend some time thinking about what inspires you, and how you can expose your mind to the maximum amount of inspiration.
You have to work as hard to protect your inspiration as a farmer does to protect her crop.
What are you doing to keep the metaphorical crows off your upbeat attitude? Don't let yourself get wrapped up in negative discussions (gripe sessions) or in depressing "news" offered by today's media.
Help people, sure, but don't let weaker people become emotional vampires who suck the life out of your attitude.
Be realistic and practical, sure, but if you let your life be all about the cares of this world, you will never rise above them.
Pray for sunshine and rain.
In a metaphorical sense, you need some happy times to sustain you.
And to teach you the most valuable lessons of your life, remember the truth that "into each life, a little rain must fall.
" And make sure you harvest your crop.
When your personal inspiration is ripe - when you realize your experiences align with something deeper than just the daily news, and might be helpful to others - select it, wash it off, and share it.
The farmer's delicious tomatoes are sustaining my body.
The inspiration I'm able to harvest is sustaining the rest of me - and giving me something wonderful to share with my family, my friends, and my clients.
And that's inspirational leadership.
Make Sure You're Keeping Yourself Inspired by Michael D.
Hume, M.
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