This afternoon while browsing in the gift shop at The Abbey of Gethsemani, I saw a simple gift item with a quote that I think is profound: “You cannot plow a field by turning it over in your mind.” The message is clear: If you want to accomplish something, you have to do more than think about it. You have to act on it.
While that seems like an obvious truth, observing the behavior of some (including myself on occasion) indicates that we don’t always follow it.
On the strange side of the subject are those teachings, philosophies and trendy Oprah-pushed fads that try to get you to just visualize yourself in some other situation and then magically life is going to fall into place the way you wish. Not gonna happen.
I have nothing against positive thinking. I prefer it over the alternative. However, if I want to retire with a nest egg of a million dollars, thinking of some ideal retirement state isn’t going to do squat compared to making significant monthly contributions to sound investments over a period of many years. Imagining myself in a dream job isn’t going to substitute for working hard, developing the right skills, initiating proper connections and working my way up the ladder toward my goal. (I’m already at that one, by the way, just in case my manager is reading.) I can dream all I want about some blissful relationship with the person of my dreams, but if I never take a chance and introduce myself, there will be no relationship. (Again, just an example… I’m very happy with my wife.)
My father was raised as a farmer and still farms today at the age of 77. He knows the truth of this lesson about plowing quite literally. Most of us will have to settle for the application to our own lives in whatever context makes sense.
What do you hope and dream for? What do you want to come to pass more than anything else?
What are you doing about it… today?
Leap year lesson #86 is You cannot plow a field by turning it over in your mind.