Archive for April 2015

Harvest your apples

applesWhen you think about your finances, does it send you into a sudden state of panic? Or depression because you’re where you think you should be? It’s easy to let thoughts of mounting debt or a delayed retirement get the better of you. But sometimes it’s the moments when you feel like you’re most in the weeds and struggling that are the most important seasons in your life.

Winter is filled with freezing temperatures, snow and ice, but it’s also an extremely crucial season of the year. I say this because I like apples, I like apples a lot! I would never have had the opportunity to taste an apple if it were not for winter. You see, in order for an apple tree to germinate properly it must spend a large number of hours in cold temperatures.

For instance, the Gala apple must have at least 600 hours in colder temperatures in order to be properly prepared to yield a harvest in the summer. How often have you spent the blustery, dark days of winter thinking about how happy you are for the cold so that you could have apples in the summer?

Why do we care about apples and how winter affects their germination? It is a great metaphor for us and our seasons of life and the seasons that occur within our financial life. Finances are like a fruit orchard. We plant seeds at the proper time in the proper soil and wait patiently for the tree to bear fruit. If you planted the seed in the incorrect season, it would not grow and develop into the beautiful tree it was destined to be.

We spend most of our time dwelling on the failures and deficiencies that arise in our finances and little or no time celebrating our victories. We sit in the “winter” of our financial life and never transition out to any other season. Spring is a time of celebration, rebirth, and growth and signals the coming harvest; but this would not be able to occur without the season of winter.

We need a season of rest and regeneration to prepare us for the coming explosion of energy and effort. Look at the things in your life that have offered you reason to celebrate and be proud of your efforts, the things that brought you a moment of joy and peace. Revel in those moments.

Let the satisfaction of accomplishment warm your spirit and give you reason to dance. While you dance, take a moment and look at what allowed you to achieve the victory. Can you duplicate that effort and energy in the next goal? Can you recreate that landscape of success and move toward victory in your next goal? Create some space, rest a bit, pause and determine how you can find apples in your life.

Runaway turkey

turkeysOne of the things I do on my farm is raise standard bronze turkeys. A while back I had some friends come out to my farm and help me butcher some turkeys. When we go through this process we get the bird, put it in what’s called a cone, and then hang it upside down for transportation to the butchering area.

A couple of my friends were gathering turkeys and putting them in cones when all of a sudden I heard a yell.

I looked up and saw a hen running across the pasture. She was booking it, and I thought to myself, “Well, there goes fifty bucks!”

Our two dogs were in hot pursuit chasing after her and end up cornering her. They didn’t bite or attack her; she just hunkered down in a hole until one of my buddies picked her up and took her where she needs to go.

That next morning, I was out doing some yard work and I saw one of her feathers in the grass where she had run. It dawned on me that if she had taken flight I would have never seen her again.

This is an animal that knows how to fly! She knew what to do, she just didn’t do it. I thought to myself about the freedom she would’ve enjoyed if she had stuck her wings out and flapped. She would be gone!

There are so many applications this scenario fits into our lives. In terms of taxes, we know what we’re supposed to do, we just don’t do it. We know we’re supposed to eat right and exercise, but we don’t do it. We know the areas of our lives the need improvement, but we don’t make the steps to improve our lives. Then we have to deal with the consequences of that event, like being stuck in a place that we don’t want to be in. The sad part is we actually get upset because we’re suffering the consequences of our own actions.

As I replay that image of the turkey running across my pasture, I’m reminded that she knew what she had to do, she just didn’t do it. What areas of your life are you not doing what you know you should be doing?