Consider two farmers. Farmer John has a thousand acres of land that he inherited. But because he neglected his crops throughout the year, his harvest wasn’t quite enough to cover his expenses, so at the end of the year he sells one acre of his land to farmer Mike. Farmer Mike only has twenty acres of land, but because he produced a bountiful crop, at the end of the year, he used his extra cash to buy another acre from Farmer John.
Which farmer would you say is a better influence on young, impressionable, farmers-in-training? Farmer Mike, right? Go back and read the last paragraph if you forgot which farmer is which.
Even though Farmer John is worth 50 times more, everyone wants to be a farmer, own a business, or play basketball like Farmer Mike. That’s because of the success principle: “where you are is not nearly as important as where you are going.”
We really only have two options. Growth or decline. Stasis is a myth. If you are not moving, you are like water that is not moving. You become stagnant. If you do not use muscles, they atrophy. If you do not use your brain in a regular and stimulating way, it begins to decay.
When we are infants, every experience in life is brand-new. Every muscle movement, every sensory input and every emotion is something that we are learning for the first time. As youngsters, we are placed in an environment where we are assigned reading, math, history. We are learning through our school years. Even when we get a new job, we need to learn new skills, new routines, a new driving route. When we stop learning, we start losing our mental edge. We get bored. We get lazy. That is when we start getting older.
That is why even though Farmer John is worth 50 times more than farmer Mike, we view Mike as the more successful of the two.
Always choose growth. As an adult you have to be intentional about your own growth, since nobody is assigning you learning material anymore. No matter how dismal your current circumstances, if you’re always in the process of growing, you are more successful than someone with much more money that is stagnating.
Stop staring at your feet, start staring at the horizon. <– Tweet that.
What are you doing today, to grow you to a new level a year from now?