Honor your Harvest

By Karin Leonard

Apples trees bending full with fruit, and tomatoes ripening on the vine remind me of the importance of autumn, in nature as well as in our professional lives. With a busy schedule and never-ending projects, do you give yourself a chance to harvest your success?

Natural Cycles

Cultures living close to nature have their rhythm attuned to the earth, and to the natural rise and fall of activity. Spring and summer bring a bustle of action, and with it the creation of new life. Seeds burst forth, and the farmer gets busy. Fall is the reward of the year’s work, the grateful harvest of labor’s fruits. Winter then, is the time of rest and reflection, the turning in before venturing forth again. In our professional lives there are also cycles starting with the birth of a new idea, leading to the work of carrying it out, then to the harvest and completion of the project, and hopefully, a brief time for introspection before going on to the next. However, with the pace of business life, the harvest and rest periods may get skipped too often, which can put us into overdrive.

Sizing your Crop

Honoring your harvest means valuing the results you have created, and celebrating your accomplishments. Giving yourself credit for your successes (and genuinely praising others for theirs) inspires more of the same. Autumn, when harvest is already naturally occurring all around you, is a great time to take stock of the crops you have brought in. Thinking about this year so far, what have you reaped? What results have you created, big and small? To make your harvest more tangible, list your successes and accomplishments. Acknowledge yourself, and those around you, for having followed through on goals and intentions, and doing the work to make things happen. If your harvest doesn’t live up to your expectations, analyze what may have led to these results. What could have been done differently and how? What is the learning? And – are your expectations realistic? Just as a farmer has no control over the weather, there are circumstances outside of your circle of influence that may have interfered with producing a good yield. However, the work done may still have been of great quality and deserves recognition.

Harvesting Along the Way

The goals we set for ourselves can at times seem overwhelming and far away, while we are engaged in daily activity. You can only do so much in one day, a week or a month, yet compared to the entire project, a day’s work might seem miniscule. To stay engaged in long-range objectives, it becomes especially important to acknowledge and own milestones, and even small successes, along the way. Develop a habit of recognizing daily, weekly and monthly accomplishments. Make a list of them, and let it inspire you during difficult days.

The autumn phase is also a great time to do some organizing, sorting and cleaning, which may have been neglected during the busy production cycle. A clearing of the decks, along with some “winter time” for reflection, provides completion -- before you jump into the next project.



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