- When you are prepared to “act as if what we propose is true” it will mean that there will be change in how you approach what you do.
- The degree of change will vary with each individual as will the speed that the change takes place.
- This article has been written to provide information about change that could be beneficial.
- In the therapeutic world there are nearly as many models of change available as there are models of cars. So with change there is plenty of choice as to how you go about it.
Some of you may be faced with quite a major philosophical change, whilst others may have been thinking along similar lines for some time so are already on the change track.
Where to start?
If you haven’t already done so, then some closer examination of your own awareness of you as a person will definitely assist. Give some thought to the following:
- Your values
- – what are the most important things to you about your business?
- what things that if you didn’t have wouldn’t make your
business satisfying and rewarding?
- what things that if you did have wouldn’t make your business
more satisfying and rewarding?
- - Prioritise your values.
- Your beliefs – are the things that you believe in things that you developed?
- are they things that you have adapted from others?
- how do your beliefs support your business?
- how do your beliefs detract from your business?
Ideally, farming is a holistic system of working with a range of supporting systems and environmental conditions. The awareness and importance of working in unison with these systems is becoming increasingly well known each day.
When we talk about holistic farm management systems, we cannot leave out the “whole” self. Not only must we not leave out the “whole” self, but we must understand why we cannot leave it out.
When we accept this, then, and only then, can we justifiably use terms like “holistic farm management” to describe our farm management enterprise.
Change is one of the processes that we often find most threatening in our lives.
This is despite the fact that we experience it in some form every second of our lives. We just had many hundreds or thousands of cells in our bodies replaced in the last second etc.
Whenever conscious change is contemplated, it tends to trigger a number of thoughts and emotions in our internal system. It is important to recognise these as our own and as something that will influence the results of our whole farming business system. Indeed, it is critical in the context of the final decision we make on whether to change our management practices, or not. Getting emotions labelled and understood will have just as much bearing on the success of the change as its practical implementation and continued application. Change, and the degree of change, needs to be carefully assessed in other areas such as economic viability, geographic features and market availability, along with other factors characteristic of individual enterprises.
Change with Reason.
Change is certainly not something to do just for change sake. However, many of us tend to become entrenched in a “comfort zone” or maybe a rut. Not just a financial comfort zone, but a psychological comfort zone, in which it is often increasing financial pressures that drive us deeper into this area. The more something we have been doing is not working, the harder we keep trying to make it work and the worse off we become. Change is an inevitable answer, but rarely the obvious one. Everyone is being forced to be more competitive and this competition is testing long-standing rural friendships and neighbourly ethics of by-gone generations.
The vicious cycle.
Once we become forced into working harder and longer hours to maintain even a meagre existence, our emotions become strangled and decision making often becomes an increasing nightmare on top of all our other problems. This situation of increasing work and business pressure to make more, whether just to survive, or to increase wealth, can become obsessive, even likened to an addiction to drugs or alcohol.
It means that it becomes just as difficult to make changes to a current situation as it does for addicts to give up their need.
If we can recognise, then understand this in our own situations, we are well on the way to being able to make more informed decisions on whether or not change is needed. The most important part of most people’s lives is their families. Often, when we are forced into a cycle of work, work, work, we unconsciously neglect those who are closest to us. How long ago is it since you spent quality time with your family outside a business setting? How long is it since the family went away together or had a holiday together? Is the answer – “No, we can’t afford to leave the property for fear (one of the major emotions in these situations) something may go wrong, or because we just can’t afford to?”
Hard Questions = Healthy Answers.
The answers to these questions and others related to current rural situations are really in our own hands as the individuals who can make the commitment to change when it is needed. We hope that you recognise your emotions and use them to help set your future goals. If hard headed business decisions lead to stress and health problems, as they invariably do, then their over all value needs to be questioned. It is important not to lose sight of individuality during the decision making process. Don’t critically analyse yourself to the point of depression. Accept and be aware of your strengths and use them to the advantage of your future personal and business development.
Our book, “The Vision Tender” contains some more information about processes to assist you in this area.
As you work a machine, it requires maintenance and servicing by you, the operator. Similarly, stock and crops need care and nurturing. But who fixes you, the operator, the power plant? You are the hardest to fix if you breakdown and you are really the only one who can fix yourself. An efficient well-serviced self will make the right changes at the right time. Having said this, it is often very difficult to recognise the physical symptoms (stomach feels full of knots, butterflies in the stomach, gnawing aches in the chest, head or stomach, neck and shoulder soreness - to name just a few), for what they are. They are warning signals or red flags for emotional and psychological stress. If these more negative feelings can be recognised and released, more room will be made for positive or satisfying emotions and activities. The other advantage of becoming aware of these signals or triggers is that you can learn to recognise them much earlier in their onset when you are more relaxed about looking at other options. As you become aware of these triggers you can develop choices so that when you recognise the start of one of these less comfortable feelings you have a range of options that you can then select from that will get a different outcome that is better for you.
One thing which helps this is the recognition of individuality. Don’t be “normal”, be natural (or yourself). Just because the neighbours do things one way, or they may have been done that way for years, it doesn’t mean that you can’t make changes, particularly if you are more comfortable with them. Part of this recognition means asking questions about whether our current farming practices are ensuring the long-term viability of our enterprises. For example, have you seriously considered alternatives to the use of acid fertilisers and chemical sprays in your management strategies? We do have information from practical experience on the implementation of organic practices which compliment our system. Again, though, it is change in which a courage/fear mediation process needs to be used to secure the correct balance so that you believe totally in yourself and your ability to achieve your aims.
We recognise you, the manager/operator, as the most important aspect of your business. What we hope to offer is an opportunity to consider information that we know that if you choose to act on will add value to both personal and business growth and lifestyle.
We refer you to a related website where we discuss specific matters to do with personal psychological health and developing self awareness and personal development. We recommend this site as a non intrusive way to discuss these matters with someone who has lived life on the land as well as working in the personal development and management areas.