After attending a meeting, one of my colleagues came to me to congratulate me on publishing my new book, Stand Up! A Message to the Black Man. I immediately thanked him and said to him that I was only planting seeds. He agreed and said, “What you wrote could have a profound impact for years to come.” I again thanked him for his compliment. Afterward, I processed what he said. I agreed with him in that my book could have an impact on future generations.
When I discuss the seed one could plant, I refer to what action steps you can put forth that could have an impact today and for years to come. There are many ways we can plant seeds for ourselves, our children, and society; however, whatever is planted needs to be nurtured. Failing to properly nurture limits growth and positive impact. Even more, planting your seed in the wrong place and time could also impede growth. Therefore, what is critical is knowing what seed you are sowing—or planting, and what harvest you desire to reap.
Planting Your Seed
We all have planted seeds with hopes of achieving a positive result. For example, you are attending college to earn a degree or are in an apprenticeship program to develop a trade. This is planting seeds. The same is true in rearing children. Suppose you plant the seed of expectations and accountability in them. In that case, they will have a better chance of being focused in life. Conversely, planting a negative seed also could return a negative impact. For example, if you rob a lot of places chances are you will reap going to jail, or even worse, getting killed. So how do you know if you are planting a fruitful seed, or what steps you should take when you feel that you have no seeds to plant? Take the following suggestions.
Know Who You are and Where You are Going
When you know who you are you will have a clearer view of where you want to go. Depending on life in general, social experience, and physiological makeup, some of us discover who we are earlier than others. If you don’t yet know who you are—your gifts, talents, aspirations—that is perfectly acceptable, but be open to learning the steps necessary to cultivate self-awareness.
Discovering who you are and where you are going consists of opening yourself up to your inner spirit. We all have an inner spirit, and often becoming in tune with it requires being in a place of peace. This could be accomplished in a quiet space, just listening to your inner thoughts, visualizing where you want to be, and putting in action steps to achieve it by first writing it down. During this process, you must block out negativity and condition yourself to think positively. When you encounter roadblocks, you cannot look at them as a sign to stop, but as an opportunity to work around them. If you are in a place where it is difficult to have quiet time, such as in your home or social state, find another location. There is a place somewhere with your name on it.
Know When and Where to Plant Your Seed
When you are in a clear state of mind you are better able to be intentional in your actions and know which direction to go. For example, I went to college with several people who knew what they wanted to do and how they would accomplish it. To this day they are operating within that space. The seed they planted prioritized education. They nurtured that seed by developing the skills necessary to excel in their profession. This does not mean they did not have challenges. They just knew where they were going.
Know How to Till Your Seed to Reap a Fruitful Harvest
Like all seeds that we plant, how we nurture that seed and the fertility of the ground it is placed in determines how it grows. Meaning, the level of work we put into our actions will determine our level of success. This is true in all aspects of life, whether you are an athlete, a rapper, or an attorney. Success requires work! What is critical is knowing the type of ground in which you are planting your seed. For example, if you hope to become a musician, you should acquire the learning discipline, social network, and mentorship from those in that area. By embracing that strategy, you are tilling your soil and rightly seeding to reap a fruitful harvest.
In conclusion, in life we do not know how our actions might impact others and society. That is why I believe in being mindful of my actions and asking if my actions could render a positive or negative effect. I learned this while in high school when my biology teacher, Mr. King, would constantly say, “Think before you talk.” Thinking required me to take a step back and really consider my thoughts before acting on them. So, by taking these steps and those noted above, we plant the right seed and nurture them according to what we desire to reap.
By Alan D. Benson
More about Alan
Alan is an author and entrepreneur. He has published three books, with his most recent being, Stand Up! A Message to the Black Man!, A Message of Hope and A Call to Action! His goal is to empower individuals and companies to unleash their untapped potential. To learn more about Alan, please visit his website www.alandbenson.com. To learn more about his book, click on Stand Up.