“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant.”
-Robert Louis Stevenson
In previous articles, I’ve talked about planting the seeds, so to speak for any task or endeavor. For example, if you have writer’s block, I’ve suggested that keeping writing “I don’t know what to write” over and over till you think of something.
But is this effective in other tasks besides writing? If so, how does one go about doing so. That’s what I hope to explore in this article.
Firstly, how important is taking the first step in any endeavor especially when you’re not motivated? As an example, let’s say you used to knit when you were younger. As the years went by, maybe you got busy or sidetracked by other things. Maybe you’re married and have a family to take care of and rarely have time for anything other than taking care of bare necessities.
And now, maybe something has sparked your interest again and you want to get back to knitting but need that initial spark of motivation other than just a desire. Planting a seed to start that would be either going to the store and getting knitting supplies and putting somewhere where you would see them everyday. Or, if you already have the supplies tucked away in a closet somewhere, you’d take them out and put them where they’re visible.
You don’t even actually have to knit something. The first step is stamping the visual in your mind. If you see that visual on a regular and daily basis, slowly but surely, the harvesting will begin on it’s own.
And this technique can be used for anything. Recently, I found myself reminiscing about when I was younger and would to draw a lot. A lot of people would tell me that I had potential if I stuck to it but as the years went by, I put that hobby aside in favor writing. A few weeks ago, it seemed like the spark was returning but I wasn’t motivated to act on it due to various circumstances. I kept telling myself, I’ll start tomorrow or next week.
Yesterday, I was at Walmart and just on instinct, bought a sketch pad and colored pencils to plant a seed. When I came home, I put the supplies on my writing desk so I would constantly see it. Within a couple of hours, I found myself doodling hundreds of abstract images.
It was nothing great, mind you, and certainly not anything that would qualify as “art.” But still, the seed was planted. Earlier this morning, for the first time in over ten years, I started drawing an actual image.
A lot of times, we tend to over-complicate things, especially in the earlier stages. Remember, planting the seed doesn’t have to be actually doing an activity. It’s simply about giving yourself a visual. Want to write a song? Place a music sheet somewhere. Want to get into pottery? Buy a small lump of clay and put it on a table you utilize often. Want to start a YouTube channel? Take a screenshot of the YouTube logo and leave it on your phone as wallpaper or your lock-screen image.
Whatever you’re trying to harvest, just plant one seed first.
How do you feel about planting the seeds to something? How important do you think it is? Do you agree that it’s an effective method to get motivated again? Why or why not? Share your thoughts and experiences by commenting below.