Are you in a season that doesn’t seem to be producing any results?
Are you spinning your wheels at your job and getting frustrated at not seeing the results you want?
Or have you simply given up on a project or hobby that you have spent countless hours on because you haven’t seen the rewards you wanted to see?
If you answered yes to any one of these questions, you are not alone… But it is time for you to rethink your approach.
Recently, I spent time reading “The 5AM Club” by Robin Sharma and one of the key insights he delivered was this:
Understand that work done in the fallow season will always produce a great harvest of results.
As a boy, I grew up in a small town which was really only known for being the Blueberry Capital of Canada. Yes, it has lots of blueberries. But when I was reading Robin’s work on the fallow season in the 5AC, I began to think about all that blueberries must go through before they end up in your bowl each morning next to your coffee.
They must endure a long fallow season.
A fallow season is a season of growth whereby crops are often just sitting there, untouched and unharmed by the stresses of anything other than the natural elements of the world.
If you were to drive by a field in its fallow season it wouldn’t look like much at all. A cornfield wouldn’t have any mature husks of corn. A blueberry field would look barren and a canola field would not be bursting with bright flows of gold waving flawlessly in the wind.
Simply put, a fallow season looks like a bunch of dirt and grass from the naked eye. It looks unproductive, useless and non-essential. In fact, most people wouldn’t even notice a fallow crop if they drove by it more than once.
This may be the season that you are in with a certain hobby, project or with a certain workload.
What a lot of people don’t know is that this is the most important season of growth and it is needed to produce something truly great. Some seasons take much longer than others to yield the results that you want. Some seasons may be shorter and give you the best results. Either way, it is important to note that:
Not all fallow seasons are the same.
The sooner you recognize that a) you are in a fallow season in a specific area of your life and b) the season will probably be longer than you originally hoped for, you will begin to find yourself in a much better state in your ability to be resilient and to persevere when you aren’t seeing the results you want.
In January of 2019, I was in a fallow season with a particular project I was trying to get off the ground. I clawed and clawed and clawed away at a project like a cat clawing a couch. For hours and hours, 7 days a week I clawed.
I keep clawing because I wasn’t focused on the results. I focused on the process instead. (P >r ).
I remained focused on the process throughout the entire month knowing that at some point, during some waking hour, I would hit a breakthrough with results. My first canola plant would blossom and my first blueberry would all of the sudden appear beautifully in a rusted looking field. And you know what, it happened after the fourth week of continuously clawing. After about 40–50 hours on a specific project in fallow, my crop was ready to be sown. I went from:
(P>r) — PROCESS being greater than my results
(p = R) — process equalling greater RESULTS
One of the strategies that I used in this season to help me track my progress was through the intentional use of my weekly journal. Each week I made notes about the small wins I was making throughout the process (I call them, process wins) which helped me keep track of my growth in the fallow season.
Anyone who is an author knows what it is like to be in a season of fallow, often for a very long time. As an author, I remember finishing and publishing my first book within six months. That is rare! However, in finishing my second book I am now seeing how important it is to remain consistent, patient and persistent while in the fallow season. You can’t always grow creativity at the rate you want it to grow. It must not be forced. Organic writing takes fermentation time to produce the most beautiful type of writing for your audience to enjoy.
When John Milton wrote, “Paradise Lost” he had to delay finishing his book due to the English Civil War and he was totally blind by the time he was able to finish writing his book. With the help of an amanuensis to finish it, Paradise Lost took much much longer to both finish and publish. I think it is safe to say that Milton had a very long fallow season with this particular project.
My encouragement for you today is that you take the time you need to be comfortable with being in fallow season. Fallow does not equal failure. Instead, being in the fallow season means you have a tremendous opportunity to grow with time when untouched by external stresses aside from the natural laws of nature.
Simply put, focus on the process pieces with YOUR hobbies, activities, projects, and goals. Be ‘OK’ in the fallow season. Put the work in day to day, week by week and eventually, you will have a crop with results ready to be sown as well.
This post was previously published on Medium.com.
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