I talk about mindset a lot. And I’ll never stop.
It’s something I work on more than anything. When I’m planning for the following season, I’m working on mindset. During the cold winters and early spring when I am planting seeds, I’m working on mindset. Once it’s time to prep the field and transplant seedlings, I’m working on mindset. Every time I’m in the field for harvest or maintenance, I’m still working on mindset.
What I mean by that is that every act or exertion of energy is done with intention and emotional investment. Most of the time, I can’t slow down or take moments to stop everything and reflect, so to make up for it I measure my success by impact and fulfillment. I pay attention to the small things as I’m running through them and ask myself if what I’m doing is leading me to the future I see for myself.
I think about the future a lot. And up until recently it has been in terms of growing what I’m doing into a successful and profitable business. I love what I do to the point that I won’t even try to find the words to describe it, but as it stands I have some work to do before I can let go of other sources of revenue to sustain a life .It’s easy for me to focus on working as hard and efficiently as I can until I get there. But a few weeks ago, I was sitting down with my friend Kendra, who is a business coach, and we were going through a vision builder and she asked me: “what would you do if you had unlimited time and money?”
It was a surprisingly hard question to answer. Because I would do what I’m doing now but more of it. It was extremely difficult for me to separate my values from hard work and she really pressured me to think about it and come up with an answer that WASN’T work. In trying to think through it, I realized that I cherish the cycle of life and unlimited time didn’t really appeal to me. It brought me a lot of clarity to realize that if I could wake up every morning to a cup of coffee in front of a good sunrise and spend my days with my family there was really nothing else I wanted – no matter how much money or time that I had.
Since I started North Star, it has become easy for me to catch glimpses of my future. Working through this one question in personal vision only amplified that. With clarity I envision my life and how I will live it. I think of the joy and memories I will have decades from now when all I have left are some pictures and stories to share. I think of the wisdom I still have yet to gain from the hardships that will inevitably occur throughout life and all of the incredible things that will come along with them. I don’t have plans to live a perfect or easy life, but I have plans to live a full life.
And the life I’m living is clear and a million. Even in times of uncertainty, I can see past it for miles. I can see where I’m going and there’s nothing in the way.
It’s the hardest part. But here are some things that helped me along the way:
- I go outside. Being in the woods or on the water is where I have always found my peace, even when I was a child. If you know where you can go that you feel relaxed – make some time to go there.
- Music. I love music. I’ve had an impossible time getting into podcasts because it’s time that I could spend listening to music instead and, with the exception of a few, every time I listen to a podcast I get impatient and sidetracked. I love daydreaming and listening to music. It gets me out of my head and offers some separation from work and responsibilities and allows me to come back to jobs with a clean slate to start fresh.
- Reading gives me the same escape! If you have something you can do that puts your thoughts and mind at ease, try to do it, even if it’s just for fifteen minutes. I know it’s difficult to break away from responsibilities, but if you’re like me and find time to scroll through social media and use that as a way to disassociate, try to replace that once a week with something that brings you more peace.
- There are a lot of different exercises that authors and coaches use to help you envision your future and all that and I think those exercises are great! But for me, it takes too much time and feels too demanding. I like to keep it simple – remember the movie Happy Gilmore with Adam Sandler? If not, go watch it because it’s hilarious. But just find your happy place and visit often.
- My happy place in my mind is my imaginary home in a huge meadow surrounded by mountains. Sometimes it’s a pasture. Sometimes it’s a field. Every now and again when I go there I’ll be growing wheat or have some cows, but there’s always a flower field. It’s late in the summer when the shadows are long and golden hour stretches forever. I picture that – and I’ve pictured it enough for it to start to feel like my future.
- Ask yourself Kendra’s question: What would you do if you had unlimited time and money? And dive into it.
- I’m also a fan of the 7 Levels Deep method and even wrote an entire post just about that. I do it at least once a year and it helps keep me in check.
- I practically force my friends to talk with me about mindset. We share our troubles and successes and support and celebrate each other. But sometimes it can be hard to be open and vulnerable about where we’re at mentally and what our goals are. It takes a LOT for me to be open about all of this but I’ve found that when I am, I always connect with somebody new who is going through similar experiences and it gives me the drive to keep going.