Creating Positive Change

October 9, 2023

According to one study, fewer than 5% of people have written goals.

This is unfortunate because we know that documented goals, when reviewed often, motivate us to achieve what we really want; pointing out the “destination” where we want to head to. With the destination in mind, we can create a “trip plan” (think GPS) to get us there in the fastest and most effective way possible.

Defining our goal can be a challenge. Stephen Covey, in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, suggests that we start by planning backwards; imagine yourself on the day you die, when you lie in your coffin, what would you want to have achieved or experienced? What would you like others to remember you by?

Having a plan, a goal that we are passionate about, helps us to eliminate wasteful activities. In his book, 2 Second Lean, Paul Akers says that 90% of the things we do are waste. 90%! Surely we could do better than that. If we want to do better, we need to figure out what matters in life and work on eliminating waste.

So write down your goals and refer to them often. Start looking for ways to continually work toward those goals in your daily life. We are so designed that when we have a goal, we say it, we write it down, we visualize it, we continually run it through our heads, that is when our neocortex brain allows us to pick up on things that we would never have understood before. As Alexander Graham Bell said, Whatever this power is I cannot say: all I know is that it exists and it becomes available only when a man is in that state of mind in which he knows exactly what he wants, and is fully determined not to quit until he finds it.

It is amazing to me how often something is available to us but we don’t notice it because we haven’t detected that we need it. We sometimes say that something went in one ear and out the other. This is because our neocortex brain does an incredible job of sorting out what we “don’t need” (that is, we think we don’t) so that we don’t go in overload mode.

What I am saying is that when we have a goal, we say it, we write it down, we visualize it, we continually run it through our heads, that eventually triggers a signal to our brain about what we really want. And that is when we start finding answers to our questions. When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.

Once you know your goals, you have to align your actions. Maybe it is your goal to grow crops that have more resistance to pests and disease. Document it. Specify some of the particular challenges you are having. Dive into research. Dive into more details about the soil and plant ecosystem.

So why should we talk about goal setting on an agricultural hotline? Other than helping people improve their daily lives, the other intent of this topic is to ask a specific question. The question I would like to ask today is, What is our goal for the future of agriculture?

If agriculture continues on the road that it is headed, it will eventually arrive at its destination. There is a lot of positive happening right now. The regenerative movement is taking hold. But the United States is still exporting topsoil (into streams, rivers, and oceans) at an alarming rate. Large amounts of land are turning into desert. Lots of chemicals are being used which is leading to loss of organic matter. Lots of bactericides are being used which kills the bacteria in the soil that make minerals available to our plants. Lots of fungicides are being used which kill the fungi in our soils that act as extensions to plants roots and that have the potential to produce large amounts of organic matter. If we continue this route, there will eventually be a tipping point – we will arrive at a place where it is no longer profitable or fun to grow crops because of pest and disease pressure.

Do we want to continue this route? Or do we want to become better? Is it our desire to produce crops that have exceptional resilience to pests and disease? Do we want to grow food as medicine? If our answer is yes, then we need to start aligning our actions, every day!

With the resources that are available today, I believe that we can significantly cut back, or even eliminate, bactericides, pesticides, and fungicides that hurt the ecosystem. There is enough knowledge, nutrient-based products, and ecosystem-friendly bio-controls that we can pull it off. If we really want to.

Of course, it all starts with the soil. Is our soil environment conducive to good biology? Is it teeming with life? Is it balanced with nutrients?

This is a good time to mention that, over the next month or so, we will be giving short courses (on this hotline) on soil balancing to help you better understand the soil and ecosystem. We hope that, armed with this information and your newly-documented goals, you will be able to make significant progress in 2024. Best wishes from your friends at Keystone.

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Source: Melvin Fisher | Sponsored by Keystone Bio-Ag LLC