Applying The Law Of The Harvest

Life lessons

The Law of the Harvest, “what ye sow (plant), so shall ye reap (harvest)” is one of the truest models I've found to describe success in this world. It applies to almost everything, from get rich quick schemes, to relationships, to grades, to diets, and to investing.

But most people look only at the surface implications of this law. They think it means “you've got to work if you want to get good results.” While that's absolutely true, there are lots of other implications of this law that are well-worth considering.

I find great value in thinking about this law and how it applies to different areas of my life.  I've thought about it in terms of schooling, careers, relationships, sports, grades, types of jobs you take, entrepreneurial activities, talents, investing, spirituality, marriages, child-raising, and much more.

I invite you to take one of those areas, perhaps one that you're struggling with a bit and consider the following implications of the Law of the Harvest in regards to the results that you're getting in that area:

  • It takes effort to get something
  • If you don’t put that effort in you don’t get the same result as if you put the effort in
  • You’ll never reap something different than what you sow, so you need to make sure you put the right seeds into the ground in the first place
  • If you plant nothing, you get weeds
  • Wishing and hoping is not planting
  • No matter how hard you want it to be so, the law of the harvest won’t ever change. Every once in awhile you'll get lucky and find a $10 bill lying on the sidewalk, but that's a rarity, not life
  • If you sow well, and even plan to reap well, but decide to take some time off in the middle, the crop dies
  • Sowing always costs – in addition to the effort it takes, you have to still pay for the seed. So there’s always a sacrifice associated with sowing – sacrifice involving choosing something in the future over something you want now
  • You’d better protect your plants, or they could get destroyed. You have to be ever diligent about sticking to what you planted – even one evening of relaxing your guard can destroy your entire crop
  • Quick growing crops are rarely profitable – the profitable crops require lots of work along the way (you can’t just go grab a quick certificate and expect to achieve the same reward as the person who puts in the multi-year degree)
  • If you want to enjoy the harvest, you’d better harvest it when it’s ripe!
  • Sowing and harvesting rarely come at convenient times. They have to be done when the conditions are ready, not when you feel like doing it
  • The better you prep the ground in the beginning, the better your crop in the end
  • Fertilizing helps and sometimes the best fertilizer looks and smells like manure
  • Pruning helps too
  • You can sow exactly correctly, but weeds will still sprout. They need to be removed if  you want a healthy crop
  • Sowing sometimes happens unintentionally and sometimes is outside of your control
  • Sometimes we sow what/because someone else forced/cajoled us to do so. We still reap what was sowed, even if we didn’t like sowing it in the first place. Sometimes that crop is good (musical talents as a result of being forced to practice the piano as a kid), sometimes less than desirable
  • Growing requires patience. If you grow tired of waiting and decide to quit and harvest early, before the crop is ready, you will always have less than desirable results, oftentimes no results at all
  • Return on farming is directly proportional to the amount of consumption of what we reap. If we consume everything we reap a crop feeds us only once. If we consume less than what we reap we can have another crop from those seeds and/or can acquire more fields to plant even more crops in the future. Never eat your seed corn
  • Sometimes crops are bad. That happens no matter how well you sowed and tended the crop. Make sure you save some extra seed in case that happens. If you don’t have any seed left, better come up with plan B immediately, including cutting consumption, so you can quickly gather another batch of seed to get it in the ground to start everything over.  Mortgaging your next crop are oftentimes the first sign of impending bankruptcy.
  • The higher the price you pay for the plant in the beginning, the longer the term of the return in the end – annuals are cheap, perennials are more expensive, trees cost the most, but trees yield a return year after year after year
  • There are some crops that require lots of effort upfront and almost none later on. Those can be invaluable, especially if you can plant a whole series of them, working like a madman for awhile, then doing little besides harvesting for years
  • This entire process starts with a decision
  • The longer you delay the decision, even if you delay it for a really good reason, the longer it takes to be able to reap
  • You don’t have to always plant all of your field in a single crop. You can get one crop into one space while you’re still deciding on another, and in some fields you can get more crops than one out of a growing season
  • Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that getting anything planted is better than having nothing in – there’s an opportunity cost for every planting you make. But if you lose a season to indecision, you get nothing
  • You can plant, but the Lord is the one that makes it grow. Sometimes He changes things on you along the way even if you had well-thought-out, well-intentioned, other plans. If you fight God, you lose.

What have you learned about the Law of the Harvest? Share it by writing a comment below! And don't forget to Tweet and Like this post!

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Don Crowther is a leading marketing, business strategy and online marketing expert. He helps companies ranging from Fortune-500-level giants to entrepreneurs make more money online using proven strategic and marketing techniques.

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