By Harry Siemens
Remember nearly 20 years ago, it was the year 2,000, and I wonder whether any people out there still have dried foods in their cupboard because the world was coming to an end, at least the digital world. Well, it didn’t happen. Now, with another New Year upon us, what will the future hold for you, and me, we don’t know. We know who holds the future and its not me or you.
A well-known radio preacher Chuck Swindoll once said 90 percent of everything we do depends on attitude. The same holds for going forward with another year. If 90 percent of what we do depends on attitude and I think Swindoll was shooting low, then its time we may have to change our attitude.
In the middle to late ’80s, I developed a motto that goes like this. A positive mental attitude, to encourage and to serve others will motivate me to do my best. With time I added to inspire as the third plank of the segment of a seminar/talk I developed presenting it hundreds of time across Western Canada and points beyond.
A positive attitude is something that goes deeper and has an effect beyond surface cheer. Negative attitudes promote fear, and a narrowing of focus and the mind, while positive attitudes do the opposite.
A positive attitude doesn’t mean ignoring life’s troubles. It just means being an optimist and looking for the good in things, rather than being a pessimist and concentrating on the bad in situations.
When we looked at the challenges of 2018 and had someone told me I’d lose my wife Judith, and myself land up in two different hospital emergency rooms in two different hospitals within three days, and another doctor slates me for hernia surgery, oh my word. But you see we don’t know or understand the future. If we did, we’d mess it up, too.
That is why it is possible to have a positive mental attitude regardless of most circumstances. Farming has always been part of my life, as a youngster growing up, then joining my brother and father in a three-way operation, then eventually becoming a farm journalist and advocate for the last 47 years. What a journey and I hope it isn’t over just yet, but if things change and I need to change, I think I could do that too.
Farming right now isn’t for the feeble and weak-hearted, but for those who take the challenge of feeding the people around the world plus themselves. To go out spring after spring whether the prices are high or low, whether there’s moisture or not, and prepare the land, plant the seeds, apply the crop protection products, be price takers, and spin the dice yet another time. Some may say farmers are gamblers, and if they are the odds, for the most part, are pretty high that things will turn ok, if not then we wait until next year. As I wrote in other articles management plays a more significant part than ever whether a farm will be successful or not.
One can make all the right decisions, and some years it just isn’t enough. That is when the positive attitude must kick in.
“Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.” Our pastor spoke on that passage and had some high points for developing a positive attitude.
1. Decide you want to change [I’m not a product of circumstances but of my decisions.]
2. Openly declare the goodness of God – How good is God in your life?
3. Discard your rights
4. Direct your thinking
Here is my wish that you decide to go forward in 2019 with a positive attitude because of it certainly beats the alternative. Just imagine the effect you will have on those around you, and others you come in contact with regularly outside of the home.