As the days have gotten longer and warmer, backyard gardeners have rolled up their sleeves and plunged their hands into soil to prepare for the new growing season. Before plants were placed in the ground, those with the greenest of thumbs began their task by testing the soil to determine what supplements were needed to support the plants they want to grow.
They were also thinking about which plantings work well together, not just aesthetically, but chemically as well. Studies have shown that some plants impart certain nutrients to the soil that others thrive on. So, knowing how two plants can co-exist in the same place is important. Will one be toxic to the other or beneficial?
And then as our master gardeners began to plant their gardens, they positioned each flower, bulb, tree and bush with an eye to how they looked on their own, as well as in relation to their surroundings. This is no different for us when we’re creating the life we want.
What will you plant?
What belongs in your life? What tasks, people, and places invigorate you? Which of them drains your energy and enthusiasm? After you graduated college you took a job, and you’ve since grown through the ranks. Now, though, you’re looking for a change. Something new. You’ve been combing through the job listings and putting feelers out through your network. Before you leap and plant yourself in a new place, step back and look at the big picture. What type of change is going to soothe your restlessness? Are you looking simply for a new organization? Can the skills you’ve developed over the years be used in an entirely new job function? Maybe your skills have prepared you to breathe life into the entrepreneurial venture you’ve always dreamed of pursuing. Take the time to assess where you are today, and where your dreams are calling you.
What do you need to get there?
There is always something new to learn. Before you transplant yourself, take a good look at your skill set versus the demands of the position you’re hoping to move into. Do your skills transfer? Are there any weak spots in your talent arsenal that need to be shored up? Now is the time to sharpen your skills. Take classes. Work with a mentor. Think of it as prepping the soil with the proper nutrients so you can flourish when planted.
What will your garden look like long term?
One of the most common mistakes new homeowners make is planning the placement of their shrubs and perennials in the arrangement that looks best today. Across the years that lie ahead, the plants that were set out in perfectly will grow. Some of the faster-growing plants will dominate the landscape, dwarfing the slower maturing foliage. The bright, sunny daisies you placed as a focal point, are now leggy and look out of place next to the more compact plants you placed them near. You’re in a never-ending battle trying to tame the mint you planted because you adored the smell. Despite your best efforts, that mint threatens to take over every square inch of soil.
The same thing applies to our lives. We often make decisions from the point of not wanting to be where we are now. All our efforts are put into changing what we currently have. If we don’t keep sight of how the choices we make today reflect the future we are creating tomorrow, we could end up with solution that doesn’t yield the fruit we’re craving in the future. There’s a balance to be maintained when we forge ahead between shedding what no longer serves us and embracing what we want to grow into.
You are the master gardener of your life
If you take nothing else away from this article, remember this: YOU are the master gardener of your life. You are the one to decide what becomes the focal point. You identify the things you’ll nurture to create the life you love. You are the one that sets forth the path you’ll grow along for the next 5, 10, 15 years and beyond.
Not sure where to begin? Love Your Life: Cultivating Your Vision and Tending Your Dreams was written to help you walk through the process of preparing, nourishing and growing the life you want. Whether you’re looking for a way to start something new, wish to revitalize your current circumstances, or want to define your ideal path, the steps in this book will help you create your own personalized blueprint. By the time you are finished, you will have cultivated the vision of the life that you want most and learned how best to tend to those dreams.