Make 2019 Your Best Year Ever (FSFS159)


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            In today’s episode, we’re wrapping up 2018 with a very distinct theme. It’s stopping and taking stock of your life at the moment. Where are you at? Where are you headed? Are you paying attention to what really matters?

            Are you so focused on moving forward that you forget to stop and take a look at the people around you, and everything else you’re supposed to be taking care of?


In this episode of Farm Small, Farm Smart

  • If you had 10 years left, will you change anything today? (05:30)
  • Are you making the most of your time now? (08:40)
  • Ronnie Coleman, the game changer (09:30)
  • Do you step back to enjoy the moment? (10:50)
  • Keep your main thing the main thing (14:00)
  • Saying one thing is important, but actions don’t reflect that (16:50)
  • Living by design vs. living by default (19:00)
  • Eliud Kipchoge started with that first step (23:45)

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It was an overcast December morning outside port Angeles, Washington, although it was technically still fall. It felt like winter with a cold bite in the days early here, the pine forest, that line, the road look extra dark today. The dark green needles and the depth of the forest were absorbing what little sunlight was able to break through the clouds.

The gray highway 101, cut through the forest representing the only sign of man in whatever otherwise was vast wilderness. The grass grew up like side of the road, threatening to swallow up the footprint that man had laid and deep within that grass, a green metal sign sat, poking its head just above the tops of the seed heads declaring mile 243.

The sign had been sitting there for years watching cars. And I go by day after day, some were going to meetings, some to weddings, some on vacation. Some having good days some bad. But today that very sign would witness something different. On this day, just like any other around 9:00 AM the sign, watch these two cars were zipping down US Highway 101 in the second lane.

One was in 1995 Ford Bronco. It was following a black Chevy Tahoe. The cars were headed eastbound destination unknown. Suddenly the Tahoe started slowing to a stop and the Bronco veered to the left and struck the rear of the Tahoe. The Bronco rotated instruct a Dodge Ram van, which was traveling West in the opposite lane.

Callum Fire District Number 2 Assistant Chief Dan Hough, reported that the driver of the Ford Bronco died at Olympic medical center. As a result of the injuries from the wreck, the driver of the Ford Bronco was Gabe Rygaard. Regards father Craig confirmed that afternoon that his son, a Port Angeles native a 1989 Port Angeles high school graduate died in the crash.

He was a father. He was a husband. He was 45 years old. And he's someone that you might recognize by name because Gabe Rygaard was one of the stars of history channels, TV series, Ax Men. This is a show that I got really into and I watched for quite a while. And I feel like I know that guy. So his death, it caught me by surprise.

Here was somebody who seemed to enjoy life. A husband, a father, just like me, slightly older, 45 years old, gone too soon. This guy didn't die in the field of doing the dangerous job of logging. He died doing something that we do every day, driving a car down the road.

And the unspoken risk of driving is that you might not get out of that car every time you sit down in the seat. Stuff happens. Sometimes the road claims us and sometimes we all run into Mile Marker 243.

Welcome to the show today. This episode is going to be a little different than others, as you can already tell today, I'm going to be wrapping up 2018 with a theme that I feel is a very important one that I really want to emphasize. The theme of this show is stop and take stock of where you're at in life right now.

Life is fragile. Life is ever depleting. And it can be taken from us at any moment. And the people that we love can be taken from us at any moment. So let's enjoy the time that we have now. 2018 was a year that through the fragility of life, in our face, if you're involved in farming, then you've no doubt, at one point listened to the farmer to farmer podcast. Hosted by Chris Blanchard, the late Chris Blanchard.

Chris is someone who passed away earlier this year at the young age of 47. 47. I'm 38 years old right now, as I record this. And I think about somebody passing away at 47 and it scares me to death.

No pun intended. That's only 10 years older than me. What would you do if you only have 10 years left? Would you change how you lived your life today? Would you live it differently if you knew that was all the time that you had, would you keep doing what you're doing? Would 2019 look like 2018, if 2019 was your, one of your last 10.

I think a lot of us, if we had 10 years left, we would make some changes in our life because there's probably little areas of our lives that we tend to sweep under the rug. And we think nobody will notice I'll get to this in time, but sometimes people do notice and we never get to those things until it's too late.

Relationships fall apart. People get sick, people get ill, people pass away. We get sick, we get ill, we pass away. It doesn't all have to end with death. It eventually all ends with death, right? But the life that we have today that we're enjoying today, doesn't have to end with us dying. It can change very quickly.

For other reasons. This year I had a very good friend get in a car accident and unlike the car accident that gay bride guard was in it, wasn't fatal. But it was life changing. That car accident created some lingering effects with this person and injuries that changed how they live, did change, what they were able to do on a day to day basis.

Their life is different now post accident that could happen to any of us. It can happen to our parents. It could happen to our kids. Life doesn't have to change physically. It can change mentally. From the celebrities like Kanye West and kid Cuddy that struggle with mental issues to the ones that take their lives because of mental issues like Robin Williams, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, mental issues are more prevalent in society than we like to admit.

I think some of us all deal with these types of mental issues. I've done shows about depression in the past. I've done shows about alcoholism in the past. There's people in our lives that no doubt, struggle with substance abuse and other mental problems. This was a year where someone very close to me was dealing with some strong mental issues that affected me.

It changed the way I live. What if you found out your child had autism next year, what if you found out one of your parents had dementia? What if your spouse became depressed? How different would life look? How would your approach change? And if those issues exist now, are you dealing with them in the best way possible?

Are you respecting them the way they need to be respected? Do you have those issues? Things can all change very quickly. Given that, I'll ask the question. Are you making the most of your time now for you and for the other people in your life? So often our journeys are about us, us overcoming, but what about the people in our lives that really matter to us kids, spouses, parents�Do those relationships get the same amount of energy that you put into your journey? And are you okay with that?

If it all changed tomorrow, would you be okay with what you left on the table? Back in 1998, a Louisiana native broke to the world stage winning his first major competition. For the next 10 years, this Louisiana native went on to change the game, becoming the greatest of all time.

His name was Ronnie Coleman. Ronnie Coleman is widely regarded as the greatest bodybuilder of all time, winning eight straight mr. Olympia competitions against some of the greatest competitors that the sport has ever seen. He'll go down in history as potentially the greatest of all time. And as his nickname states, he was the King.

A short 10 years later, that's now, and after some bad surgeries, Ronnie Coleman came out saying he may never walk again. Here you have somebody going from the pinnacle of what they do the greatest in the world. The greatest of all time. To never walking again in 10 years change, doesn't have to come in an instant, like a car crash. It can be slow bleed.

Enjoy what you're doing because of this may be as good as it gets. You may be the King right now. You may be the queen right now. You may be on top, but the world.

Do you take some time to step back and enjoy it and take it all in? Or is it just go forward? Never really taking stock of where you're at, where you're going and where you came from. As I get older, I'm more tuned into the passing of time and how quick things change.

And I don't look at it is me being scared. I try and use observing time to empower myself, to hold me accountable, both to myself and to the people within my life. Because it's very easy to get caught up in the grind in just do without ever stopping to say, where am I at?

Look at you in your journey. Why are you doing this? What are you doing? Are you okay with this? Where is this journey going? Are you celebrating the good?

This could be as good as it ever gets. Take a minute. And inhale the greatness. Bigger, better next year, more, faster, more profitable, more crops, more turnover, bigger equipment, more equipment. It's always forward and ahead at the expense of now there's not a danger in just going forward without looking up and taking stock.

You miss a lot doing that. You miss a lot of important things, vegetables, soil, your cattle, your poultry, your greenhouses, they aren't the most important things in your life. They are an important component of your life, but I'm willing to bet you have more important things in your life than that stuff�a spouse, a partner.

How good is that relationship? Is it as good as it can be? Are you borrowing some of the credit from that relationship to use, to advance your business? Is it all about you and your business and not that relationship? Are you missing your kids growing up? Are you giving them what they need? Not stuff, but just time or is it dad's always working. Mom's always working.

What are they going to be happier with at the end of the day, knowing that you build some great farm enterprise that they might hate cause you didn't spend time with them or that you always took some time out of your day to have a moment with them.

What about missing your own health and wellbeing? Your own self care? Are you burned out? Are you close to burning out? Are you really happy? Or are you depressed to some degree? There's the saying in business that your job is to keep the main thing the main thing. And that's true, but I want you to expand that beyond business and to make sure you keep the main things in your life, the main things.

Your goal now and into the future is to make sure that the main things stay the main things. So take some time this month to take stock of where your life is really at one way that I like to do that is ask the question. What would others say? And by others, the importance. And this is going to be different for each of us, but the important people in your life, coworkers, spouse, kids, family, friends, who are the most important people in your life, what would they say?

If I had done this analysis over the years, there would definitely be years where I think my wife would say he spent more time doing his stuff than he did putting time into our relationship. And I can't get those years back, but I can be cognizant of me shortchanging my relationship in the past to say, I don't want to do that again.

I think I missed too much of my first two daughters� early years. Because I was grinding away at the business and while I enjoyed it and I thought it was important, in hindsight, I wish I could get some of that time back. But if I asked those questions this year, how would my wife say I was as a husband?

I think I would score well. I think I would get top points for being a dad. That was really one of my priorities this year was to be the best dad I can be. And if other things suffered slightly because of that? That�s okay. So what would the importance in your life say about you? Would they say you're being the best wife, father, spouse, mother, son, daughter, to that you can be, if not, are you putting you ahead of them?

Are you being the best you can be for you at someone else's expense. And are you okay with that? I'm not going to sit here and try and say, Hey, your marriage is more important than your business, because it might not be for both of you. You have to ask that question and you have to decide what's important and make sure that the important thing stays the most important thing.

The danger is when you say one thing is important, but the actions don't reflect that importance. There's a misalignment in business owners. Like we're all guilty of having this misalignment in times and ignoring it pretending it's not, they're pretending it's not as bad as it is. What would the other person say?

Let's say next year, your farm grew more profitable. You are on an acre. You have a CSA say it's doing really well, great sales at farmers market that acre you net a hundred thousand dollars. You have a couple of employees, you upgrade your infrastructure. You put in some new greenhouses, you sell to chefs, you get some awards in your community for being a great producer. You get a bunch of new Instagram followers. You're the talk of the town. You're the farmer that everybody's talking about.

But let's say at the end of that year, your spouse moves out and you end up getting divorced. Is that a success? Being an entrepreneur doesn't remove you from being a human and a participant in many relationships that we can't avoid.

Oftentimes, a successful life is going to mean multiple areas of our lives need to experience success simultaneously with overlap, isolated success with our business, with other areas of our life failing is going to leave issues. So honor your time in your relationship, because you really have a choice. You can choose what you do every day.

You can decide if you're going to exercise your option choice. Are you going to live by design or by default? And a lot of people become entrepreneurs because they want to take control of their lives and live their lives by design a design of their own, not someone else's because for a company, I'm living by default, I'm working for the man.

The irony of that though, is when entrepreneurs become entrepreneurs, the lifestyle can take over and you start living by default and all the design goes out. The window. The lifestyle becomes the new default self-employment becomes the new default. So you try to get all this freedom away from somebody else's control and suddenly the entrepreneurial lifestyle is now taking control.

And you're not living by design. A lot of us are like, we don't take the time to step back at times of year like this and say, am I going through the motions or am I controlling my emotions and where I'm stepping and where I'm headed? So I'm asking you to ask yourself and the important people in your life, where are you at?

Where are you headed? Is this by design or by default? Look at the major areas of your life again. Health, both physical and mental relationships with friends, family, your partner, business, and look at them in that order. How would you rate these areas from one to 10, with 10 being the best?

If how you feel about yourself physically is closer to a one than a 10. That's a problem. What can you do to move it closer to a 10? If you feel stressed, if you feel burned out all the time and you're down in one range, something needs to change. How's your relationship with your partner? Are you in the honeymoon stage or are you far from it? And you're in the danger zone round one, if we could do some magic and pause life as it is right now.

And I could remove you from life as though you're watching it from above and I gave you your life like you're one of the sharks on shark tank and you're sitting there and I came up and I was going to pose is you and be you and your life. And I said, Hey, here's what I'm doing. Here's my business.

Here's my relationships. Do you want to invest in my life? Would you be my life? What would you do? would you sign up for your life today, doing exactly what you're doing now, or would there be some areas of your life that if presented to you by somebody else, you would be like steer clear of that issues?

What if we filmed your life right now? Made a nice time lapse. And we didn't do the Instagram thing where we filtered and we took it at the right time of the day from the right angle. We showed the good and the bad. We made sure that the crap was in there. The worst shots, the unfiltered shots, the shots that you would not want to show anybody else.

And you'd be embarrassed and scared to tell you about them all about the fragile parts. What if those were in that video? And then you watch that compilation. Now, would you be proud of that compilation? And if we fast forward ahead, five years and you watch that video from 2018 now in 2023, would that video make you cringe or would you be like, damn, I'm proud of who that was.

We can always get better and nobody's perfect. I'm not trying to suggest that there's perfection here. There's definitely imperfection. So I'm suggesting you try and make the imperfect a little less imperfect. While there's areas that we can improve upon, there's no doubt areas in 2018 that we've excelled or we've crushed.

We can all take an extra minute to take it in back in the fall. On September 16th, 2018. Eliud Kipchoge went out on a run. One that he had done hundreds and hundreds of times before, but one that would be different than any other. It was the day of the Berlin marathon and you'd crypto gay was a former Olympic gold medalist, but he was aging and he was now 33 years old.

Given that what expectations were there? A lot can happen in 26.2 miles, two hours, one minute and 39 seconds later, Eliud had smashed the previous standing world marathon record by 78 seconds. And 78 seconds in marathon terms might as well be hours in life, like he crushed the record. This is a record that had stood for four years and a record that was surpassed by the widest margin in 50 years.

And to put this into perspective, he finished five minutes ahead of the second place finisher, five minutes in a two hour race. It's insane. No one could have expected that to happen. No one could've predicted it to happen. But it did. And it all started at mile zero. With that first step, when the starting gun cracked, it didn't matter what anyone thought Eliud would do.

None of his previous races mattered. None of his past mattered this race on September 16th, 2018. It was a new time. It was his chance to do what he thought he could do, correct mistakes from the past, incorporate everything that he learned from every previous race and give it his all. His amazing run isn't really different than any of our lives.

Everything that happened before today is in the past in everything that happens after today. Hasn't happened yet. We have the ability to affect what can happen. 2019 can be our Berlin marathon. We can all start the year with a first step and go on to accomplish amazing things.

Over the next 12 months, we can do things that we never expected to do. Do it for you. Do it for and with the people around you and do it for the right reasons.

And do some epic you-know-what.

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