Positivity, and How to Embrace it
The business of agriculture is always getting more complicated. For better or worse, we like to think we are in it for the long haul. The days are not often balanced and it is easy to say there is never a dull moment!
So, here we are with better prices for dairy, beef, and grain production. As a result, these higher returns produce a more positive morale. This encouraging attitude can fuel your operation. We can see the effect positivity has in day-to-day dealings. You might notice, family life goes more smoothly, employees are more at ease and those hectic days just seem to go much better. But, with that in mind, it can swing the opposite way just as fast.
The not-so-positive times can seem never-ending and they drag us down the road of bad moods. This "bad mood" goes through everybody and even animals seem to sense it. There is the dog who faithfully follows you around all day and the cow that just seems to always need a scratch behind the ears on your way through the lot. Sometimes, just taking a minute with them tells your inner being that things will work out. The decompression these moments offer can go a long way.
The first step is to start your day out great. When you go to the barn, start things better. The tone of your voice when you meet family and employees for the first time during the morning or evening shift can always start better. Start with an upbeat GOOD MORNING or GOOD EVENING! I call it, putting something in your emotional bucket. In return, the one receiving the pleasant greeting, puts a response in your bucket.
The culture of running any small business or farm or even our church family is going to always have a better outcome if we can keep the negativity to a minimal amount in our lives.
I know EVERYBODY has days that just don't seem to go right. Take a break. You have to. In our grandparent's day, they had to take a break to water the horses and sit a few minutes. Not now. Today's horses burn fuel and the cell phone won't leave us alone! A few minutes of quiet in your favorite place with your pet or even better with that young child or grandchild may be the best medicine. Or take the time and read a book, or write in a journal. It can reset your well-being. A child can innocently know when things are not right. In their own way, they inject positivity in your bucket with a homemade colored picture and a big ole hug. Just make sure that you ALWAYS put something in theirs as well.
Let's make that seemingly impossible day a little easier by doing a little at a time. It may not seem like much, but its progress! Enjoy the simple accomplishments such as a new heifer calf from your favorite cow or a barn full of hay that has been put up right. Or a nice milk check after a long hard winter month.
IN A SIDE BOX?????
I learned the bucket technique from a book called "How Full Is Your Bucket," by Tom Rath and Donald O. Clifton.
This book teaches strategies by using an analogy of a bucket and a dipper. It's a very good book that I highly recommend. I have loaned it to many friends and people in many fields, some have even bought it for themselves. I found it doesn't hurt to reread it now and then myself. There is also a child's version available. Both books are easy reading, about 100 pages, and have been in print since 2004.