I am a very active business person with an organisation that has grown to be a multi-billion-naira company in just five years. I am also the President and Co-Founder of Women in Energy Network so I tend to be quite busy and have gotten good at joggling many balls; managing my business, advocating for inclusion of women in energy industry, meeting the needs of my clients, managing a very active family life with my three boys and very busy husband so quite a few balls and holding it all together is quite important to me. How do I do it? I will share my experiences and insights on how and encourage you to take charge and stay in control of what matters to you. I will try to be real and honest about the things that worked and the ones that didn’t work so well. I am sure you are all tired of hearing you need to work hard to be successful. Well if you are tired of that and are battling with trying to take and keep control over your life? Your Career? Your business? Your Marriage? Your family? Your Career? Your Weight and want to hear about how to be in the driving seat of everything that matters to you then this articles is for you. They will be fun, engaging, thrilling and informative and build you up to take control, keep control of your, business, family, marriage, sanity, investments, career, holidays etc
The topic for today is Gardening, the time to sow and harvest. I am sure you are wondering what gardening has to do with holding the reigns of your life. The results of a multitude of research has shown what gardeners have intrinsically known for generations – that gardening is good for your health. What is now becoming clearer is that the principles of gardening have universal applicability for life as well. Knowing seed time and harvest time has become the key to success across all parts of living.
If you can find confidence to start a garden, know the right seed for the plant you want to grow, find the discipline to nurture it and know the right time to harvest then you will certainly know how to achieve the same success with other aspects of your life just apply the same principles. I will outline below some critical tips on how to grow the perfect garden and how they apply to success in life. Even if you have never gardened before it’s not a problem. Just follow these 10 easy tips and thank me later.
Site your garden right. Starting a garden is just like real estate it’s all about location. So, in your life the same principle applies where you locate yourself at any point in your life is one of the most important things you can do for yourself. Being in control of your life is just like in investing in real estate; it’s all about location. Start out in Akowonjo and you will end in Akowonjo. Place your home and job in any part of town and you’ll see that this is where you will spend most of your time. This is where you will make your friends, shape your thoughts, make your memories, reach the limit of your wealth. When I first moved out of my parents’ home in Apapa (a suburb of Lagos) I rented my first home in the high-rise flats in Dolphin Estate some people laughed at me, called it a slum but to me I was in Ikoyi and no matter how you looked, I was. I was within a 5-minute drive Nigeria’s rich and famous and right in the centre of everything, so I was never unnoticed before long I met everyone I needed to know, and today I have whatever access I require to accomplish whatever objectives I have so I feel quite in control of my destiny. Even if I never use my contacts, just knowing I have them is enough. Remember out of sight is out of mind so stay connected by setting up in the right location.
2. Follow the sun.
Misjudging sunlight is a common pitfall when you’re first learning to garden. Pay attention to sunlight when choosing when to plant and when to harvest. Try not to plant seeds at night most plants need at least 6 hours of sun in order to thrive. So, in reality what that means is sunrise is the most important time for planning, sowing, doing, working, investing and night time is for harvesting, reaping, enjoying etc. I hope you understand the analogy. Don’t spend your most virile hours and young years dreaming, playing, loafing or drunk. Spend them planting and tilling. An important point to note here though is how personal this is. The sun does not rise and set at the same time for everyone. It is person specific. It all depends on where you live, when you started out in life, when the light shines on you etc. so you must never work with another person’s clock but you must be observant as to what is your own morning and thus time to plant. So, follow the sun, as the sun is rising for one it is setting for another. Don’t ever compare yourself or judge your sunlight by another.
3. Be close to a water source
One of the best gardening tips you’ll ever get is to plan your garden near a water source. This is important because a dry garden can never thrive. So, in your life it’s important to be close to a water source. Water in this case is symbolism for information, data, wisdom and learning its important never to get thirsty from lack of information. Be close by to a knowledge source so you don’t have to lug water to your garden each time your plants get thirsty. In my life I ensure I have subscription to good internet service provider as I find google truly my best friend, learning management systems such as Coursera, Udemy or Lynda, so I can get answers to anything I need to know. I also have lots of books on topics that pertain to my work and life. These make me feel in control. I never feel out of sorts or out of my dept, I can always search, ask or read.
4. Get a leg up.
When starting a garden, one of the top pieces of advice you get is to invest in soil that is nutrient-rich and well-drained. Achieve this in the context of holding on the reigns of your life by starting off with a good solid education. Yes, you might not like reading or studying but it is important to use education as a leg-up. It just puts you on a higher pedestal than your peers. The higher the educational level you attain the higher you stand out. What is the perfect level to get to depend on how high in life you aspire to get to and how much you want to make it easier for yourself to get there? Consider getting a PHD if you want to achieve international acclaim.
5. Spread your risk.
When space is at a premium, look to containers. You can grow many plants in pots, and you never quite know which seed will turn into the tree or herb so a higher chance of success you must sow many seeds. This is critical as you never know which investment or relationship, proposal, business idea, presentation will grow and germinate into something big I would always say you show sow and sow widely even when you run out of space in your own life sow into people lives, you just never ever know which one will bring forth a tree. You have to just trust that as you sow the seeds some of them will grow and the ones that don’t, won’t matter. When I sow into people’s lives I sometimes even forget such that when people come up to me to remind me of a good deed or idea I gave them and how it had grown so much I become even more convinced of the importance of the strategy of spreading your risk.
6. Don’t go for the wrong plant.
It’s important to select plants that match your growing conditions. This means putting sun-loving plants into a sunny spot, do your homework and pick varieties that will grow well where you live and in the space you have. Do in Rome as the romans, go after what you really want. If you want to eat mangos don’t plant strawberry’s particularly if you are in the tropical region, it won’t thrive and if by accident it does, it won’t meet your needs. I get so exacerbated with people that constantly try to implement solutions that work foreign lands. Context is so important in choosing the right solutions to go with. That something works in an environment does not mean it will work in another. It important to focus on what’s the right solution for your own environment. Don’t go for the wrong plant and it will always be wrong if it won’t help fulfil your own desires and ambitions. Don’t be a copycat.
7. How hard can you go?
Knowing your “hardiness zone” can help you choose the best plants. Find out your hardiness zone and determine what you can withstand. We are all different, made different and cope differently with challenges. Know thy self is not a crime. Know what you can take or not take. How hard are you? Running from a fight is not a sign a weakness. Those who run from a fight, live to fight again. So, having that self-awareness around how hard or soft you are in one of the most important steps towards holding the reins of your life. You will also be able to communicate this clearly to those around you so everyone knows what they can throw at you or not.
8. Learn your frost dates
Planting too early (or late) in the season can spell disaster for your garden. You need to know the last frost date, so you don’t accidentally kill plants by putting them out prematurely. This principle has direct application for holding onto the reins of your life. There is always a perfect time for everything. How do you know when is the perfect time to bring that idea to market or make that relationship public? If you keep your ideas locked in for too long it will become stale and you would have gone past the time you can bring it out, conversely if you bring out it too early you will kill them. I have been burnt severally by this particular principle so it’s something I have learnt to be particularly sensitive to. I am one that always jump onto things early and by the time other people become aware they either try to kill it or take it away so I have learned to listen to my inner voice, observe and keenly watch the seasons, learn from patterns. Pay attention to this and learn when to put your ideas out there for optimal performance.
9. Reinforcement is critical
Reinforce your plants. Apply a layer of mulch that’s 2 to 3 inches deep around each plant. This will help reduce weeds by blocking out the sun, and reduce moisture loss through evaporation, so you have to water less. The way this tip applies to your life is in the form of protection and reinforcement for your ideas and your work, your investment or whatever you find valuable. Always reinforce and protect them. Same way you reinforce your plants is the same way you reinforce the valuables in your life. Reinforcement can be in the form of doing good to random people, nurturing relationships with random people and studying random things. They by themselves might appear unrelated or not actually going to repay you in any way but what you are doing is using them for reinforcement, using them to reduce weed and moisture loss in your life. A lot of people ask themselves why should I help people I don’t owe anything? Well this is why you are using them as reinforcement for your own dreams, ambitions and desires so you don’t need to work so hard to replenish what you will lose to evaporation use the support you provide to people as reinforcement for the thing you want to protect.
10. Feed plants regularly.
We’ve already talked about the importance of starting with great soil, but that soil works best in concert with regular boosts of high-quality nutrition for your plants. In other words, amazing soil + top-notch plant food = super garden success! So, a month after planting, begin feeding your garden with plant food and you will get a great garden. It’s that simple. In real life its actually equally as simple, if you apply these principles to your life you will have live a happy, balanced and fulfilled life. So, what do I consider nutrition in life? Well it depends on the particular thing you are nurturing but generally speaking its sunlight, reading, conversations that uplift, learning events and conferences, wellness, spending quality time with loved ones, exercise, Whatever it is its perhaps the most important element of holding the reigns of your life and feeling in control of your destiny is being aware of when to sow and when to reap.
In closing I want to say the act of gardening enables us to enter the ‘zone’, also known as an altered state of consciousness – similar to what a jogger or one who practices yoga or mediation can experience. This transcendent state is a magical and spiritual place where one experiences the best of who she/he is, so I encourage you all to take up gardening however if you absolutely cannot, apply these principles in your life and you will find it much easier to hold onto the reins of your life.
Thank you for reading and look forward to connecting with you next week.
Acknowledgement: Source of Gardening Tips – www.miraclegro.com
written by Funmi Ogbue, CEO Zigma Limited, President Women in Energy Network. Follow her on twitter https://twitter.com/fogbue