This week on the Seeds of Tao podcast for Episode 029 we are talking with Jim Gale, designer at FUUD Forest Abundance in Florida. He is an amazing source of enthusiasm and a true permaculture visionary. We love visionaries here at Seeds of Tao, they are our people.
Here in the blog post we’ll be discussing the elements of maintaining enthusiasm for your vision, like Jim outlines, and then wrapping it around staying true to your vision, even if you live in the suburbs.
If you have been hanging out with us for a while now, you’ll remember back in Episode 011 where we talked about how important dreams and visions are. We are avid believers in dreaming big, creating the big visions you’re truly passionate about and then going after them.
One of the first steps in working towards a vision is truly envisioning what you want. This isn’t just some exercise for you to be able to put your vision into words, it really needs to be an immersive experience you are creating within your mind.
Recently our son’s goal has been to set up a website to teach kids how to become zoologists (which is his big goal). One of the first things we had him do was to write a story, envisioning what his website would be like. We pushed him to really create it in his mind, what the website would be for, how it would make people feel, what it would look like, what it would be like to interact with the website…
Creating a story is a great avenue for envisioning. You make it real when you write it down, add dimension, build scope, and bring in emotion. It creates an emotional reality your brain starts to crave, setting yourself up for increased focus and commitment to making it happen.
What is your goal? This is different from your vision. A vision usually isn’t concrete or able to to be absolutely finished, but rather a lifelong journey towards creation of that vision. Goals, on the other hand, are meant to be measured, specific, and with a clear finish line.
So do you know your goal? Is it measurable? Does it have a clear finish line?
Once you have these aspects of a goal created, it is VITAL that you write this goal down. If you write down your goals, you are 42% more likely to achieve your goal. Writing your goals down increases your level of commitment and focus, allowing you to stick with it and see it through.
Does it matter where you write them down? Absolutely! Writing them in a journal and never opening it again isn’t going to do much for you. The best thing to do is to place it up somewhere that is visible, that you will see every single day. A vision board is great for this. Vision boards with our goals on them are one way we keep moving forward and focused on achieving our goals. If you’re interested in learning more about effective goal setting techniques and increasing your focus and follow through, start with our FREE Dreamcatcher Mini-Course.
Sometimes we start working towards our big goals and then all of the sudden things get super hairy, and we’re thinking to ourselves, “Why am I doing this to myself? Maybe I’ll just go back to the way things were.”
With all growth, there will be growing pains. But as Jim reminded us in the podcast, it’s important to just keep going. There will be a hump, and there will be a valley. Nothing of value was never achieved without struggle and sacrifice.
It’s certainly not uncommon to have a big burst of enthusiasm at the beginning of a goal, and then for that fire to die down to a lowly sizzle as time goes on and obstacles come our way. How do we keep pushing forward?
We need to intentionally be reigniting our enthusiasm. One great way Jim brings up is by building others up. Sometimes we get so lost in our own struggles and issues, we get bogged down with burdens. If we can take the time to genuinely see those around us, and lift them up through service, kind words, or whatever may be beneficial at that time, it will not only lift our spirits, it will reignite our passion for life, and in turn, our visions.
Another thing you can do to reignite enthusiasm is to take a week off, especially if you are suffering from burn out. Then when you come back to it, try to find new emotional benefits to completing your goal or working towards your vision. Find ways to get excited about it again, and then make a plan of what you can do to move forward.
There is always a level of flexibility necessary with goals and visions. We must understand the terrain in which we operate, and realize it is a changing space. As we move forward, things will morph and evolve, and sometimes parts of our visions must as well. Accepting feedback is a vital part of progress. We discussed this concept at length back in Episode 019. Here is an excerpt from that blog post…
“(We) need to stay flexible with your goals. Now that doesn’t mean you should flip-flop, changing your goals whenever friction arises. It means that you have to stay focused on your goal, but when obstacles arise that indicate the necessity to PIVOT, you should follow it. Pivoting should not come out of giving up or settling, but rather out of an improving opportunity for growth. Pivoting shouldn’t be a cop out, it should be an enhancement to your goal.
Stay focused, but flexible, and pivot when necessary.”
As Jim points out, just because we don’t all have five-acre food forests doesn’t mean we can’t move forward with our sustainability or permaculture visions. We have to work with what we’ve got, where we’re at. We can still teach classes locally and be a source of knowledge and inspiration to those around us. We can find ways to create community gardens, and build in more sustainable community systems like group composting or harvest sharing. We can always be taking steps forward, no matter our situation. In fact, some of the most mind-opening I’ve seen has been in suburban environments where they didn’t think they were allowed to create food on their property. You can always be an inspiration for change.
So get out there and make those visions happen! If you’d like to join in on the global permaculture conversation, hop in to our Slack community!
Keep Growing Permies!
After subscribing here make sure you check your email and confirm that you really want to be a part of the amazingness coming to your inbox weekly as each podcast goes live.