Farm Futures logo

Is success better than significance in farm business?

Road Warrior: Tips for remaining optimistic in challenging times.

David Kohl, Contributing Writer, Corn+Soybean Digest

June 12, 2024

3 Min Read
Success vs. significance
Getty images/Nauval Wildani

In my travels this winter and particularly this spring, one can feel a tense edge in the air. Side discussions at the airport, during speaking events, or at the local level have many feeling overwhelmed and bombarded with all of the negative news making headlines and the lack of trust, stability, and continuity. Every generation faces its challenges whether it is big picture events or down to business, family, and personal life.

A sense of reality in trends and events can often feel like one is climbing Mount Everest with its obstacles and challenging environment. The other day, a few of us got together for a casual conversation to discuss how one or a group of individuals can be optimistic and view “the cup half-full.” Let's examine some of the points and views that were expressed.

Enjoy life

Enjoy the little things in life. One is not required to go on a cruise or extended vacation in Europe to be renewed. For some that is the magic, but take some time to enjoy everyday things.

Stop and smell the hay

Shut down your technology and enjoy a sunrise on the horizon, a sunset, or a full moon. A distant thunderstorm, raindrops on a tin roof, the smell of fresh cut hay, or observing the younger generation watching a calf being born for the first time can be more powerful than a videogame. Teaching life skills through observing life and death on the farm and ranch, planting, and harvest can bring a sense that life is bigger than self-importance.

Interviewing parents and grandparents about their past joys and sorrows and documenting their thoughts in writing or with a video can provide a foundation of perspectives on life.

Remaining optimistic might mean taking a daily walk, stretching, or meditating. For some, this can be a powerful alternative to medication.

Positive energy regeneration

A key in positive energy regeneration is to have a strong support network of at least five individuals. However, it could be a dog, cat, cow, bird, or your favorite plant. If possible, remove the negative people in your lives who tend to be on the dark side. These individuals are like crabs in a bucket. They tend to pull everybody down and sap the energy and your ability to rise to the occasion.

Occasionally, a good power nap can renew the body's mind and spirit. Sleep is a great tool to renew the balance of the body, mind, and spirit in a peaceful coexistence.

Success vs. significance

Evaluate your purpose. Success can be measured by dollars and cents. However, significance is what you give back to life in your own little way. Be purposeful by reaching out and thanking people, in your own handwriting, for their contribution in life's journey. Some may have been tough teachers, coaches, family, or community members while others may have been your cheerleaders. Each individual provides the balance necessary to navigate both tough times and good times. Life is a series of daily events along the planned journey of life. Take time to step back and reflect, project, and inspire in your own way. Hopefully, this will be an inspiration for you this summer to maintain optimism in challenging times.

About the Author(s)

David Kohl

Contributing Writer, Corn+Soybean Digest

Dr. Dave Kohl is an academic Hall of Famer in the College of Agriculture at Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Va. Dr. Kohl has keen insight into the agriculture industry gained through extensive travel, research, and involvement in ag businesses. He has traveled over 10 million miles; conducted more than 7,000 presentations; and published more than 2,500 articles in his career. Dr. Kohl’s wisdom and engagement with all levels of the industry provide a unique perspective into future trends.

Subscribe to receive top agriculture news
Be informed daily with these free e-newsletters

You May Also Like