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The decision-making process can cause painful paralysis.

Ginger Rowsey, Senior writer

June 13, 2022

2 Min Read
When faced with big decisions, sometimes we are so afraid to get it wrong, that ironically, we often compromise our potential in the process. Getty Images

Have you heard the one about the farmer and the magic lamp? 

It goes like this … a farmer was walking through his fields one day when he stumbled across what appeared to him to be an old urn. Curious, he picked the object up and carefully wiped off the dust. And when he did, a genie emerged. 

“Kind sir, you have freed me from one thousand years imprisonment in that lamp,” the genie said. “As a token of my gratitude I will grant you three wishes. Anything you ask.” 

The farmer thought for a minute and said, “For my first wish, I want to grow 300-bushel corn.” 

“Your wish is granted,” said the genie. “What will you ask for your second wish?” 

This will be an easy choice, thought the farmer. “For my second wish, I want corn to sell for $8.00.” 

“Your wish is granted,” the genie again replied. “You have one more wish remaining.” 

The farmer thought for a while but couldn’t come up with a third wish. After all, raising 300-bushel corn and selling it at $8.00 was all he had ever wanted in life. What else could he ask for? 

“Can I have some more time to think about this third wish?” the farmer finally asked. The genie agreed to give him time to think. 

Days turned to weeks and then months. Then one day the genie realized almost one year had passed since his encounter with the farmer. Wanting to fulfill his obligation, the genie tracked the farmer down and asked him if he was ready to make his final wish. 

“I am,” said the farmer. “I wish for $8.00 corn.” 

The genie looked confused. “I granted you $8.00 corn last year,” he replied. 

“That’s true, you did,” the farmer answered, “but this time I will sell.” 

That story was told to me by James Lee Adams, a lifelong farmer from Camilla, Ga. and former president of the American Soybean Association. Anyone who has been in the game as long as Mr. Adams knows the struggle of making crop marketing decisions. Act too quickly and miss out on opportunities that come later. Wait too late, and watch those opportunities slip away altogether.  

The decision making process can cause painful paralysis, and not just in crop marketing. When faced with big decisions, sometimes we are so afraid to get it wrong, that ironically, we often compromise our potential in the process. 

Particularly in the days of social media, when we are in everyone’s business (or at least their highlight reels) it can be easy to feel like we are falling behind — not fulfilling our greatest potential within our career, finances, relationships, etc.  

Adams has some simple words of wisdom for avoiding regret and making peace with your decisions.  

“Remember, you can never go broke making a profit,” he said. 

About the Author(s)

Ginger Rowsey

Senior writer

Ginger Rowsey joined Farm Press in 2020, bringing more than a decade of experience in agricultural communications. Her previous experiences include working in marketing and communications with the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture. She also worked as a local television news anchor with the ABC affiliate in Jackson, Tennessee.

Rowsey grew up on a small beef cattle farm in Lebanon, Tennessee. She holds a degree in Communications from Middle Tennessee State University and an MBA from the University of Tennessee at Martin. She now resides in West Tennessee with her husband and two daughters.

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