It [the mind] doesn’t care what we plant... success or failure… a concrete, worthwhile goal... or confusion, misunderstanding, fear, anxiety, and so on. But what we plant, it must return to us.
The first gold record for the spoken word, The Strangest Secret, by Earl Nightingale compares the mind to the land owned by a farmer. You are the farmer.
The mind doesn’t care what you plant in it, just like the land doesn’t care what a farmer puts in the ground. This analogy is familiar to Christians. The New Testament says, “...for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.”
Anyone who wants to grow and develop towards greater effectiveness, happiness, success, fulfillment, and contribution must regularly inspect and assess what’s in their mind garden and how they tend it, if they tend it at all.
It all starts with self-awareness.
Self-awareness is an age-old starting point for anyone serious about any type of growth and development—and that certainly includes leadership development and amplifying your leadership effectiveness.
One of the difficulties we face is that many of the seeds planted in our mind were not planted by us. They were planted by our parents, the environment of our upbringing, our culture, teachers, religion, media, governments, corporations, and more.
Many of those seeds have fully bloomed and they may no longer serve our higher purpose, growth, success, or well-being. Some of those seeds that were planted long ago may now actually be harmful—choking out or poisoning our mind-garden. They may have been planted accidentally or on purpose. Either way, not all of the fruits in our mind’s garden that we reap daily serve us or others well.
Growth & Development
Long ago, I extended Nightingale's and the Bible's analogy to my work—coaching, leadership & organizational development, and change management & leadership. Sometimes you just need to call in an expert landscaper or gardener to help when things aren't working out or you want to make major improvements.
In many ways, it is like tending a garden. And those gardens come already planted with mindsets, values, beliefs, and ways of looking at the world and others that may or may not be serving the owners well. They may be using outdated or ineffective tools and techniques to tend their gardens.
Like a real garden, the garden of our mind must be fertilized, watered, weeded, and pruned on a regular basis. Sometimes what's needed are new tools and strategies to really boost growth and flourishing. Other times, entire plants or even sections of the garden need to be unearthed, tilled under, and new seeds and plants that the owner isn't even aware of are what is most needed. And as the seasons change, lessons about different actions and tools are needed to keep the garden healthy and flourishing.
One of the most important lessons, if not the most important lesson, on our leadership journey is to realize that we must take control of our mind and our thoughts in order to be happy, successful, to grow heartily and flourish, and to lead effectively.
When a garden is well-cared for, healthy, and then flourishes, it simply and marvelously shares its miracles, beauty, and wonder with the world.
Open your mind and heart to the strangest secret.
Have an amazing journey today!
Alan Mikolaj is a coach and leadership development consultant with 15+ years of experience. He is passionate about helping leaders transform their leadership, their teams, and their organizations. Impactful, professional approach driven by a passion for meaning and purpose, a growth mindset, and a commitment to excellence and service in order to drive change and results.
Alan maintains the ethics and standards of behavior established by the International Coaching Federation (ICF), including the standards regarding confidentiality. You can learn more about them on the ICF website.
Transformational change starts with a conversation!
Schedule your free, one-hour session by clicking here: Discovery Conversation with Alan
Or call or email me: Contact Page
Alan Mikolaj is a a professional, experienced, positive, and passionate speaker, leadership and organizational development consultant, change agent, author, and coach. He holds his Master of Arts degree in Clinical Psychology from Sam Houston State University. He is a certified graduate coach from Coaching Out of the Box and holds his ACC and membership with the International Coaching Federation (ICF).
Free Discovery Conversation!
Impactful change starts with a conversation! Schedule your free, one-hour session by clicking here: Discovery Conversation with Alan
Or call or email: Contact Page
In his third book, A Travel Guide to Leadership, Alan offers you simple, fundamental, and powerful lessons that have the power to transform you, your relationships, and your career.