Here comes my favorite season of the year—fall. I can see the day’s becoming slightly shorter; I watch for a leaf or two to begin transitioning to flames of gold and red; I hear and see the birds starting their migration to their new home. In South Central PA, the harvest is a sight to behold. This year's rain and sun ratio were magnificent. I have never seen fields of corn as high and green as the ones that fill our landscape. Autumn is the time of year when we look to the harvest and reap the products of our labor.
Such a powerful metaphor for life; plant much, work hard, yield results. Often, we look to the harvest in terms of revenue or perhaps an award or degree earned, and there is nothing wrong with that. But what if we looked at people as the harvest, instead of just considering our personal and professional milestones? When I focus my attention on strategic goals, I tend to miss something more significant than my little world. Who's to say that living a tremendous life is nothing more than a daily devotion to serving the needs of others? I know that was what drove my father and what caused his business to exceed any expectation he could have imagined.
There are two distinct ways you can impact other people's lives. You can be a sower, or you can be a reaper. The sowers come into a person's life and plant seeds of truth. They tell me what I need to hear and not what I want to hear. I can remember six distinct conversations throughout my life with sowers. These dialogues were not long or drawn out, nor were they reciprocal. These planting sessions involved someone who saw something I needed to hear and took the time to deliver it to me. An interesting point is that in at least three of these instances, I do not recall ever having another interaction with the sower again; yet their words had a profound effect on me.
The reapers come into a person’s life when they are ready to begin harvesting and producing. A reaper is an advocate who encourages and provides the connections, the means, and the resources so the individual can manifest previously planted truths. Remember the movie Field of Dreams and the famous line, “If you build it, they will come.” That’s what the reaper does; they help you cross over the home plate by providing the support network to bring the vision to reality.
People are at all different stages in life, and unless they are incredibly self-aware and open to receive, they struggle with understanding what to do next or why their lives are in the stage they are. Is there something stopping you from actualizing the harvest of your dreams? How many sowers do you have in your life, people who have been where you want to go, have a strong sense of character, and will pour unvarnished truth into you? What kinds of books and podcasts occupy your mind? Are they filled with timeless, meaty truths or a bunch of fluffy, sweet saccharine guaranteed to rot your brain? And how about the reapers? Jim Rohn said, “You're the average of the five people with whom you spend the most time.” Are you working to gain new connections every day so you can broaden your network and your opportunities? Or do you hang out with the same old, same old wondering why you can never catch a break?
Sowers speak and encourage you to listen and hear; reapers connect and provide you with the opportunity to execute. Sowers instigate ideas; reapers fuel action. Sowers ignite the vision, and reapers help make it a reality. This fall, are you ready for a tremendous harvest? If not, you don’t have to wait another 12 months until the next one. Be intentional in bringing quality sowers and resourceful reapers into your life. A bountiful harvest is to be produced both internally and externally. You’ll need a healthy balance of both types of individuals, so don’t just settle with the one. Make this a season of tremendous pruning, growth, focus, and harvest, to invest in the years to come.