One of the things that I have started doing in the morning is thinking. I just sit there, with nothing else, and think. At times this has been challenging for me. Back home in the United States I’m always doing something like reading, watching a TV show, checking Facebook on my phone, working on this website, spending time with Jessica and our dogs or working. Come to think of it, before I came to South Africa I never really just sat there and thought. This is somewhat embarrassing to share with everyone but I found the benefits of just sitting and thinking to far outweigh any uncomfortableness I might feel.
Once again it all started with a conversation Ian, Jessica and I were having. I think I was asking him about how he advises ranchers that get into serious trouble like running out of grass or money, or unfortunately both. He told me something similar to; “There is always a way. Make a plan. A lot of people don’t take the time to just sit and think anymore. If you spend time thinking, you will come up with a solution.” At this point he told me that he gets up early in the morning, everyday, and just thinks.
I have to admit I was skeptical about this practice. Ian didn’t encourage me to do, I just started trying it. For me, it was profound. As I’ve just mentioned in the paragraphs above, I was always occupied doing something. I started to think about how Jessica and I want our lives to be. I thought about ways to get land in Colorado. I thought about how I might fix the mineral feeder that needs fixing. I thought about creative ways to raise money. I thought about whether I want to work for someone when I get home or go for it on my own. I thought about fixing fence. I thought about things that Ian has taught us thus far.
This practice can help you to overcome almost anything. Yes, that is a bold statement but I feel it’s true. Ian has dramatically changed the way I see and think about the world. I’ve already mentioned in a previous post that Ian’s thinking has made me question and come up with solutions as to how I will start ranching when I get back to Colorado. I don’t have to do what anyone else is doing, I can do anything I want. The confidence this instilled in me once my paradigms of thinking were changed (and are still changing) makes me want to jump up and down with excitement.
Imagine that you’ve been put inside this box for the past two years. That is how long I have been on this journey to becoming a rancher. This box is filled with other people and there are certain laws that govern what happens inside the box. For example one of the laws states; “You must have cattle all year long if you want to be a rancher!” Other laws might include something like, “Cattle always need shade” or “You can only run 1 cow/calf pair per 10 acres in this part of the country.”
Now imagine that I found this tiny secluded trap door. I’m one of the few that has the combination to the lock and I’ve just opened the door and jumped out. Now I’m on the outside looking in on everyone. That is how I feel right now.
I’m not trying to be arrogant, I just wanted to illustrate how I’m feeling to you all to the best of my ability. I’ll hope you’ll join me outside the box. And for those of you who were already there, thanks for waiting.
Please give this practice a try. Just sit there and think.