No. 176



Each Spring for the past several years, my wife and I have planted and raised a small garden. We both enjoy the therapy and the fresh tomatoes, onions, radishes, beans, potatoes, squash, cucumbers and the other vegetables we grow are always delicious. We also enjoy having guests over for dinner and giving some of it away to family and friends. Along about the first of March, I begin to get the soil ready and the big debate begins. What are we going to plant and where? We usually compromise and do it her way. Other than the plants we buy, something that always comes up is the question about seed. Do we use some of the seed left over from the previous year or do we go to the store and buy fresh seed? I prefer fresh seed, using the logic that the cost is so small, compared to all the hard work I have to do to get the soil ready, to take a chance on not getting a good stand. Of course, to some degree each of these decisions are important if we are to maximize our potential for a good harvest.

At this point I would like to change gears a bit and use what I have just shared as an analogy to the human mind. Have you ever thought about the fact that a human mind must also be "seeded" if it is going to be productive and produce a good harvest, which is to say, to enable us to live a happy and successful life.

A while back I read a column where the writer was talking about the fact that "good ideas" are everywhere, and at the end of the column she encouraged her readers to send her column ideas by E-Mail. I know from my own experience of writing for over 20 years that my good ideas would dry up very quickly if I did not constantly "seed" my mind. I have a number of resources I use when I sit down to share with you and these include the World Book Of Facts, a book of quotable definations, a set of encyclopedias, my files and library, the Bible, a pink binder that contains several years of collecting quotes, concepts and humorous stories, my personal experiences and listening to and reading about interesting people. Really and truly great ideas are everywhere, if we will just take the time to look for them. In writing as in speaking, the key is to share our experiences in such a way that it will help other people to be happier and more successful.

To expand a bit on what I have just said, think about the person who works in a factory and punches a time clock. Once they punch in, usually this person will do some routine things over and over again. After the new wears off and this person has the routine down pat, there is little or no challenge to grow mentally unless he or she takes the initative to learn new things and expresses a desire to move up in the organization. A quick aside here. Most people want more money, but they do not want the increased responsiblity that comes with it and this can be very frustrating.

This same principle is true for every other person who is employed, and it doesn't matter whether they work in the public or private sector of our economy. To grow and succeed as a business owner, manager, employee or whatever our job description or title,

we must continually "seed" our mind with new and better ideas in these highly competitive times in which we live.

When I write each of these columns, I have a set of established criteria that I follow that I trust may give you some ideas. No.1-Must be national in scope. No.2-Positive & Upbeat. No.3-Personal benefits for my readers. No.4-Variety of topics that will meet a specific need in the lives of as many readers as possible. No.5-Have fun..light when appropiate. I just try to do each of these things to the best of my ability. I hope at every opportunity you will"seed your mind" with with good, positive information. (Jim Davidson is a motivational speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034.)