When dealing with all the uncertainties of farming, we tend to get stressed out and forget to focus on the big picture. Farming is one of the most magnificent ways of life that a family could possibly enjoy. On the farm, we bring our kids to work; we create so many memories of “picnics” in the field; we teach our kids how to work and contribute; they get to enjoy a wide-open playground and learn to drive when they can see over the wheel; we go through our trials and successes together with our loved ones; we witness first-hand how amazing and extreme nature really is; we see the most beautiful sunrises and sunsets; the solitude, glory, peace, and privacy and being alone on the farm. It is a shame to get caught up in negativity and miss out on such a marvelous gift!

In farming and in life, we all have a powerful force behind what we do daily. This force can be good or bad, but it all starts the same way. That force is familiarity. We take comfort in what we are familiar with, which isn’t always a good thing. The key to changing bad familiarity is to understand its source and eliminate the issue before it plants roots. This means we have to understand the road map that leads to our habits and ultimately our destiny.

Thoughts turn into…Actions, which create…Habits, that if unchecked will become our…Destiny! This means that what we think about (or expose ourselves to) each day will ultimately affect the steps we take, good or bad. So, if we truly want to change habits all we need to change are our thoughts. Positive attitudes are a habit. Unfortunately, bad attitudes can be a habit as well.

The first hour of your day is the most important for setting the tone of your daily attitude. Even more so, the first fifteen minutes guide your daily attitude – good or bad. The problem we encounter is that we do not protect that time. Instead, we let others set our tone or daily temperature through a variety of mediums such as: e-mails, social media, television, phone calls, and the Internet.

It has also been said that “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” What does this mean? Your salary is within 10 percent of your five closest friends. Your sales/ business/personal beliefs are deeply rooted within the circle of your five closest friends. More importantly, your attitude is often in line with the attitudes of your five closest friends.

You need to choose your friends wisely. If you want to be a happy, successful person (in life, family, and business) you need to align yourself with people who are successful in those areas. They think differently and see the world differently. The good news is that it can rub off on you if you give it a chance.

We also need to eliminate (or at least lessen) the time spent around those who are not contributing to our future success. Or, do one better and try to influence them to be positive, happy people and see their own lives change! We all have people in our lives that not only see the glass half empty, but they make it their mission in life to remind everyone within earshot. Bad attitudes are contagious. In the same way we catch the flu, we can catch a bad attitude and allow it to plant seeds in our minds.

Try to experiment by only hanging around people who are happy and see how happy you end up being. Hang around people with a positive attitude and see how you start to see the positive spin on things. Think about who has had the greatest impact in your business and your life; ask yourself what they did to create that influence. Now ask yourself what your intent is as you approach your business and your life.

If you have never heard of these ideologies, you might think of it as hokey! Nevertheless, I challenge you to give it a try. Hang around people who are happy and have a positive attitude and see how happy you end up being and how you start to see the positive spin on things.

I also urge you to write out your first fifteen, so you get to decide how you are going to start your day. Then write what you will do next and so forth. The more detail you can include the better, and don’t be afraid to experiment until you find what works best with your daily routine. Execute this plan as close to waking up as possible to avoid external distractions creeping in, (before checking emails, reading news, or listening to any possible negativity at all).

Give it a try. All you have to lose is negativity and downfalls in your business and life!

By Matt Owens