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     Farmers and ranchers occasionally need inspiration. They may be looking for a new ration to feed their cows that are now dry-lotted. Maybe they have to think of a way to get five tasks done in one day by two men. Maybe they just need inspiration to know what they want to plant, where and how.

     You may not think so but every day you’re already inspired by something. My husband, Tom, is inspired the minute he opens the back door and steps out into the brisk morning air every day. He loves mornings and loves the outdoors. It’s a good start for inspiration but all farmers occasionally need a creativity kick start.

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      Here are 11 different ways to get inspired:

1.      One person told me that young people inspired them. I think that most of us can say we are inspired when we’re around younger people. Their fresh outlook on life can breathe inspiration into any project. If you have a son or daughter in college, try to give them a call every once in awhile not only to keep connected with them but to get reminded of the new ways there are to look at things.

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 2.    Reading is a surefire way to get inspired. Whether it’s reading what other farmers are doing in agricultural magazines or picking up snippets from a bestselling author or the daily newspaper, any time you can get into someone else’s world for a time and see a different point of view, you will probably be inspired.

3.     Many people say they are inspired by nature. When they have to clear their mind or get past a roadblock to a problem, they take a walk outside. Farmers may have to get out of the tractor and away from the radio for awhile this time of year to get some new inspiration.Music can bring inspiration to some people but constant noise can sometimes stifle it too. Take a moment when you’re loading soybeans to stop and soak up the beautiful spring landscape. It’ll do your creative side some good.

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  4.    Some people are inspired by their hobbies. I know, everyone’s really busy this time of year but if you have time to do a little barbecuing on the weekend-that will add some spice to your creativity. If you’re a clay rock hobbyist then try to squeeze in a shoot on one of these spring Sunday afternoons. A half hour here and there regularly doing one of your favorite activities is going to keep your brain happy, healthy and inspired.

 5.    Take a nap. According to the National Institute of Health, while you sleep your brain in preparing for the next day. It’s actually forming new pathways to help you learn and remember information. When you don’t get enough sleep you’ll have more trouble making decisions and solving problems. If you really want to be open to inspiration in your everyday life, get your sleep. 

6.    Keep a notebook with you at all times. You may be inspired as you are walking from the tractor to the pickup with an idea. With your mind facing a hundred tasks, how is it supposed to remember that great idea you had? When in doubt, write it out. You never know if that idea you thought of at 10:30 last night was one you could really use at 6:00 a.m. this morning.

 7.   A number of people have said that they are inspired by taking risks. Maybe they hosted a soybean field days project on their farm or built a gadget for their sprayer that no one else has ever done before. Taking little and bigger risks on your farm and ranch can keep you inspired from day to day. Inspiration and motivation are tied closely together. Who doesn’t want to wake up in the morning inspired and motivated by an exciting new project?

   8.  Set goals. If you feel like your farming operation is in the doldrums maybe you just need to set some goals. Have you always wanted to raise purebred cattle, but just haven’t gotten the nerve to get started? Write down your goal and then some steps to take to get to that goal. Inspiration thrives on goal setting.

 9.   Stay healthy. That’s right. How is your brain supposed to formulate any new ideas when your body is in bad shape?  Eat right, walk instead of ride when you can and drink lots of water. Keep those creative juices flowing.

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 10.  Have a positive outlook. It’s hard to think of a new way to solve a problem when you’re stuck on its negative aspects. Keeping positive about all of the possibilities is half way to finding a solution.

 11.    Talk to inspiring people. You know who they are. It may be the guy who always loads you at the fertilizer plant. Take five minutes to chat with him. Maybe it’s the farmer you run into at the convenience store who always seems to be on the cutting edge of agriculture. Stop him and pick his brain. You’ve got a cell phone on you all day long. Call somebody that you’ve gotten great answers from in the past. There’s nothing like another inspired person to get you inspired.

     Agriculture is not an occupation where you can put yourself into auto-pilot and cruise right through the day. Inspiration is a must – work on it.

 





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