The Harvest

Bill Abbate

Who doesn't want to live the best life possible? While most of us do, are we willing to do what it takes?

A simple, natural law can help you live that better life if you invest time and effort.

Let's look at this law and see how we can use it in our lives.

The law

Have you heard the old saying, "You reap what you sow?" What does the phrase mean to you? For many, it has negative connotations.

If you search the web, you will find many references to sowing and reaping/receiving the consequences of your actions. A significant number of references are in the negative. They show such things as "If you do drugs, you destroy your body" or "If you break the law, you do time." There is much truth to the negative side of sowing and reaping.

But what about the other side? Why not focus on the positive side?

After all, if sowing to the bad brings bad things, won't the same principle apply when sowing good? Of course it does!

When you sow to the good, you reap from it.

Where do you stand in life? Are your results good with a bountiful harvest, or are you producing little from a weedy, rocky mess?

When farmers sow seed, they reap a harvest. Likewise, when you sow by working, you reap the benefits. Another thing about the law of sowing and reaping is that you harvest some time after planting and always reap far more than you sow.

The field

Life is only as complicated as you make it. Let's simplify our view by using an old analogy. See yourself as a farmer, farming a piece of land.

Most of our forbearers came from an agrarian society. They worked their entire lives in the fields with the intent of receiving a harvest from their toil and sweat. Similarly, today's farmer (you) must work the field (your life) to receive a harvest from your toil and sweat.

"To forget how to dig the earth and to tend the soil is to forget ourselves." Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948)

Working the field

To be a productive farmer producing an abundance of desirable crops, you must know and do a few things. Ask yourself the same questions the farmer asks:

  • Have I chosen the best seed?
  • Am I caring for the land?
  • Am I preparing the land to receive seed?
  • Am I planting the seed at the right time?
  • Am I treating the soil properly?
  • Am I taking care of the crop as it matures?
  • Am I preparing for the harvest?
  • Am I harvesting at the right time?
  • Do I have sufficient distribution and storage for the crop?
  • What will I invest in for a better future?

Do you see the connection to your life? Let's translate some of the farming questions into life questions. Ask yourself:

  • Have I chosen the best path forward?
  • Am I working on myself?
  • Am I doing the right things at the right time?
  • Am I continuing to grow and mature?
  • Where am I in the harvest phase of life?
  • How do I invest for a better future?

In farming, the steps include:

Tilling the land, planting the seed, watering, fertilizing, weeding, ensuring the equipment and workforce are available for harvesting, and selling and storing the harvest.

In life, the steps include:

Choosing the right career, working on the job, working on yourself. Doing the right things at the right time, growing skills, maturing, planning for the future, knowing where you are in life, and managing what you are reaping responsibly.

"When you assess your own life, consider it with the eye of a gardener. Underneath the surface lies rich, fertile soil waiting to nurture the seeds you sow. Even more than you can imagine will grow there if given a chance." Steve Goodier (1962-present)

Producing a bountiful harvest

To produce a great harvest in your life, ask and act on the following questions:

· Am I sowing the right seeds in the right place? If not, what seeds (work) do I want to plant (do)? Where do I want to plant them (work at and in)?

· Am I tending the land to ensure growth? How am I preparing and caring for the ground (your life)? What am I doing to grow, mature, and become highly proficient at what I do?

· Am I sowing enough of the right varieties of seeds? Am I doing enough of the right things in enough areas to make a difference in my future?

The final item on this list deserves further discussion. A farmer may grow more than one crop and harvest in more than one area. They may do this to accommodate the soil, the seasons, and their profits.

Some fields to work

What are the critical "fields" to plant and harvest from in your life? Here are a few to consider:


Since life doesn't exist without relationships, this seems like a good place to sow, doesn't it? Spend time with your spouse and children. Make time to stay in touch with and care about the people you love. If you sow into your relationships, you will undoubtedly reap more from life.

"Personal relationships are the fertile soil from which all advancement, all success, all achievement in real life grows." Ben Stein (1944-present)


How about your spiritual life? What seeds are you sowing there? Suppose you sow the right seeds, through contemplation, study, prayer, and attending a place of worship. In that case, there will certainly be a harvest of peace and satisfaction.

"Faith grows when it is planted in the fertile soil of God's Word." Billy Graham (1918-2018)


What about your work? Are you honestly putting forth solid effort each day to not just do your job but to do it better and more effectively? Who else in your company are you helping to succeed? Do you have a proper attitude about serving and being a serving leader? You can find so much more satisfaction in your work when you sow into it in the right ways.

"We must cultivate our own garden. When man was put in the garden of Eden he was put there so that he should work." Voltaire (1694-1778)

Personal Growth

Are you sowing seeds of growth and leadership into yourself by studying great leaders, making contacts, spending time with people you admire, and networking within your field? If so, you will surely reap a harvest that could be great for your life and others.

" I do not think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday." Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)

These represent only a few fertile fields of farming in life. What other fields would you add to this list that will make a difference for you and those you love?

Final thoughts

Whether you choose to sow or not, you reap a harvest. The right seed and hard work will grow you a bountiful crop. Failing to prepare the ground and plant seed may yield a plot of weeds at best.

"A fertile soil alone does not carry agriculture to perfection." Elias Hasket Derby (1739-1799)

I challenge you to find the best fields, prepare the soil, sow the best seeds, and use good farming (life) techniques so you can reap a bountiful harvest.

It's your choice. It's your future. Do the right thing!

I leave you with some final words of wisdom to give thought to as you move forward in your life:

"It's what each of us sows, and how, that gives us character and prestige. Seeds of kindness, goodwill, and human understanding, planted in fertile soil, spring up into deathless friendships, big deeds of worth, and a memory that will not soon fade out. We are all sowers of seeds-and let us never forget it!" George Matthew Adams (1878-1962)

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Semi-Retired-Leadership/Executive Coach -Personal & Career Growth Expert -Editor and Leadership Writer at Illumination -Author

Richmond, VA

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