Understanding Seasons in Life
Maximum results are achieved by un-balancing your effort for a predefined season.
Farmers have something figured out. They don’t work 18 hours, year-round.
They work hard year-round, but they work 18 hours when it is the harvest.
When it is time to show up and, and do the work well, this is what we often call it- a harvest season.
And the reason is most of life happens in seasons.
Balance is not a great metaphor for life.
Very rarely do we spend an equal amount of time on equal things.
That’s not how life works.
What is a great metaphor for life is the concept of a season.
We have seasons of all sorts of things.
We have seasons of youth. We have seasons of education. We have seasons of moving to a new place. We have seasons of a new job. We have seasons of dating. We’ve got seasons of young kids. We have seasons of an empty nest.
Not just in our personal lives, but so many professions also follow seasons.
Think of athletes. They have seasons. They have pre-seasons and postseasons. They have a playoffs season.
Artists have seasons, they have seasons of creating, and then they have seasons of promoting.
The accountants have tax season.
Retailers have the Christmas season like schools have summer and winter break.
Life is about seasons. It’s not about balance.
What is harvest season?
Well, for us, the way we described this is that a harvest season is any period of protected time with an intense singular focus.
A season can be very long. A season could also be as short as 10 minutes of protecting this window of time so that I can focus on doing this thing. It could be for years. You could say that you’re going back to school, and this is going to be the main thing that I’m doing.
What’s amazing about that is if you embrace the concept of a season, it creates a lot of opportunity and power for your life.
How to Achieve the Results You Want
Results don’t come from spending equal time on several different activities.
Results come from investing disproportionate time into a few priorities.
One of my illustrations of this personally is there was a time in my life when I weighed 45 pounds more than I do now. Most people don’t know that I used to be over 235 pounds.
I tried to balance this out by just working out a couple of times a week here and there. It didn’t make it worse, but it didn’t make it better. There wasn’t enough intensity, so I made a resolution that I was going to stop drinking alcohol forever. I was going to stop drinking carbonated beverages, fast food, and sugar forever. I was going to work out -specifically for me, it was running. I was going to run 30 minutes a day on the treadmill forever until I got back to where I wanted to be. The decision was forever; however, it wasn’t really forever. It was really as long as I had to.
I didn’t know how long that would be, but it was a decision that I made. I was going to enter a season of health.
What’s amazing is I still didn’t have to work out eight hours a day to get there. And it didn’t take 10 years. It took me like six months and then I got back to where I wanted to be.
Ever since then, I’ve been able to put it more on autopilot. It’s not that I don’t do anything. I exercise. My current plan these days is that I work out about 20 minutes every day, but it’s very light intensity, but I do it every single day.
If you’re curious about Rory Vaden’s philosophy, my philosophy is this: Consistency is greater than intensity.
But when we use the phrase ‘seasons’, it is about intensity, but it is about short-term intensity.
It is a window of time where you overextend in one direction.
Another way of thinking about it is you’re going to spend the minimum amount of energy maintaining all the other areas of your life which I describe in my book, Take the Stairs. Those areas are faith, family, fitness, faculty, and finances.
You are going to spend the minimum amount of energy, maintaining your existing systems in all the other areas of your life, and then you are going to focus 100% of the excess energy on creating the next breakthrough.
It’s not about only doing one thing in your life.
That’s often impractical.
We have many different facets of our life. I cannot ignore my kids for six months or I can’t just go to work for six months.
That’s not really realistic. It’s just not right.
You can’t just say I’m going to disappear from my family for six months.
Creating a Breakthrough
But what you can do is you can do a short-term burst of this and you create the breakthrough focus which is power.
Balance is not power. Focus is the power that creates an intense breakthrough.
You break through the next plateau or the next ceiling.
Then you put that area of life on maintenance mode, and you dedicate a hundred percent of the excess energy into the next thing.
One of the ways that we say this is, “Learn to work double-time part-time for full-time free time.”
That is how we create breakthroughs.
You do not hear about this much but that is what we learned from watching multipliers.
A book launch is a great example of that. A book launch is like an 18-month window of your life, where it’s the full focus, all-consuming thing.
If you’re trying to do everything you can, but if you do that and you do it well, follow the plan, and execute the process, it will level you up in a way that will last you the rest of your life.
It’ll change the trajectory of your life from that point forward.
Life happens in seasons and concentrating is about permitting yourself to focus in a short-term burst to create that breakthrough.
To work double-time part-time for full-time free time.