"If you have a garden and a library, then you have everything you need." -Cicero

I admit I am an avid reader of all things,  and a consumer of endless self-improvement books, business books, and the like. They come in all shapes and sizes, differing perspectives, some faith-based, others not so much; some are applicable, others not so much. Each one has played its part in my journey and, if worthy of repeat visits, has a place on my bookshelf.

In the past few years, I have taken to become a "gardener", not just a landscaper. During one of my many "rescue attempt" sessions (i.e I didn't weed anything for a week and now I have to spend hours trying to undo my laziness) It dawned on me that if one were to spend more time gardening and less time "planning to succeed", all the lessons contained in a collection of personal improvement courses (including the number one self-help book, the Bible) could be grasped.

For example, think how easy it would be to understand the concept, " You reap what you sow" when you plant a carrot seed and, VOILA! a carrot grows. Not a turnip or a clump of lettuce, a carrot. Try planting a cucumber seed with the hope that it will become a sunflower. What disappointment! It is a mere cucumber. Yet, every day, we go about planting seeds, some good and some bad, and we lament that they have not become what we expected. If we plant the seed of order and contentment, that is what we receive. If we plant the seed of gossip, resentment, the contention that is what we receive in return.

It could also be said that if you fail to sow, you will have nothing to reap. I am a planner. I plan everything out as best I can beforehand to avoid as much pain as possible. It's what makes me a good landscape designer but not the greatest gardener. In order to be a great gardener, some planning is in order, but the most important thing you can do to be a successful gardener is to PLANT SOMETHING SO YOU CAN GROW SOMETHING! Thinking about it, charting it out, buying organic and non-GMO seeds, preparing the soil to perfection are all great and necessary. However, if you never actually plant the seed, it will all be for naught.

So if you really want to make the self-improvement journey, set your highlighted book aside for the spring and get out there and:

Grow something and in the process, grow yourself.