Understanding The 10 Laws of the Harvest

by Paul Wilson


I have dedicated some space on MyMarketer (and definitely the design) to understanding the Laws of the Harvest. I struggled over whether I should create a completely different blog for this purpose (and maybe someday I will), but since my chosen profession is web marketing I wanted a daily reminder of what work I should be doing.

I have spent time studying the harvest and the laws that apply to its success. Below I have listed out the ten laws I believe lead to a fruitful harvest. There are likely more laws, and hopefully over the next little while additional laws will surface as I continue to study this topic.

I cannot take full credit for the creation of these laws. There are several sources I draw my inspiration from (and some sources I outright steal inspiration). However, in my life these are the laws that have played the most important roles to achieving success.

I am rather curious to your insights so please share your thoughts and ideas. The harvest is always best when shared with friends Ü. ~Paul W.

Law One: You reap what you sow

The first law seems to clearly focus around the benefits of our efforts. If we sow a little we will reap only a little. Likewise, if we put our shoulder to the plow and sow much, our returns will be greater as well. The one aspect I think is important from this law is understanding exactly what it means to sow. If this concept is understood the rest of the laws fall into place.

Law Two: You reap the same kind of seed as was sown

Often we see many who sow potatoes hoping for a crop of watermelons. The seeds of our work are directly related to the future gains of those seeds. We will never have lasting wealth if our time is spent on the couch watching television (or on our computer playing Farmville). Therefore, it is important to see exactly what seeds we are sowing in order to know what success to expect.

Law Three: You sow in one season; You reap in another

My friend Jennie recently wrote about this law on her blog. It is particularly pertinent to her, since she is working hard to write a novel. In a society of instant gratification the Laws of the Harvest are sometimes difficult to subscribe to. To work now for possible future rewards isn’t very “sexy” or enticing in a world of lightening fast connectivity, quick foods, and instant entertainment. Be this the case, the law still stands unchanged over the millenias of time—harvesting and sowing are not simultaneous.

Law Four: You reap more than you sow

There is an anonymous quote that describes this law quite well, “We can count the number of seeds in an apple, but we cannot count the number of apples in one seed.” You can pull several life lessons from this quote and law, but he fundamental kernel of thought is that you always harvest more than what you sow. The growth factor comes about when your harvest provides you more seeds than what you started with. Planted seeds create a harvest and a harvest creates the possibilities for many, many future harvests.

Law Five: You reap in proportion to what you’ve sown

This law might seem at odds with law four, but in truth they go hand-in-hand. Law four teaches that you gain more than what you sow, but law five puts boundaries to that gain. A cherry seed will bring about a tree full of cherries, but it won’t give you an orchard of cherry trees at once. A single seed gives you a single tree. If you want more than one tree than you need to sow more than one seed.

Law Six: You reap a full harvest only if you persevere

Any farmer will tell you that just because you plant a crop doesn’t guarantee a harvest. There are many, many factors fighting against your success. Perseverance is required to negate these powerful factors, and to make the sacrifices needed to be triumphant. Yet, this law also applies to the simple daily tasks that are needed to push you towards your success. Not having the perseverance to be mindful of what is required of you is just as damaging as losing against the elements that are bent on your destruction.

Law Seven: Learning to reap doesn’t equal sowing

One thing that is common in my chosen career is the “ever learning, never doing” student. Education is vital to the harvest (see law eight), but what is even more crucial is doing the work. In of itself, work is a form of learning. As we work, we come to understand the true nature of sowing. However, just reading and pondering about the art of sowing doesn’t bring about the fruits of the harvest on its own. In the end, if we desire to obtain our harvest we must put down the books and pick up the plow and go to work.

Law Eight: Without nutrients there is no harvest

You can work, work, and work some more, but if your work isn’t given the proper nutrients it will inevitably die. In farming, nutrients constitute rich soil, water, and sunlight (for most crops). In life, the nutrients needed for a full harvest is motivation, understanding, and adaptation. Without each of these nutrients it is easy for our work to fall in disarray, and ultimately die. We must be ever diligent in applying these nutrients to our individual efforts, so that we may receive the maximum results of our sowing.

Law Nine: When you sow, weeds are imminent

Weeds will always be found in our efforts in creating a harvest. Weeds take on the form of criticism (whether our own or others), unproductive days, bad decisions, unforeseen circumstances, and many other aspects of life that take our focus off of the harvest. However, just like regular farming, pulling out the weeds is important to the growth of your crops. Weeds happen, but if you do not diligently remove those weeds, your harvest won’t happen.

Law Ten: A harvest is never permanent

The famous UCLA coach, John Wooden, once stated, “Success is never final, failure is never fatal. It’s courage that counts.” The difficult aspect of the Laws of the Harvest is that you must continually work for it. One harvest, will not feed you for the rest of your life. Ask any wealthy individual, and most often they will tell you that their wealth will not last if they do not continue to work (if they tell you otherwise, see where they are in ten or twenty years). It takes courage to realize that you must always be working for your success. By understanding this concept, it is easy to see that the real harvest isn’t the final production, but rather how well you work towards it.

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