Begin with the End in Mind – Remind yourself of your goal when you are in the thick of things

In the book, The 7 Habits for Highly Successful People, the late, great Stephen Covey’s listed the second and third habits that we should embrace as this:

Habit 2 “Begin with the End in Mind” 
( have a mission in life and the smaller endeavors along the way)

Habit 3 “Put first things first”
( Prioritize according to importance rather than urgency)

My book is at school right now, so I can’t refer to any more of his practical suggestions. darn.   So I am going out on my own limb here in offering my own suggestions, and would like to add one more bit of advice once you are into the process.  Personally, I have been trying my best to reapply these habits to my gardening goals.

Disclaimer:  I should add that I am not preaching the 7 habits to anyone, rather, stating that they resonated with me years ago.  So however I live my life, I return to them every now and again to realign myself after running around putting out a few fires.  This is mostly applied in a professional setting, but I found the habits work for most things.  So, you can read the book if you want, or not… It is a good book.  It is not THE good book  ; )

It HAS been my experience that, I just think that  I have simplify things in life, they get complicated!  So, at this point in the harvest season, and for some reason, besides two habits,  many other old sayings and warnings come to mind at this gardening conjuncture.

Vintage Seed Packets Photo From The Timeless Garden Blog Shared File -Thank you!

I love to look to old saying for guidance.
Sayings and thoughts like these have come to mind:

“You can’t see the forest for the trees”…
“Waste not want not”…
“A penny saved is a penny earned”…
and when ever I clean my refrigerator I am reminded that there ARE still starving kids in China.  (hence the inherent guilt)

The first saying,  “You can’t see the forest for the trees” applies with us being blessed with an over abundant harvest.  This statement rings true because we are innovated by cucumbers ( the forest)  and many of them are becoming large and overripe when I wanted to harvest them small ( China guilt for not harvesting daily) and there are still some out there calling my name (the trees).

Now, reason dictates that I should be happy that there are some ridiculously large ones left behind, because those are my SEEDS.  Didn’t I say that I was going to try to save selected seeds (the end) after this garden grows?  Isn’t the seed saving the “End” that I had in mind?   So, why I am feeling bad about letting some turn into hard, obscenely large, orange boats I have no idea.  Maybe I am saving from a random assortment of cues instead of whatever my plan was…  or It could be the 24 hours in a day thing that I am limited to while I am rescuing two adorable kittens that need to eat every 3 hours… hmmmm

Maybe it is the guilt that I feel for my untimely harvesting practices could sten from the knowledge that there ARE starving kids in China, the United States,  and Damascus!  But they are NOT in dire need because I failed to harvest 17 cucumbers from my garden last Monday!  they are NOT in dire need because I failed to harvest 17 cucumbers from my garden last Monday! they are NOT in dire need because I failed to harvest 17 cucumbers from my garden last Monday!   (you get the manta)  I must move on.  Leave guilt.  I am a gardener!

Then I remember old saying “Waste not, Want not”.   Now, realistically,  if I wanted to drive to the store and purchase organic cucumbers daily for the rest of the year, no one is going to stop me.  No One! And if our lunch and dinner menus have proven anything this summer, we  have proven that NO man OR woman can eat cucumbers at every single day!  But, to waste them…. well, this causes  some sort of inculcated guilt that is hard to let go of.

One of Craigs collegues are experiencing the same cuke overload that we are. This is why I bought Panko crumbs to fry the large ones in like zucchini.    Oh oh did I have to mention zucchini?  If I fry the cucumbers, what will I do creatively with the zucchini?  LOL   The Panko crumbs was an excellent idea btw. Thanks

The truth is, just when you have a strategy, huh?  Then it gets complicated.

Then I think of buying seeds.  “A penny saved is a penny earned”  hmmmm
The truth is this: I OVER  planted many varieties because I didnt’ know which ones would come up and then produce.  So, this garden was an experiment.  Every garden is an experiment. Every year the variables will happen and that is what make gardening so interesting.  You over plant  and then wait.

So I expect to buy seeds every year.  I want to support those organizations who are trying to preserve seeds that are not laced with pesticides.   I hate, hate, hate GMO’s.  And I am so proud of myself for just writing that one statement without ranting for 15 more pages 🙂  I have grown.

So, I am really interested in heirloom varieties.  When someone saves seeds for more than 50 years they become an heirloom. I am going to do what I can in my own little way to sustain my garden practices. Long story short, I am at the point when I need to learn all that I can about seed saving.

I want to save some (the end)  and buy some (give back) to support the cause.

I found a great link to a great website that spells it all out for you.

Seed Savers Exchange

They make so many seeds available I could plant 10 acres!
But, water in California comes at a premium….
And I am sure that my husband just cringed at the mention of 10 acres.
Our acre and 1/3 is more than enough to keep a good man busy all of his days.
So I am happy with my garden!!
I love it.
Thanks for the mulching and mound building honey.

So in summary

Stephen Covey advised us to “begin with the end in mind”.
As a gardener, I might add to that:  “Remind yourself of your goal when you are so busy harvesting that you lose sight of your “end”.



Let me hear your thoughts! Thanks

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