The story of the two farmers.

The world is full of two kinds of people: those who dream their dreams and those who live their dreams. As we go into the last weeks of summer, we look forward to the fall season here in Utah. The fall reminds me of a story about two farmers.

Early each spring, the two farmers look out over their fields. In their hearts, they have similar desires—that the coming Fall season will provide them with a vast harvest. All winter the first farmer spends time cleaning and sharpening his tools. The second farmer looks out over his field—hoping that the Fall season will provide him with a vast harvest. As soon as the snow is melted, the first farmer is out in his field carefully preparing the furrows and removing large stones. The second farmer looks out over his field—hoping that the Fall season will provide him with a vast harvest.

After the last frost, the first farmer is out in his field dropping his seeds carefully into the furrows and gently covering them with soil. The second farmer is also out, casting seeds on the ground as he walks around his field. Throughout the long, hot Summer, the first farmer toils, herding the thin line of irrigation water to the end of each row and pulling weeds wherever he sees them. The second farmer paces the floor of his house, hoping that it will rain and the fall season will provide him with a vast harvest. Come fall, the first farmer has a vast harvest. The second farmer is disappointed again with his meager harvest; wishing that it had rained more and that the birds hadn’t eaten so many of the seeds that he cast in the spring.

Both farmers are good men. Both have the same desire—that the fall season will provide them with a good harvest. With a large harvest, they can provide for their families, have seeds for planting in the spring, and prosper by selling the surplus in the market. Yet, despite their equal desires, the first farmer’s harvest was much larger than the second farmer’s. The first farmer went beyond just hoping for a good harvest. His desire was more than a mere wish; it was a motivating conviction that moved him to action.

The first farmer, in order to bring about his desire, took action, even though harvest time was far away and there was no guarantee that the weather would cooperate, he still took action. The first farmer was cultivating more than crops; he was cultivating self-discipline. When we take actions that move us in the direction of our desires, especially when we can’t see what the outcome might be, that’s self-discipline. From farming, to building your own dream, be assured that you can put yourself in the right place at the right time with all the right conditions but you must add self-discipline to succeed.

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