A few weeks ago I got some insight into some of the reasons why African agricultural production keeps going down despite global advances in agricultural technology and methods. To give perspective a country like Zimbabwe used to produce 1 tonne per hectare 40 years ago, today the same hectare now yields 0.5 tonnes. However in Asia for the same hectare the yield will be 4.5 tonnes and the US the same hectare will give 10 tonnes. The answer is very simple – traditional methods of farming, long passed from ‘generation to generation’ are no longer relevant.
The ability to shift and move forward is a sign of growth. However many times in life people get stuck in the old and familiar at the expense of the new and fresh. When this happens you rob yourself of possibilities. Your zone of comfort can easily become a zone of lack of progress. The convenient way is not always the best way. It may lead through a path of comfort that robs you of potential and the curiosity that makes you to see and create opportunities. Or it may take you through the tunnel of compromise, where your courage and strength decays. I want to speak to someone who is feeling stuck and not seeing any movement. You feel like you have plateaued in life – no more progress, you have camped or you are tanked. It’s time to break camp and get moving.
Time to Break Camp
As the children of Israel journeyed from Egypt to the Promised Land, the temptation to settle before reaching their destination was always strong. The present always offered a tantalising proposition yet nothing would ever match the allure of Canaan – the land of milk and honey. In one instance God had to command them as they started to feel comfortable at Mt Horeb, “it’s time to break camp, get moving now” I want to command someone today too; it’s time to break camp. There are so many more lands to conquer. Promised Land beckons. Don’t settle for less, when you can have more. Your current position in life is a milestone on the voyage of destiny. Pastor, do not celebrate and sleep over 1000 congregants. Businessperson, do not set camp over the handful customers. If you are an employee, and your industry hasn’t started to notice and talk about you, and you are content to just sit in a big corner office, then it’s time to break camp. If you are still celebrating the good project you completed five months ago, you may just fossilise in that place. Embrace the next challenge. Shift gears, change lanes and foot down. There is more in you.
Break The Mold
Our brains are made up of neurological circuits which cause us to respond in particular patterns. These circuits are etched onto our brains through repeated exposure to particular stimuli in our environment. Comfort zones are a result of these learned responses. A comfort zone has a tendency to create a particular mindset because it’s the base from which you start to operate. It’s always comfortable to use the beaten path. Yet it robs you of the thrill of adventure and discovery. Learn new skills and develop new competencies.
Never allow yourself to be boxed in a grade, job description, industry, business. Only people with no ambition and initiative need job descriptions. Not you. To develop new mental models, paradigms and thinking patterns you need to be exposed to a different setting. This stimulates new ways of looking at issues and broadens your scope and world view. As the children of Israel journeyed through the desert, they had to ‘unlearn’ the slavery mentality. For once they had to experience how it feels to be in charge of their own destiny. The slavery mentality was inconsistent with a victorious kingdom people character. God wanted to teach them war, and this was a new skill for them. Even at some point along the journey, the manna ceased, and they had to learn a new skill – farming.
Friend, I have simple message for you today – its time to break camp. It’s time for displacement by replacement. Learn new empowering habits to replace the old weighty habits. You were created to be dynamic. You are unpredictable, a creature of wonder and awe. Please surprise us!