Plant 3 Seeds


Time to plow and plant!

Spring is a hopeful spirit who rises from death in snowdrops and daffodils. As a child growing up in Norfolk, VA, I remember my mother used to restart the kitchen garden each year a few weeks after Equinox when the ground was soft and warm enough to plant directly. I remember her telling me to put three seeds in the hole. “One for the ground, one for the birds and one to grow”, she said. To think about it, the seeds of a career are not that much different.


Not every idea seed we sow will grow into a productive career. Some seeds are “duds”. Sally Jessy Raphael tried out for 142 voiceover acting jobs and never got a single one. She was fired 18 times from broadcasting jobs before she became the nationally acclaimed talk show host we know. Every alleged “overnight sensation” has “paid the dues” in darkness and obscurity for years. The seed “for the ground” is almost like an offering given at the beginning of a project to honor your “grounding/base”. To this day there is a suspicion that some of the mishaps that took the lives of immigrant construction workers while they were building the earliest transportation infrastructure of this nation in the 19th and early 20th centuries (including the Transcontinental Railroad and the Erie Canal) were not accidents, but offerings to the earth like the one said to have been performed before raising the great Irish round fort, Emain Macha (Eamhain Mhacha).


Some seeds end up as food for the crows or get dug up by other critters living in the garden. The “one for the birds” is any misbegotten, meshuggener idea of building a career on weaknesses instead of innate strengths. This is “operating outside your gift” such as the nurse who ought to be a researcher; the teacher who ought to be an administrator. This is the folly of walking a path not your own because “mom/friend/school guidance counselor told me this would be good for me”. Using the example of my own life, I fought hard to become an administration worker though it was obvious that kind of job is like a prison for me. It was only when I decided to stop “playing it safe” in my career search that I found my true calling.


The prosperous, strong seed is the one whose taproot pieces through the crust of misdirection and life’s nonsense, boring a channel to the place where it will strike water and begin building a richly branched network anchor in the correct soil. May I reemphasize that this seed will only grow strong roots in a profession through diligent, persistent networking?This is the seed which in its season will stretch upward leaves toward the sun and begin bringing food and color to the plant. The strong career seed is the one directly in synch with innate strengths, gifts and talents. We must labor to ensure that we set this seed up for optimum development of the bud that will become flower and fruit.