Episode 84: How to Maximize the Seasons of Life

Do you ever feel stuck in the “Winter” season of life? In this episode Jimmy shares the principles of the four seasons to help you achieve your goals and transform your life no matter the time of year.

Episode Keys:

  • The importance of focus, commitment and diligence in the “Spring” to give yourself the highest probability of success for the year.
  • Why you must not be distracted by the adversity and challenges of “Summer” to protect yourself for a great harvest of goals in the “Fall”.
  • How your “Fall” can be predictable and productive to fulfilling change in your life.
  • The best method of maximizing your “Winter” season as one of growth for your mind and ambition.
  • Implementing Benjamin Franklin’s three principles of success!

Podcast Transcription

Good morning! Hey, have you been experiencing a difficult season in life? Yeah, I know what you’re thinking, hey Jimmy, have you not noticed we’re in the middle of a pandemic all over the world? You know, I’ve noticed it, but I’ve got to be honest with you, you can’t let the pandemic run your life. You must run it the way you wish. You know, we’re not nature beings, just like geese and birds that fly south, right? We have the ability to shape our lives as we wish.

Hey, I’m Jimmy Williams. Good morning, your Monday morning moments of motivation are just seconds away. Thank you for joining me today as we’re going to share with you some valuable methods of taking control of life no matter what season you may feel you are in. You know one of the toughest things we’ve had to deal with during 2020 is this word change. We’ve had to change the way we do a lot of things. I noticed restaurants that normally wouldn’t have togo food options, delivery options, you know curbside. These kinds of things, now they’re doing it. If they won’t be allowed to seat their patrons in the restaurant, they’re bringing it to the people. They changed their fundamental method of delivering their products, right?

So I want to talk today, for just a few moments, on how you can maximize life no matter which season you find yourself. This is going to be an episode that you’re gonna set back and hopefully relisten as you experience these changes within you and I’m not talking about the changes outside. I’m talking about the changes within you. Your mind. Your body, how you’re feeling during the year. You know, we all get the same year, right? 365 days, there’s 24 hours in a day. So ask yourself why is it that someone such as the CEO of Disney, with all of this disruption, seems to be getting more done earning more money and having a higher quality of life than you? It is one of those things in life I just seem to think, now what do they know that I do not know? Well, I’m gonna suggest to you today this episode could be the changing factor that helps elevate you to a higher level of pleasure in life.

I don’t necessarily mean through means of assets and money. I’m talking about a higher level of satisfaction of your life. You know, what season of life are you currently experiencing? The North American continent where we live experiences four distinct seasons each year. Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter. And for more than 6,000 plus years, we have experienced those same seasons in the same order. Nothing changes. I can almost tell you with great assurance that after Summer, we’ll have Fall. And it never fails that Fall occurs after the heat of Summer. It’s just the way it works. And at the end of the day the human experience, we have seasons within our own mindset and body. One of the greatest opportunities for growth may occur in each of these seasons for humans.

And this is the big difference. We are a unique being on this planet. You know, other mammals are programmed by nature and will act in a predictable manner depending upon the season of their environment. For example, geese will fly south in the winter. Every winter. And why did they do this? I can only imagine, they’re out feeding one day in the fall, and then there’s the head of the geese and that one honks out something to the rest of them and they jump off the ground, start flapping their wings and just as if they were programed to do so, point that beak south and start flying. And now I do want you to know, I have solved a mystery of life for you today. Have you ever looked in the sky, beautiful blue sky, you look and see that there is a gaggle of geese. That’s what I call them anyway, I’m not sure what the formal term is. But these gaggle of geese are flying south for the winter. And if you’ll look they are making a perfect V with the exception of one side of that V is longer than the other. Now I did some research to help you today to understand why nature has placed in the goose that it must fly south in a V pattern. If you will watch at the very front of that V, you will see quite a bit of disturbance and disruption occurring in the front of the V. You see, that is the lead goose that is causing all of the wind to be pointed, if you will, efficiently around the V. So in other words, think of him as breaking the wind or the aerodynamics of that V as they go south.

Now you will notice the wings seem to be flapping much harder on the goose in the very front of the V. This is the goose thats got most of the pressure on it to go faster and further to keep that aerodynamic format in shape. Then you’ll watch real quickly, that front goose, after a period of time if you’re fortunate to watch em. Have your binoculars tuned on them, you will see that the goose in the top, that tip of the V will suddenly start sliding back, and the goose that was on the second level will now fall into place as the leader of the V. This is so that they can do much further distance in their flying that day, and not tire the geese out so badly they must land and waste valuable time.

Now you’re gonna say, well Jimmy, you didn’t answer why one leg of the V is longer. Is it something to do with aerodynamics as well? Well, I’ve got good news for you. That is a brilliant assumption. But it is incorrect. The reason why you have one longer leg of that V than the other is because you have more geese in that V. Now that’s a smart aleck answer, but I’ll be honest with you. I have researched it and I have no idea why one is longer than the other, nor does any of the scientists so far that I’ve researched. But I do know that you will count, there will be more geese on one side than the other. And I am not certain what that does. But as humans we do not have to simply head south when our cold weather gets here.

You know, humans recreate their ideal climate, even when there’s ice on the trees and snow on the ground. We are capable of changing our environment. Our response to external stimuli and withstanding harsh conditions by simply training ourselves to use our minds. Animals cannot do this. If you will notice the bear, the North American Brown Bear will go in an hibernate through winter. Every year. This hibernation is part of their makeup. This is just part of their mentality. They will find a cave or a den and they will simply sleep through the winter months. Today I’m gonna share with you four phases of personal growth to take advantage of each of these four seasons of life that we experience every year. Now the length of each of these seasons may change depending on how you and your mindset are responding or reacting to the season. I know what you’re thinking, already, hey Jimmy, this is 2020 and it is just different. Well of course, this is a unique year, with unique challenges. This year may require even greater creativity, resilience, tolerance, abundant energy, whatever it takes to grow. But you can and must grow as a person no matter the season you find yourself.

So let’s take the first season at hand. The first season is of course spring. Now one of the most important acts you can perform in the spring is the act of change itself. Now think about it. When we’re driving down the road in the springtime. Flowers are blooming. Trees are blooming. You see a new green blade of grass coming out of the ground. You see that seeds that were planted during the winter, covered by the snow that melted and became water that then nourished the seed in the ground with the warmth of spring and the sunshine blazing that ground ready to burst forth with whatever is in the seed. This is spring. It is a new beginning. Now as humans we too can have a new beginning. Each year I am not saying you just change for the sake of change. I am saying you grow in spite of the challenge.

I know you are weary of 2020. I too have seen enough of 2020. I have actually ask it to leave on many occasions. But it is still here and we are still gonna make the best of it. Now I want you to know we are about two months away from the year end, which means winter is on it’s way, and that it will start a new year and then spring will be following winter. So let’s focus a little bit on what spring can be for us. Spring is the time you review your past performance during winter. You evaluate or do what I call an experience transformer. It’s a sense of hey what went right during the winter. What did not go as planned during the winter? What could I have done differently to get my winter easier to withstand the challenge? How about how could I cope better in winter in what do I need to do to prepare for winter?

These are all valid questions you must ask yourself in the spring. You see, all of us, whether rich or poor, young or old, educated or not educated are the sum total of all of those people and events that have touched us since first entering this wonderful world. Every thought that we’ve entertained has had it’s effect upon what we are today. Every movie we’ve watched had its effect on us. Every book or magazine we’ve read had its effect. Every tv show you’ve ever watched has had an effect on you. You get the point. Every disappointment, triumph, doubt, dream and love for someone each had their effect on your life. Now what we are, and what we have we have slowly brought upon ourselves. You see you don’t become who you are in a split instance. It is over time that you either eat too much of those sweets, didn’t exercise enough, didn’t drink enough water. Whatever it may be, now your body has reacted to whatever those small amount of changes were and now you’re paying the price. You see it’s the human tendency though to blame someone or something else for our lack of progress, right? You know, we blame, of course it’s always good, the government. We blame our competitors. We blame inflation. Maybe it’s the lack of pay we get. Maybe sometimes we even blame the traffic or the weather for the circumstances we find ourselves.

But in any event what happens in the spring sets the tone for the year. I was in California, visiting our daughter a few weeks ago. We took a little detour from her place and went down to the ocean. As I stood on that ocean shore, I realized two things. I watched the ebb and flow of the tide, and I noticed on some of those tides they would come in closer to my feet where I was standing. And on other tides they would be much further out away from me. I’m talking about two or three hundred feet away. And that just started to create a rhythm in my mind about life. You know life does have a rhythm to it. You see some people look as if they are conquering the world and it takes hardly any energy to do so. And then you see the person that is slogging along like their boots are deep in mud up to their knees and they’re just not accomplishing much, but they are making some forward progress. As I watched the water ebb and flow I got to thinking about my life. Were there some areas in my life that need to be smoothed out to some rhythm that makes better sense? Maybe I’m trying to force things to happen as opposed to attracting the success of that area. You know, Jim Rohn’s often said that you do not pursue success cause it will always evade you. But you do attract success by what you become.

As I thought about the water, the ebb and flow, I noticed several things in the sand. First I noticed that when it would flow up close to my feet and then go back into the ocean, it would take with it just a small amount of grains of sand, I mean it looked like it was just kind of sculpting the sea shore. If you could join me there in your imagination, imagine two things. Here you are, a 6’2″ gentleman with his pants legs rolled up and his shoes off standing near the Pacific Ocean. And I walk out as the tide has gone out and it’s low tide by the way, I’m walking out there on sand that has been underwater, perhaps for a few weeks or days. And then I realize as I feel the hardness of that sand what has been happening to that sand covered with water. You guessed it. It became as solid as a dirt road in which I was raised. It was as if it had been pounded and compounded to the ground enough that you could have driven a car across this sand. So I was a little bit mystified of how the water would trim off just a little bit of sand, take it out into the ocean, deposit it somewhere further into the ocean.

And then the inevitable happened. As I was focusing my mind on the things around me about the sand, the vegetation that had washed up, maybe some shells that was laying exposed now in the sand that had come in the surf. You guessed it, this wave comes up and just slams me about knee high. And folks, I got news for you, in September, the water in the Pacific is cool. In October it is downright cold. I don’t know if you’ve been to the Pacific Ocean, but it is cold and I did not have a towel. I didn’t have anything to dry off my legs, my pants. I’m just telling you is was a very, shall we say, invigorating moment.

But droughts occur as well. And droughts do certain things for the land that helps it in the rougher times of the environment. So for example, during drought that you’ll notice that those things thrive such as plants that have shorter, perhaps, petals so they don’t soak up so much sun, or they have longer roots to go find water much deeper in the soil. They have adapted, if you will, to that way of life of their environment. You know, we as humans do the same, don’t we? I mean we as humans, in the spring don’t we adapt to what is occuring, for example this spring we were hit with a pandemic of which we had no knowledge of how bad, how comprehensive it would spread. We didn’t even know what made it spread. And all we were doing was finding our way, if you will, by the process of either elimination or suffering. At the end of the day, we discovered that we had to change according to our environment. No longer are we simply gentlemen shaking hands when we meet someone. Believe it or not, that has been a tradition passed down by businessmen for thousands of years.

And now we don’t even shake hands. We have changed based on our environment. You know, one of the things too that I love about spring is the fact that with spring we see opportunities to take advantage of things that may not of been here in the previous year. You know, following this turbulence of winter, spring comes as a time of opportunity for most of us. It is a season for entering the fertile fields of life with seed, knowledge, commitment, determined effort to succeed. You know, it’s not a time to sit around, linger and look at the beautiful flowers. Now I do believe you could balance your life by just doing that. But you must now go to work. Put, if you will, the plow in the ground and start laying in the seed that’s gonna give you success later this year. So don’t pause too long in the springtime. My one point here is this, the springtime is when you set the pace and tone for the success you will reap come the fall.

You must have a successful spring, in other words, you must be productive of the spring of defining what goals you wish. Establishing a rhythm to achieve those goals by planting that seed of success. And you will reap it if you do well and faint not as you go into the fall. The second season we experience is the season of summer. You know, this is one of my favorite times of year. Oh I love the summertime. The sun, all the vitamin D you can naturally absorb. But as one of those times that summer is the season in my opinion for new growth in life. This is when the seed you planted, the changes you made in the spring, the goals that you have set really take off. This is when you’re gonna see yourself in a new way. You’re gonna experience the early of the rise and the laying down late at night cause you’re going to invest in yourself the capabilities to have a good harvest in the fall. You defined your intended goals in the spring and the changes you made are not just changes for change. They’re changed for a purpose. You stretch yourself to become your potential. Not simply a bum on the shore of the ocean, as I was standing there when the wave hit. You are there for a purpose. To grow, to focus on the areas of life that will pay the greatest dividends for you even when the difficult seasons of the year arrive.

You know, Benjamin Franklin, I have read many biographical accounts of him. He was such an innovator, and I dare say an entrepreneur ahead of his time. Benjamin Franklin authored three simple principles of success. First, big achievements come one step at a time. One day at a time. You don’t achieve your biggest, as I shall call them hairy audacious goals, those BHAGs, in a day. It may take you all year, but the point is did the change occur or did you not make that one day that you said you would either run or exercise? You know too many people put weight on their bodies over a full year expect to take it off in three weeks. It does not work that way. The second principle of success of Benjamin Franklin is you have the power to mould your life. You can make it whatever you want. You can shape it and reshape it. That’s critical. But the third principle of success is measured through pleasure. You know, this is the key in life. And you have got to be happy along the way of development and growth. Learn to enjoy success.

Now you’re gonna laugh, some people, as my dad would say, would complain if they were hung with a new rope. Now, I don’t know how many of you heard that country vernacular, but I’ve got to be honest with you, my dad has quite a few of these statements he makes that I’ve picked up over the years and I will tell you he is not too wrong many times.

Let’s talk about what happens though, in the summer. You’ve planted the seeds of greatness, you’ve got some great goals, but ut oh, here it comes. Those pests and pestilence and weeds of life all start showing up when? In the summer. You know, it’s a funny thing, you just can’t argue with nature. You’re going to have a summer that’s going to be lacking of rain, far too much sunshine and heat. Here in our great state of Oklahoma we’re liable to have 110 degrees heat index for several days in a row in July. Our summers get very hot. The weeds of life are simply designed to turn confidence you obtained in the spring into doubt. The trust you had in your capabilities end in suspicion. The patience you developed in the spring to see this goal through becomes impatience. And it takes the utmost of effort that you have designed and focused on and it now turns it to procrastination.

You see you do not spend valuable time arguing with nature. You will not win. There are certain things going to occur. I hear what you’re saying, well wait a minute Jimmy, if summers are so rough, I’ll tell you what I’m going to do. I’m gonna take instead of a summer and then fall and winter. I’m gonna take two springs, I’m gonna take two falls and I’m just going to avoid summer and winter. Those are the two harshest extremes. Well I’ve got bad news for you. It just doesn’t work that way. You just don’t get what you want. Now you’re gonna have four seasons, and they’re going to be exactly as they have been for thousands of years, that’s just how it works. Do not waste valuable time changing that.

More importantly take that valuable time and change your mind, your philosophy of life, your mentality in approach to challenges in life. That’s the key. So spend no time chasing the birds, if you will, who seek to peck out the seeds or the bugs that seek to devour your coming harvest. Just learn to accept that there is the existence of negativity in our world. It has been that way for thousands of years, as I said, it will continue that way. But learn to turn that negativity into something more constant. Such as growing your faith, creating a better attitude. Smile at adversity. It is surely when you see yourself, smiling at adversity, when your happiness truly begins. Ok. Be grateful for the times that you are being challenged.

So this summer season is one in which I want you to understand you may not achieve everything you wanted to plant in the spring, but I assure you, that you have it’s greatest opportunity if you’ll just stay focused in the summer. So the key to this is is do not allow the distractions of bugs, pestilence, the environment to distract you from reaching what is most important and that’s a bigger, better, and bolder you come this fall.

A poem by Lin Yutang is one I really enjoy. It goes like this, “I like spring but it is too young. I like summer, but it is too proud. So I like best of all autumn, because it’s leaves are a little yellow. It’s tone mellower, it’s colors richer and it is all tinged in a little with sorrow. It’s golden riches speak not of the innocence of spring, nor of the power of summer. But of the mellowness and kingly wisdom of approaching age. It knows the limitations of life and is content.” That’s pretty powerful, I think. It goes to show us that no matter what season of life we’re in, we must find happiness and we must find contentment. But at the end of the day, let’s talk about fall. Fall is the best time in life. You plant the seeds of spring. You worked hard and diligent to help them grow this summer, but fall is the payday.

Am I right? Fall’s the payday, fall is that time of year that you now get to see what all of your diligent work, all your commitment, all of your passions come to fruition. You know, fall is a time, if you will, for exaltation as well as a time for searching for your consciousness. For those who plant abundantly in the spring and fight against the bugs, fall brings rewards. But for those who didn’t diligently plant, paid no attention to the challenges of summer, fall is a time of great regret. It’s in the fall when we discover how long or short the next season will be. And that’s winter.

So fall is the season in which you must enjoy yourself. Fall is the season when you must see how well your first two seasons of life have been. I encourage you, take advantage of the fall and reap those benefits by being diligent in the spring and the summer. But then comes winter. How long will your winter last? You know, if you fully prepared and had a great fall, you’re going to see that winter doesn’t appear as long as it did the year before when you may not have prepared for winter. What am I talking about the winters of life? The winters of life are those areas where you had saved a little more. Had you prepared a little better. Had you committed more deeply to your tasks, winter would seem a breeze. Winter, the harsh, cold reality that new life doesn’t grow but is now hidden below the ice and snow, not to show its head until months later. You see, winter is that time in life that will always come and people think it never will.

Not only in the winter, as I said, is it cold and the wind and ice and snow, but the human winter of despair and loneliness, or disappointment, or tragedy is seemingly forever. You find that we as humans become more depressed during the season of winter. The physical winter because of the shorter days we experience. As a matter of fact there are some cities in the Alaska state that have one to two hours of daylight per day in the winter. And the rest is darkness. They established a study of these individuals living in this environment and noted that they must develop a better sense of self worth, they must have a better personality to deal with this life of darkness, nocturnal existence if you will.

Then there are days in South America when it is their summer months and Alaska’s winter months, that they see they have daylight for more than 14 to 15 hours per day. So, winter must be a time of growth internally, not externally where you’re gonna see things change. You must build the capacity within your mind, your philosophy of life to understand that winter will pass. Now, I know what you’re thinking again, you’re saying hey we’re in the middle of a pandemic since March. I’ve been having winter in the United States since March and it is now October and I am tired of winter. But I’ve got some news for you. I’ve read some outstanding books this last spring, summer and now fall. I have not taken the trips that we would normally take to foreign countries and other areas of the world. But I have experienced a great summer. It is one of those things that basically this winter stays longer if we’re not prepared. If we didn’t read the books, we didn’t work on ourselves, our discipline. We didn’t work on our attitude.

Winter is for two people. Those who are prepared, and those who aren’t. If you’re prepared, basically winter is another opportunity for you to grow. Inwardly you can grow. It’s a time for reading. A time for planning. A time for gathering our strengths, if you will, for the coming spring. And a time for taking shelter comfortably. But you see, winters are also not a time to get excessive rest. You know, I have this saying I use a lot, and I tell people, you know, don’t get used to sleeping in that bed. But get out of bed and get the day started because you can lie down when you’re dead. Now I’m not making fun of that. I’m just saying man was not meant to be a lover of sleep. The bible tells us do not be a lover of sleep, but earn your living by the sweat of your brow. Get out and do those things in life that makes activity and creates value for others.

You know, someone once said don’t pray for things to be easier, rather pray for more obstacles and more challenges for it’s out of these that man’s character and will to succeed are formed. The key to winter survival is very, very simple. You must plan, prepare, and you must work spring, summer and fall to have a successful winter. Have you gotten stuck in the winter season in life? Have you grown as a person in 2020 despite the pandemic and disruption and your normal way of life? This week I challenge you to seek out one area of life and plant the seed of change. The seed of growth that you wish to see when the spring returns. What area of life do you need to see new growth? This is where you must focus as we go into winter. You must plan, this is a time to look inwardly and see what you wish to become and start planting that seed in the spring. Remember you can form and reform your life in any manner you wish. You’re not like the geese flying south, you’re a human that has capability to change your environment to what you need it to be. So why not create a life that makes you happy through all of the four seasons? Go ahead, live a life by design. I think you’ll like it.

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