Arguably the most important thing you have to learn to do and of course…the dry weather

February 24, 2014

Building trust in myself as a competent farmer is something that I’ve always struggle with. As what I really lacked when I first started commercial farming was confidence in my decisions…I wasn’t sure…and that to me is just another way of saying…I don’t trust myself.

Fortunately, with the passing of each season I got much better at getting it right on the first call and so it became much easier to trust myself.

Trust that I could (most of the time, at least) make a good quality judgement call…and get it right the first time….trust that I could just roll a clump of dirt in between my index finger and thumb, bring it to my nostrils and say to myself, ‘There is no mystery here!’

Trust is so very important…NOT WITH OTHERS, BUT WITH YOURSELF FIRST.

I am not just talking about the skills to make good decisions that you will not come to regret later. But sometimes, trust that you can see a thing through from beginning to end is equally important – it may be trying to slim down by making a promise to yourself that you will not eat food that makes you fat and ugly any longer – or just trying to keep to a simple promise you once made to yourself that you would watch less TV and cut down on your smoking and drinking.

Why is trust in yourself so jugular…important. Because if like me during the first few early years when I first became a farmer – Life can be a grind when you just can’t trust yourself – you can’t even trust yourself to see a thing thru from beginning to end – and very often my lack of knowledge corroded my confidence and this just meant I kept breaking promises to myself again and again. It’s like if another person constantly cheats on you or never seem to keep their word – as time goes by, it’s natural not to trust that person anymore. The same holds true of the promises you make to yourself.

Learning to trust yourself is arguably the most important thing you can ever do. Trust in your brain….trust that, if you promise yourself to do something, you will nit procrastinate…trust that you will work hard to build trust in yourself.

You could even say, this is the first principle of living a purpose driven life


‘Farming is all about observation. That I imagine is why it’s not unusual at all to see a farmer perched on his fence staring out into the yonder for hours. That could be why so many people think that I am mad as well. As whenever I do this in Singapore….people think, he’s a very odd man…I think, I’ll call the police…as over there no one really bothers to just stand so very still and really look…I don’t mean just look, but really look….at the clouds, birds etc etc. To even feel the gentle caress of the breeze…to pick up the slight hint of the salt in the air…no one really stops and just looks. They’re all too busy trying to get to where they need to be etc etc.

But farming is all about observation….every morning at a certain time, I will open a hatch in my kitchen. Sit down on the floor with a mug of coffee and just study the way the light falls on the tiles. I know of at least 23 pantheons of yellow…each tone can tell me a tome about how the weather is going to unfurl, it is more accurate than a weather satellite…these days, I notice the light is different….I have never seen such colors before…it’s not the usual bright corn yellowish light that I am used too…but much closer to an amber vinegar copper tone…so I know from just this, the dry spell is going to last much longer than what the weatherman says…I just know deep in the marrow of my bones…it will be dry thru to March….bone dry…this is going to be a season that will test my mettle I reckon.

Everything that I once went thru was meant to prepare me for this season…no, I can’t rely on my tabula data any longer…I must throw them away…I must assume, past performance is no longer a reliable indicator of what is going to happen…I must make the assumption, she will go the other way, do that other thing that I least expect….many people will go bankrupt this year….if I can make it to the other side or maybe I will get lucky and she’ll spit me out like a seed then I stand to gain from the carnage, from now on…it’s a game of cerebral fitness…as it will only rain a few days in the following weeks….I have to make everyday count….every arrow must find its mark….if I do this. I may just be able to slip by and find a sunny patch…after all the price of palm is going up, because no one has any it has not rained at all…so the farmer who can produce fruit will win. He will prosper and grow…while the others perish.

I must believe this is possible…above all I must trust myself that I can pull this off. I must.”

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