1. The first part of my MORNING RITUAL involves watering, pruning, and making my garden look pristine every day. For me, this reinforces the importance of “self-care”, and it also tells my unconscious mind I’m capable of cleaning up “messes.” This builds a habit of real confidence as opposed to a temporary state of contrived confidence because it’s a daily practice. I don’t just fool myself by saying there are no “weeds”.

2. My garden is the ideal place to MEDITATE/PRIME every morning because it’s a quiet, uncluttered space. Our carbon dioxide/oxygen relationship with plants (learned in grade school) has significance to my practice in the garden given the focus on breathing in meditation. This is where I look within for self-understanding. “Except for the practice of meditation, there is no method to truly develop control over the totality of the mind. The mind has a mind of its own and can be unruly if undisciplined” — Swami Rama. This is also where I remind myself of the ability to be happy period, and not happy because of [something]…. “Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be” — Abraham Lincoln

3. Gardening fosters a HABIT of doing a little every day vs doing a lot someday, which is the key to success with just about anything (think working out…healthy eating…). Things don’t generally change in life until you change something you do daily. 99% of people operate under the assumption they’ll just get better, but growth doesn’t just happen. It has to be on purpose. Has to be intentional. John C Maxwell calls this the “Assumption Gap”. Similarly, rapid and robust growth doesn’t just happen for plants without adding fertilizer (primarily nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium). This also reminds me of the importance of making “deposits” into my relationships and not just withdrawals. If all you’re doing is making withdrawals, you’ll bankrupt your relationships (a great lesson from 10x Talk with Joe Polish and Dan Sullivan). With respect to my marriage, I’m reminded of a point that Jim Rohn once made, which is that it takes absolutely zero talent to fall in love. The key is staying in love and making it a priority every day.

4. In the garden, I develop a healthy perspective on FAILURE and LOSS. I learn that no matter what I do, some plants/flowers/shrubs will do well and others will not — that’s life…some things will work out, some will not. I love, appreciate and focus on the parts that thrive! This also reminds me that in business I need to be persistent, consistent, and resilient — and “triple down on my strengths” (Gary Vaynerchuk).

5. Life is a series of GROWTH spurts. I witness the cycle of life in the garden with expansion during the growing season followed by contraction during the winter. Nothing beats watching the seedlings of new growth emerge each year. I embrace the notion that those that create a need for more life will receive more life. “We age not by years but by events and our emotional reactions to them” (Dr. Arnold Hutchnecker).

6. When gardening, I pay particular ATTENTION to the finer details and engage all the senses. I appreciate the colors, unique patterns, textures…take in the smell, the feeling of the soil, the sound of the birds and the wind. All we have is what we place our attention on and what you focus on you will feel. I think about the fact that there is THE world and there is MY world. “Where focus goes, energy flows” — Tony Robbins. Building focus (like a muscle) is a battle that must be fought daily — but when mastered, it’s truly transformational across many areas of life.

7. I’m reminded of the value of PATIENCE and the need to enjoy the journey as I tend to want the garden to grow faster, reproduce, etc. I tend to do that with a lot of things, but especially in business. All big things were once small, and change doesn’t happen overnight. The biggest oak tree was once an acorn. This also reminds me that while my children may appear to grow slowly, they’ll be out of the house in a flash, and I need to treasure every moment with them, even during difficult situations.

8. Being alone and going into the silence with Nature tends to foster contemplation and CLARITY. This is where I determine not what I need in life, but what I WANT and WHY. This is also where I take 100% responsibility for every condition in my life.

9. Certain plants and trees in my garden are deciduous (lose their leaves each year) and may not always be the very best version of themselves at times…that’s OK, and again, that’s life! All I’m trying to do is be “more of who I am at my best” (Sally Hogshead).

10. I’m also reminded that mankind is the only life form that doesn’t strive to be ALL it can be (e.g. trees grow as tall as they possibly can). This inspires me to focus on developing my full potential each day. “Most people are quiet in the world and live in it tentatively as if it’s not their own” (E.L. Docterow).