“The Seed”

The latest book by Jon Gordon that I’ve read is The Seed (see previous posts on The Energy Bus and Training Camp).

The Seed is about helping you find your purpose in life and at work. The book is a fable centered around Josh, a talented young man who has lost his passion at work. His boss gives him two weeks off to clear his head and decide if he really wants to work at the company.

Josh takes a trip into the country where he encounters a wise farmer who gives him a seed with a lesson. The farmer tells Josh, “You’re lost because you don’t know your purpose!” He says …

Purpose is our ultimate guidance system that provides us with direction for our lives. Purpose fuels passion and this passion gives us confidence and vitality to go after our dreams. To live without purpose is to wander aimlessly through life like dust in the wind. … But when you find your purpose, you discover the power that fuels all of creation. You find your reason for existing. You find the path you were meant to travel and the passion to thrive on your journey.

Adversity plays a key role in shaping our lives and our purpose in life. The farmer says, “adversity is not a dead end but a detour to a better outcome than you can imagine.” Parents, in particular, have a tremendous opportunity to model how to handle adversity: “the greatest lesson we can share with our children is the way we live our life and how we respond to adversity.”

The farmer offers great advice regarding work. He says …

… don’t choose where you will be the happiest–choose where you will learn the most. … Where you experience resistance, you find the lessons that you are meant to learn. People often run when they face resistance, but to grow you must face it and learn from it. We often have to go through things at work and in life that don’t make us happy, but they teach us lessons that lead to our happiness in the future. Every job, good or bad, trains us for the work we are meant to do in the future. Challenges only make you stronger.

As we encounter adversity, it’s helpful to remember that God is in control, and God’s timing rules. The farmers reminds us …

(The universe) runs on God’s perfect timing (GPT). There is a time and a season for everything. There is a time for action and a time for rest. There is a time for events to happen and a time for delays. Delays in life happen for a reason. Humans don’t like delays, but they are essential for a human’s preparation and growth.

The farmer outlines four stages as we discover our purpose: Preparation, Planning, Growth, and Harvest. Adversity prepares us for our calling. Then …

… the seed must surrender its own vision and desires as it is placed in the ground. It must die to itself so it can give life to something greater–something that will rise up from the ground and grow beyond its humble origin.

The harvest stage is “where you reap the harvest you have sown with your seed.” The farmers suggests, “During the harvest stage, your purpose becomes so clear you can say it in a simple sentence.”

But it’s one thing to know your purpose, an even bigger challenge “is finding the courage to follow it and live it in the face of adversity and naysayers.”

If you’re struggling in your current job or if you’re wrestling with your purpose in life, this book could be helpful.

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