SSF Episode 003: Happy, Healthy, and Strong Meaning?
Happy, Healthy, Strong
At Souder Station Farm we believe it’s important to be happy, healthy and strong. It’s our motto, and direction that we try to live by. SO what does it mean to us to live a life that’s happy, healthy, and strong?
We want to pursue projects and ambitions in life that are rewarding. True happiness comes from the struggle and work it took to achieve. Many time the act and routine of a task are where we find our greatest happiness. The journey, not the destination. We have a community of friends and family that support and care for us as much as we do them. Life is too short to waste time being around people that bring you down and are full of pessimism and negativity. Not around here. We highly value family time and friends.
Perhaps a better word would be fulfillment.
Fulfillment, joy, and happiness are all one side of a coin. The opposing side is despair, sadness, and struggle.
Struggle breeds greatness. Sadness provides a door to appreciation. Despair tests us and prepares us for eventual fulfillment, and ultimately happiness.
Happiness is not static, and we can not achieve what we want without the other opposite forces in play. You really have to fall in love with the work. In love with the grind. I love working on the farm. I love the grind. The struggle to make our small farm viable. Even days when I burn out hard and want to quit, I’m ultimately happy. I’m constantly challenged and rewarded in kind.
The secret to being happy some claim is to be content. In the moment. Zen as Hell.
I disagree. It’s hard to stay content when you’re hungry. Our customers are hungry, in so many ways. They want more out of life. For as long as I’ve been farming I’ve found our customers are hard working folks like myself. We complain and bitch now and again, but most all have very happy family and friends, but they all grind and strive for more every day. They are not content with mediocrity. It’s the love of the game, to endure and ride the ups and downs that cultivate happiness.
Being happy isn’t about being content. Being happy is appreciating the journey, and being thankful for the opportunity to work every day. It’s being grateful, for the grind.
No on ever reminisces about the “good times”. We always reminisces about the “bad times” that we survived together. Struggle breeds happiness, and on this farm, there is no shortage of happiness. 🙂
The most enjoyment you can derive from life can only be achieved with a healthy body, mind, and spirit. They all play into each other. We all must stay active. Not just because we work on the farm, but because we pursue a healthy lifestyle.
It should come as no surprise that we advocate for being healthy. We want our land healthy, the animals and plants healthy, and ultimately ourselves as well. We could really fit into a farming model of pasture based, regenerative, biological, natural, organic, permaculture, bioamazing farming. Or, we can just let you know our animals are healthy and happy. And strong too for that matter.
You’re only as healthy as that which you put into your body. That doesn’t mean you can’t have the occasional pizza and beer night, but the vast majority of your decisions should be based around healthy options. Not only should the food you eat be clean and nutritionally dense, but let’s not forget about the other 2 big components of health. Sleep, and exercise!
Even as a farmer selling a product, I’m biased towards telling you just how miraculous and revolutionarily awesome our products are. Food however, despite how clean, organic, natural, or other is still only constitutes a part of the health puzzle. Far too many folks overemphasize the minutiae of food details while ignoring moving our physical beings through space and time, or carving out consistent time to sleep and recover.
The human body is designed to move, adapt, and grow. Sleeping is the bodies recovering and repair mechanism. Many folks forget about the simple basics. Eat really good food that’s fairly well matched to your activity levels. Get plenty of sleep. Exercise and challenge the body regularly. Always be learning and seeking out new knowledge, ideas, concepts, and opportunities to grow as a person. The basics. Lead a vibrant, exhilarating, and healthy lifestyle.
Our greatest wealth is our health. It also happens to be that which we have the greatest control over, and provides the greatest foundation for everything we do in our lives.
If you haven’t picked up on it yet, I’m a pretty big believer in self-determinism. We are in a world filled with uncertainty, chaos, and forces outside of our control. What we do have however, is control over ourselves. Control over our minds, bodies, and choices.
Being strong is merely an extension and manifestation of being healthy. It’s an end state goal that is always moving. It’s a marker or way point of our ability to endure. As soon as we achieve a new level of strength, once we’ve adapted, there’s always a new challenge. Thank goodness. Imagine being bored the rest of your life? Me neither.
It’s important to promote strength in our lands, plants, animals, and each other. No one goes into farming planning to raise sick and weak animals or plants. Or any business for the matter. That defeatist attitude has no culture here.
As individuals I believe it’s everyone’s responsibility and duty to be strong: mentally, physically, emotionally, amd spiritually. Odds are each of us is stellar in one of these areas, woefully lacking in another, and somewhere in the middle between the other two. That’s great. That means we all have room to grow, and can benefit from shared interaction and associations with each other.
Being strong means being able to endure. Bad things happen to everyone. The strong get hurt, but they get back up and keep going. They’re rugged, resilient, and ready to help themselves and others get better. I want everyone out there to be the absolute best and strongest versions of themselves that they can be. The land, plants, animals, and people of our farm are all strong, healthy, and happy. Our customers, friends, family, and neighbors are all part of this system as well. We all play small roles in this matrix of interconnectedness. Why not bring our absolute best to the table?
The choices we make today we make for a more robust tomorrow. I don’t recall exactly where it came from, but I once read in passing a Native American quote that read to the effect(paraphrased from memory):
“Every decision made today should consider it’s impacts 7 generations from now.”
Imagine that. Long term thinking. 7 generations of strength. Of doing the right things. Of setting a standard for a better tomorrow. That’s a great goal both on the farm and in our lives. Setting examples through action of how we should behave, act, and conduct ourselves. We are stewards of the land, and the land rewards us. Any generation that fails to protect and enrich the resources around us are doomed to fail. You can’t be a steward, or sustainable for generations to come by being a victim and blaming others. You get there by being strong, resilient, and taking responsibility for your choices.
So these values and beliefs are probably more personal than they are any sort of business vision. The land, animals, farm, food, nature, work, play, friends, family, and community are so intimately connected however that it gets really difficult to distinguish business and pleasure as separate entities. It’s nearly impossible in fact. That’s okay though, because we’re all in. What better life than to be so connected to everything and everyone on such a deep level. It’s an absolute incredible time to be living in this world, and I’m grateful every single day that I can get up and work towards something satisfying.
What does leading a happy, healthy, and strong life mean to you? Share your take on things, or your own variations down below in the comments, any social media, stop by the farmers market, an email, or catch me out in the field. You get the idea. Thanks for being a part of the farm, and letting us be a part of your life and allowing us to help you however we can.
Stay humble and keep grind. Happy, healthy, and Strong.