This is the sixth and final article in a series on growth force principles identified by German biochemist, Frederic Vester who found six principles that lie at the heart of all living and growing things.
By applying these principles to our lives, we can increase the health and potential for growth in all that we do.
The final growth force principle is fruitfulness.
“Be fruitful and multiply,” is a well-known passage from the book of Genesis. We can assume its intent was deeper and more profound than just keeping humanity going!
We pack our days with a lot of activities. But sometimes we confuse a manic schedule with making a difference—being fruitful. And the only way to know the difference is to stop, breathe, think and evaluate!
Bible teacher Joyce Meyer once talked about the difference between being busy and being fruitful. “Did you ever stop to think that just being busy – running around in circles all day but not accomplishing anything – is the same as wasting your time? It’s frustrating to expend so much energy and time and not have any fruit from your effort!”
The fruitfulness principle (found throughout nature) says that every aspect of our lives should produce discernible results in line with its intended purpose. This, of course, assumes we know our intended purpose!
In nature, fruitfulness is obvious. Either a fruit tree bears fruit, or it’s ornamental! An organism is alive as long as it continues to function the way it was designed, with appropriate outcomes. But when an organism is no longer ‘fruitful,’ it dies and makes way for others.
Vineyards are a great example. Each vine must produce grapes. So if a vine fails to produce grapes (of expected quality and quantity) its issues must be addressed. The viticulturist may fertilize, graft in another vine, prune it back, or cut the thing completely. In each case the action is taken in order to reach a desired outcome: fruitfulness.
Having a clearly defined outcome (goals) for each aspect of your life and assessing them should give you a clear picture of where you stand.
- Are you fruitful? Another way to ask the question is, are you bringing life wherever you go?
- Are you being fruitful in your relationships, finances, work, personal life, hobbies?
- Are you being responsible in how you care for the earth, your family, your community?
An essential tool for fruitfulness is evaluating. People and groups that thrive have a clearly defined way of evaluating their progress.
Not evaluating is detrimental. Fear of failure can prevent us from effective, honest evaluation, perhaps because we’re afraid of what we’ll find out. But to not do so is suicide.
After evaluating we must also be make a clear plan to maximize fruitfulness.
Here are some questions to help you move toward more fruitfulness:
- How am I consistently evaluating the functionality of my life and influence?
- What might I need to prune, terminate or maximize in order to increase functionality? (Sometimes you have to say no so you can say yes.)
- How am I spending my time: on important things or on urgent things? (They are often not the same; don’t be too caught up in the urgent!)
- How might I adjust my time to maximize my fruitfulness?
Joyce Meyer quoted on http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/fruitful.html#eWFLzHrqFsy3xsMZ.99This
Royalty-free image by Andrei Rachov in Sophia, Bulgaria; retrieved from http://www.freeimages.com/photo/848619