Do you look forward to each week as a new adventure and something to be treasured, or do you have to drag yourself out of bed at the start of a new week because you are so unhappy in your daily toil? Do you plow around the stumps that mar your field of dreams, or do you use whatever means at hand to get rid of the stumps so you can be more productive when you plow your field?
All of us have down times, but if you really don't like where you are and what you do, the first thing you need to change is you. Here are some questions and tips that come from many sources--some business, some personal and some professional--that might help you be more satisfied with your life or job, or learn how to change it.
- Do you have a best friend at work? If not, cultivate more friendships. Research has shown that people with good friends (work and home life) tend to be happier and live longer.
- Do you help others? Giving back is a great way to make yourself feel better.
- Do you spend time doing things you love each day? For most of us horse folks, that means some barn time. Don't neglect the "enjoying" of your horse because of the "doing." In other words, hug your horse; jump on bareback just to sit; don't just groom, but pet and give pleasure to your horse; stop and simply enjoy the moment.
- What is the real root of your dissatisfaction? You might place the blame on your job, but is that really the problem? Or is the problem personal or financial (money management rather than making money)?
- Can you strengthen your family relationships? Some people really don't want anything to do with their biological families, and for good reason. But "family" can be those who mentor you or whom you mentor.
- Do you have "spiritual" time? This can have lots of meanings, but most business and life coaches will tell you that you need something "bigger" in your life than yourself.
So what does all of this have to do with owning or managing a farm/stable? If you are dissatisfied, it will reflect in your work and dribble down to your employees and boarders. If you have an employee who is dissatisfied, share some of these suggestions (or have them get professional help). If you have a boarder who is like this and is making your barn toxic, try to suggest or implement some of these things into your stable culture to help her find tools to change her negative attitude.
Not enjoying your job or life might mean you end up leaving the industry. If you are a farm or stable owner, that means your decisions affect a lot of other horse folks. Running a farm or stable is hard work, but it shouldn't take the fun out of your life.
If you have suggestions, feel free to list them in the comments section below.