Do you want to make your life more harmonious? Would you like to be happier, lower your stress and give more meaning to your work? Would you like to be more successful? Here are some natural laws that will empower you to live more fully and have more happiness. Those are big promises, I know. Take notice I didn’t promise things would be easier or that you wouldn’t work as hard. The fact is, it isn’t hard work that plagues us all. It’s not only what we do but how we go about it that creates discord within us. The cause of most of our miseries is simply that we are attempting to find shortcuts to reach our goals, working against the laws of nature instead of in accord with them.

As any farmer can tell you, there are certain things that must be done in order to be successful on the farm. To a farmer, they are just common sense, but they are more than that. They are actual laws of nature, principles that cannot be denied.  Yet many of us try to live outside these laws as if they don’t apply to us. The results are often disastrous. Here’s what I’m talking about.

There are no shortcuts

If you want to grow crops, there are certain steps you absolutely must take. You must prepare the soil, plant the seed, water it, weed it, and give it time to reach maturity before it can be harvested. Likewise, if you want to be successful at work, you must do some things first that will make you successful.

For instance, you will need to have the proper education, qualifications, skills or training to complete the work. You can’t just show up and fake it. You will also need to be there daily, prioritize your tasks, complete projects on time and be willing to do what is necessary to accomplish your goals.

The same fundamentals apply to relationships. They must be mutually nurtured, given the proper care, and grown with patience. Things don’t get better overnight. There is no magic beanstalk that will grow tall and strong in just one day. Relationships take time and work if they are going to flourish. Anything worth having is worth working for, and if you’re not willing to work for it, it won’t be worth having.

The horse comes before the cart

On the farm, if you put the cart before the horse, you’re not going anywhere. In the same way, if you don’t prioritize your goals and tasks, you will not get the best results. Learn to put first things first, give time to the really important things in your life, such as family, friends and honest work, and you will never lose sight of your goal. Also, you will achieve more and have more joy in living.

You reap what you sow

Any farmer can tell you this. It’s not hard to understand that if you plant wheat, you will not harvest tomatoes. So then, why would you think that if you are impatient, ill-tempered or dishonest, others will treat you with kindness and trust? If you want to be trusted, be trustworthy. If you want to be loved, give love. If you want to be understood, be understanding. If you want to be happy, make others happy. This is the golden rule. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. With what measure you mete, it will be measured unto you.

Nature is a delicate balance

Crops need water, sunshine and time to reach maturity. All must be in the proper amounts as well. Too much sun and the plants wither, too little and they won’t grow. Too little water and the crop dries out, too much and it rots in the field. Harvest too soon, the fruit is not ripe, too late and it will go to seed.

Relationships, careers, and parenting require balance just as it is in nature. A marriage can suffer from too much or too little attention. People can grow apart if the marriage is neglected, or they can be smothered if not given enough space. The same holds true for parenting; if you ignore your children or don’t give them enough guidance, they will be needy. If you smother them, they will rebel. Careers can be derailed with insincere behavior or can fall apart if ignored.

You can’t change the world

Imagine a farmer trying to stop the sun from coming up in the morning, or trying to stop the seasons from changing. What if they tried to make the sun shine 24 hours a day? Ridiculous, right? So what makes people think they can change the world? Of all the billions of people on the planet, you can only change one; yourself.

So, even though it’s true that you can’t change the world, you can change your world. After all, it’s really the same thing, isn’t it?