I suffer from analysis paralysis. It is not technically a medical condition, but it is a real thing. Oftentimes I find myself overwhelmed by the constant to do’s, advocate for agriculture, plan a YFA event, wash the dishes, feed the kid, prepare for the workday, clean the house, accomplish greatness, personal development and the lists (because we all have more than one) go on and on. What eventually ends up happening, is that the things on the lists get jumbled up and there are so many options, so many priorities that everything but time freezes. Thoughts and actions are stuck, paralyzed, and nothing gets done.
What do I do when I am plagued with multiple episodes of this ailment…go out of state for a 4 day conference. In some cases, taking a step back is the only way to move forward.
In the welcome statement AFBF President Zippy Duvall said, “You will network with fellow agriculture leaders and industry experts, returning home inspired and empowered.” My rebellious side thought, “Don’t tell me what to do Zippy!” However his statement was not a command, it was a foreshadowed conclusion to what I would experience at the 2017 FUSION Conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Perspective is one of the cures for analysis paralysis. Inspirational messages from Chris Koch and Rocky Bleier left my restraining sense of fear cowering in the bright light of possibility. Breakout sessions reminded me of the mission of Farm Bureau, which refocused my support of the Wisconsin Young Farmer and Agriculturist program. Network luncheons provided me with insight into the Florida citrus industry, raising Beef in Ohio and accepting the fact that in North Carolina I will be called “Doll” and “Ma’am”.
The four days rushed by and left me ready to roll up my sleeves when I got home and get something done. This sense of “giddy up and go” was humbled with the closing statements of Dr. Charles Petty in his speech about work life balance. Farm Bureau has always been family oriented and oftentimes in my pursuit for success and accomplishment, my family takes the back seat. Dr. Petty said, “Good families don’t just happen you have to work at it…you have to work smart.” Priorities, oh how I have struggled with you.
It was with this statement that President Duvall’s words hit me…in the back of the head…with a steel chair…like a terrible wrestling match. I did network. I did leave inspired. I did leave empowered. However, this inspiration came with a price tag. The cost was my comfort zone. So I challenge you, open up your wallet and slide that plastic card of comfort over to the cashier. When you do settle that bill you won’t feel paralyzed anymore.
Julie is a farm and production management instructor at Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College where she works with farmers to get on the latest technology and methods for improving farm longevity. She is a graduate of UW-River Falls and a Barron County Farm Bureau member. In her free time, she likes to read, take videos and pictures of her son, ride bike and seek adventure.