If all you have is a hammer…

“If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” (Kaplan’s Law of the Instrument)

When you’re new at something, you usually don’t have many tools in your toolbox. Whether it’s reading or calculus or gardening, it takes a while to build up that warehouse of knowledge and know-how (two very different things.)

I am new at farming. I don’t have many tools in my toolbox yet, literally or otherwise. I hardly know how to use a weed whacker, much less about all the different tractor attachments, tow ball hitches, growing zones, and so on. What can I do? (Besides just keep practicing the few things I have learned.)

Ask questions. Dare to proclaim my ignorance. Be curious. Try new things. And if I screw up? Laugh and try again. Use my new hammer on everything I can until I figure out drills, screwdrivers, plows, tractors, on and on.

Huge learning curves can be daunting, even tiring. It takes courage and chutzpah to dive in to something entirely new. But if you listen, look, learn, and keep moving, you’ll soon be nailing all kinds of new things with confidence and ease.

What new skills are you hammering away at?

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