The PCC Discussion Group recently had a very interesting discussion that tied in very well with the “Woe is Me” article in last week’s PCC Update. While most people know what they should do, very few actually follow through. Why is that? What prevents most people from making the changes they know they should make? I will share a few high points from this discussion.
The discussion thread was started by Jim Gerrish, who is a world-renown grazing expert. Jim discussed two clients he had worked with. He helped one client double his carrying capacity and reduce hay feeding by 60% in just three years. Since the infrastructure required to do this cost $36 per acre, this client essentially purchased another 8000-acre ranch for $36 per acre. Rangeland in that area is currently selling for $1000 per acre. That was a no-brainer.
Jim worked with another client who had a 30,000-acre ranch. Jim said, “I am confident we can double the carrying capacity on this ranch similar to what we did on the other project. Spread across the 30,000 acres, that is a stock water and fence infrastructure cost of less than $40 per acre.” He went on to say, “That is the equivalent of buying another 30,000-acre ranch without closing costs, additional taxes, or all the other associated overheads for less than $40 per acre when the prevailing land cost in that area for similar rangeland is about $800 per acre.” Although the client understood the possibilities, he decided not to go forward with the project.
Doug Ferguson, who lives in Nebraska and is a very active and outside-the-box contributor to the PCC Discussion Group, responded by saying, “Jim, I have spent several years studying the subconscious mind and paradigms – and how they affect our results. I’ll try to condense what I have learned.”
Doug went on to say, “What you ran into with the second rancher is called the Terror Barrier. He probably understood it, and gets it. So, what is stopping him? His old paradigm. The old paradigm is what keeps us from doing what we know we should do.
“The second rancher has the knowledge and you gave him a simple plan to follow. But then what I call the Monkey Mind kicks in. The monkey represents the old paradigm – and that monkey talks a lot. He’s going to put up one hell of a fight because he doesn’t want to be replaced by a different monkey.
“So, the monkey says things like: That’s a lot of money. How are you going to pay that off? What if there is a drought in a couple years and you have to destock? What are you going to do then? People will laugh at you because you spent all this money to increase stocking rate and you ended up destocking. You’ll never be able to show your face in public again.
“The monkey may go a different route. Fear of success: What if this works? If your stocking rate doubles, where are you going to get the stock? Can you afford to buy that many cows? That’s a big risk putting all those dollars out there.”
Doug concluded this part of his discourse by saying, “The second producer was on board and fired up right until the monkey started talking. Then he gets scared, hits the Terror Barrier and goes right back to his old paradigm – with results he is comfortable with.
“Paradigms are a multitude of habits. Habits are hard to change. That reminds me of a great quote that ties in with what Kit is always preaching, ‘In times of change, the learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists’”
It is not easy to replace the old monkey. It is a bit scary and a lot uncomfortable. Nevertheless, monkeys must be replaced every now and then if we want to achieve true happiness and success.
Quote Worth Re-Quoting –
“Let us not be content to wait and see what will happen, but give us the determination to make the right things happen.” ~ Horace Mann