The Fallow Times Can Be Fruitful Times Approach

People can sometimes experience a sense of flow when doing a stimulating piece of work or project. They enjoy setting specific goals, doing superb work and achieving success.

This is a process I have seen when working with positive individuals and teams. They have sense of purpose and work hard to achieve their picture of success.

Finishing can bring a great deal of satisfaction but it can be followed by a sense of emptiness. People had a reason to get up each day and they now want to fill this void. One person expressed this in the following way.

“I love working on a rewarding project. But after completing the job I sometimes go into the doldrums.

“I am then tempted to jump into the next project, even though it may not be too stimulating. Sometimes it takes ages to find a new project that is satisfying.”

Great workers sometimes experience fallow times. Let’s explore how it can be possible to make good use of such times.

The Fallow Times

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s work on flow showed how a person can become completely absorbed in an activity. He explained that people then have a sense of purpose and do stimulating work on the way to achieving their picture of success.

Reaching the goal is satisfying, but this can be followed by a sense of frustration. It may be difficult to find the next adventure where they will experience a sense of flow.

At these times it can be useful to remember the agricultural tradition of allowing a field to lie fallow. The pasture can rest, recover and become revitalised.

Some creative artists recognise the value of giving themselves permission to be fallow. Providing these times are used properly, fallow times can be fruitful times.

Making Good Use
Of The Fallow Times

People can be vulnerable during the fallow times. They may have completed a satisfying project, sold a company or fulfilled another dream.

Looking for a new sense of purpose, they can sometimes feel empty. They may feel a vacuum inside, but this can open the door to ensuring that such times becoming fruitful times. Bearing this in mind, sometimes it is important for a person to say:

“I am going to give myself permission to explore rather than strive to find the next project.”

Positive Influences
During The Fallow Times

People can be sensitive and open to many influences during the fallow times. They can therefore benefit by surrounding themselves with positive rather than negative influences. Exposing themselves to enriching experiences can sow the seeds of future growth.

Imagine that you are experiencing a fallow time. How can you surround yourself with positive influences? You may wish to sleep, spend time with kindred spirits, play your favourite music, study success or do other things.

Doing these things can feed your soul. They can sometimes increase the chances of serendipity happening. The definitions for serendipity include making desirable discoveries by accident or finding interesting or valuable things by chance.

There are many examples of serendipity. These describe a chance meeting, words remembered from a conversation, a flash of inspiration, a failed experiment or another event.

Some people aim to create the Holy Grail of serendipity but it can remain elusive. There are some things that people can do, however, to increase the chances of creating such moments.

Seeking Knowledge

This involves continuing to seek knowledge. It is to adopt a beginner’s mind, be curious and explore various fields. Sometimes serendipity happens when you make connections and see a possible way forwards.


This involves doing things you find stimulating. These include playing, exercising, listening to music, problem solving or doing things that give you positive energy.

These can activate your senses and lead to making discoveries. Sometimes this involves taking time to slow down

Slow Thinking

Carl Honoré, the author of In Praise of Slow, explained that we may need both fast thinking and slow thinking. Fast things often generates the pieces of the jigsaw. Sometimes slow thinking may be needed to make sense of the whole picture.

Taking these steps is no guarantee of creating breakthroughs, but they can increase the chances of serendipity. The next step is to translate the insight into action.

Moving On From The
Fallow Times To Flow

People who surround themselves with enriching experiences often find that a stimulating project emerges. Some may be cautious, however, and wonder if the new project is the right thing to do.

They wonder if they will recapture their previous sense of purpose. There is no perfect answer to these questions. When looking at the stimulating project that emerges, it can be useful for them to consider the following themes.

Will doing the project give me positive energy? Will doing it give me a chance to follow my personal or professional principles? Will doing it help people or the planet?

If the answers are “Yes,” it can be useful to seize the opportunity. The touchstone is whether or not it gives them positive energy.

Making good use of the fallow times increases the chances of choosing a stimulating project. Embarking on the adventure, they can then flow, focus and finish.

If you wish, try tackling the exercise on this theme. This invites you to describe the specific things you can do make good use of the fallow times.

Be Sociable, Share!

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>