Do you have a favorite quote? I have many and I hear new ones all the time that motivate and inspire me. I even chose one word for 2018 to remind me of my goals and to stay on course. More about that in a later post though. For now I want to focus on the Persistence quote from Calvin Coolidge. It hangs on the wall in our office and has become a family quote and mantra.
It helps me to read the quote now and again to remind myself that I reached earlier goals through hard work, persistence and determination. I do believe that to live a fulfilling life you must be willing to push forward even when things seem hard or unattainable. In those moments sometimes I just repeat to myself “persistence and determination; persistence and determination” and it gets me back on my game.
This quote seems ever so relevant in production agriculture. I am sure there are many other industries that can relate as well but agriculture is what I know. Farming is more than a career choice it is a way of life. Any of you who have married into the farming life know this first hand. I think that it is actually harder to marry into farming than be born into it. The working hours are ridiculous and totally unthinkable if you grew up living in a family with 9 am – 5 pm; 5 days a week jobs. In production agriculture, the work must be done when the calendar and the weather give you the opportunity or you miss it completely. For most families there is no scheduling events, you just have to work around the farm. I can see where this is foreign to most Americans. 7 days a week from daylight until dark until the job is completed or it rains; these are the hours. Farm kids understand this all too well but they also know when it rains they get a whole day of fun! I can remember my Dad taking me swimming in the middle of the week and there wasn’t another Dad at the pool! I also remember my Dad standing in the back of the school auditorium covered in dust or hydraulic oil or whatever the day had thrown on him. I knew to look in the back and he would wave and be out the door before the crowd. It’s not that the farm is more important than the family; It’s that the family IS the farm.
A good analogy of persistence and determination is in the seeds we plant and nurture. One tiny rice seed is planted into the soil under what we hope are best conditions. The seed must establish a root and the shoot or what we think of as the plant in short order or risk rotting in the soil. Depending on the type of grain length planted, this tiny seed measures 5.5 mm to 7.5 mm in length. They pack a powerful amount of vigor to do the job they were made to do. This little guy must achieve his goals one step at a time. The first goal is to push out of the soil and see the sun! That is just its first amazing accomplishment for the season.
Look around your daily life and find examples of persistence which have given you the rewards you were seeking. I am sure they are there! Be mindful and grateful for those small pieces of strength that show up in you. I don’t mean you have an award on the wall for these things (or you might!) but that you accomplished a goal. Heck it may be that you are a Mom and you got through the day without getting frustrated with your child. Maybe you crossed some things off your to do list at work that have been there for months. The planter ran all day without a single problem. Be present in these accomplishments so you have the energy and motivation to stay or BECOME persistent and determined to reach your goals. You may be like the tiny rice seed that pushes through the layers of soil to grow and flourish and reach your goals and dreams one step at a time!