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Milking 2021 for all it’s worth

Published on 31 December 2020

Every January brings another round of new beginnings and wishes for what the year ahead will bring. While New Year’s resolutions may not be for everyone, a new year is another opportunity to reset our goals and evaluate how far we have come in the past year.

A piece of wisdom I am basing some of my goals for the next year on comes from the author Promod Batra.

Batra tells the story of a young boy and his father. The father has promised to enlighten the boy on his secret to success when the boy becomes 13 years old. On his 13th birthday, the boy eagerly tells his father he is ready to hear the secret to his success.

The father pauses, then states, “Cows don’t give their milk.”

The son is confused by the simple fact and asks his father to explain. The father goes on to say that the cow does not walk up to the barn and deposit her milk in the pail next to the door twice a day. Instead, the boy must walk to the pasture, lead the cow back to the barn, tie up her tail and spend the time milking her twice a day to ensure his family has milk.

In order to ensure that she continues to produce, she needs to be fed and watered, and have all her needs tended to daily. The point the father was trying to make to the son was that although technically the family had milk because of the cow, without the hard work of the boy, the family would not have any.

This illustration brings two ideas to mind each time I read it. The first is the more obvious idea that prosperity is only achieved through effort.

Wealth and success are bestowed upon those who are willing to put the physical work and time into an endeavor. Along with hard work, good fortune is a component of prosperity. The work ethic to try again after failing and continue to try until one is successful is an important factor in determining prosperity, but without effort, prosperity will never truly be the outcome.

The second idea this illustration suggests is the realization that the son was already doing the work, but he had become so accustomed to the fruits of his labor that he no longer viewed it as an accomplishment. The boy cared for and milked the cow each day because it was part of his daily chores, but from that day forward he took a certain amount of pride in his work. The milk would not be there if it weren’t for his efforts to bring it to the table.

As we go into the new year, I encourage you to think of the boy and the milk cow. Hard work and effort are what producers pride themselves on in the field. Producing a crop year after year, dealing with the conditions they are dealt by Mother Nature is not possible without a large amount of effort, but what other tools are at your disposal that with effort could become a prosperous endeavor? Are there any cows in your pasture that haven’t been milked lately?

Secondly, take the time to reflect on your efforts of last year. What have you become accustomed to that you should take more pride in? While goal planning and new desires are important, reflecting on the year and taking pride in what you were able to accomplish is well deserved and oftentimes not appreciated enough by forward-thinking individuals.

A new year will bring a much-needed fresh start to a world that is ready to move on from this year, so relish in the fact it is here, and be proud of what you were able to accomplish in the craziness that was 2020.  end mark

Joy Hendrix
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