Stepping out of the gutter

23 03 2016

“There have been so many people who have said to me, ‘You can’t do that’, but I’ve had an innate belief that they were wrong.  Be unwavering and relentless in your approach.” ~ Halle Berry

In 9th grade, as I was shoveling more than my share of cow poop in the barn, I was distracted by a noise in the rafters, and slipped into the gutter that I was shoveling.  That disgusting moment was when I decided that I was done with the farm, Taberg NY, poverty and trailer parks.  The following summer, I moved in with my Aunt and Uncle, went to a Magnet High School in suburban Washington DC, and set the course to be the first in my family to get a college degree.  Then I enlisted during a war to pay my college debt, and later used the GI bill for further education.  There were plenty of times I was scared, or wanted to quit, but I pressed on, and haven’t shoveled cow poop since.

Leaders, there will be a time when you decide to accomplish some BHAG, and people will tell you that it can’t be done.  They’ll say that the current way that it’s always been done is good enough, or tell you a bunch of reasons why you’re crazy for even trying.  You may even try a few times, and hit setbacks or roadblocks that make you think of quitting.  At those times, it’s important to think back to that moment where you decided to go for it, and find more inspiration.  So, when you’re standing calf deep in proverbial cow poop, and decide to change your stars, be sure to look around and remember that moment.  Internalize the sights, the smells (or stinks) and just the whole situation.  Because when you hit those obstacles, looking back to that moment just might give you the extra energy you need to push on to success.

Speaking of belief (and cows)…


Rubes cartoons used with permission.




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