Lexi: “Hey Mom?”
Me: “Yes, Lexi.”
Lexi: “So how do you think we are going to do tomorrow?”
Me: “Well, I don’t know. Its a big show, but she looks good.”
Lexi: “I think she looks really good… Good night mom.”
a few minutes later….
Lexi: “Hey Mom?”
Me: “Yes, Lexi.”
Lexi: “Can we go over the plan, just one more time?”
Me: “Yup, we are going to get there at 5 am, clean her up, work hair, feed, and start fitting at 7 am.” “Lexi, we have to get some sleep.”
Lexi: “I know. I just wanted to know the plan again. Good night mom.”
Me: “Good night Lexi.”
a few minutes later….
Lexi: “Hey Mom?”
Me: “Lexi we have to get some sleep….”
Lexi: “I know, but Deb and Shelby know when to be there to help fit, right?”
Me: “Yes. I just talked to Shelby.” “You really want this don’t you?”
Lexi: “Yes Mom, its my Princess!”
Me: “Good night baby, girl.”
It was the night before the Missouri AGR Show, and Lexi and I were attempting to get some sleep. All the excitement of this big show, all the snapchats and text messages from Lexi’s show friends, the anticipation of the possible outcome of the show, coupled with the overnight hotel stay, made my 10 year old girl restless. When I finally got her into bed and quiet, the above dialogue of questions began. This is pretty routine for Lexi. She talks non-stop about the most random things. Brock and I laugh quite often, as she randomly talks about her friends, Maggie and Josie, or tells some off the wall story that Charm or Princess did. We fondly refer to her being in “Lexi Land”. But when she gets alone and quiet, the real questions, thoughts, or conversations begin. Daniel Levitin, author of The Organized Mind, indicates that since 1986, we now take in 5 times the amount of data a day! This is the equivalent of reading 7 newspapers cover to cover. Thats a lot of information for our brain! Therefore, when we are alone without distractions of our cell phone and life, we begin to actually think and process. I admit, I am the same way. Just ask my mom. When I was a kid, my best time to think (and still is) is when I am in the shower. My poor mom would be called to the bathroom while I was showering with the “Hey Mom!” just like my Lexi does to me…. apple don’t fall far from the tree. Now that I don’t live with my mom anymore, Lexi and Brock randomly get called to the shower so I can share with them, my ideas. Those ideas expressed and the conversations, are all fueled by our desire to advance in something. Its our drive. Our Passions.
Passion is a flame that burns within each of us with such an intense heat that it glows. That passion cannot be altered by discouragement, sickness, or just plain bad luck. In fact, passion is what drives your enthusiasm, and gives you the want and need to get out of bed every morning. Have you ever noticed that some people just seem to always get more done, have more success, and always seem to surface to the top? Whats more, is they make it look so easy… Some people say, “Well, they are just lucky.” To be truthful, it is not luck. But it is passion. We are not talking about finding the random heads up quarter. In my perspective, passion gives you energy, excitement, and motivation. When all those are occurring in harmony with each other, this is when opportunities arise. Those people that “Seem lucky” probably aren’t as lucky as they appear. If we were to follow their daily routines, I bet we would find a solid daily regimen that “sets the stage” for the success that we see. Like my family always reminds each other, when the going gets tough, “You work for what you have.”
Success does NOT equal passion. No doubt, success is the end goal and we all define success in different ways. However, passion is the joy of the journey to reaching success. In the case of showing cattle, many kids love to “show”. They love to grab the show halter and lead the heifer into the ring, smile at the judge, and pull into the first place position and ultimately stand at the champion picture backdrop. What many kids lack is the passion to do the work to get the heifer to that level, and then take the heifer home and go back to work just like they never won the show, and prepare for the next one. Many of these kids love to show, but they fail to learn the key life lesson that showing cattle teaches our kiddos. The goal setting and work ethic components among many others are two of the key lessons showing cattle teaches that are needed to be a successful adult. Young or old, everyone should have goals. Once one goal is achieved, the next one should already be established and steps to achieving that goal outlined. A roadmap made. After my family and I earned the National Champion Shorthorn Bull honors, I was already working on my next goal. I was asked, “When is enough ever going to be enough for you, Michele?” I looked at this person like they were INSANE. I don’t understand that language. Without goals, how do you continue to prosper throughout your life? You don’t. You become stagnant. This is a mistake many people have. It is like they set a goal, achieve it, and then decide they are the best. They have done enough to get to the top and they will always be at the top. That one banner has proven themselves to be the best and everyone should see how good they are. Ride the gravy train of success. This is not passion. They may enjoy what they are doing, but it is not passion.
For many, an individuals passion is the avenue taken to achieve a stronger, internal goal. It is the avenue to make a living and a solid life for their family. For some, their jobs and careers are their passions. For others, their passion may not be their job, but an activity that couples as relationship building time for their family. Whatever the case, passion should give each person a sense of happiness and fulfillment. It should be something they love and spend time researching and become an expert in that area. When watching Lexi with her cattle, there is no doubt, she loves to show. If you ever have the chance to watch her, you can tell it is her passion. On the morning of the Missouri AGR Show, she was up at 4 am. packed and ready for the day and set her alarm for 4:50 am, because she knew it would take 10 minutes to get from the hotel to the fairgrounds. She worked hair, helped feed, and had the supplies organized so we had everything we needed to get her heifer ready. She doesn’t just do this at the show, she works daily before and after school on her cattle. But when you ask Lexi what her life goals are, she will be quick to tell you that she is not going to show cattle her entire life and she will attend Oklahoma State University, judge livestock and get a degree in Agriculture Business and work as an agricultural engineer. Yup, she has a plan. I am sure it may change, but as a mother, you always ask yourself, am I raising my child right? The good Lord knows, I have made my share of mistakes and I will make more. But I am confident that I am doing one thing right. Lexi shows me daily that she understands the value of hardwork and following her heart and her passion. Passion drives each member of my family. Its the spark in each of our eyes, the source of our ambition, and our key to happiness. Whats yours?