At a recent Black History month celebration I was privileged to hear a wonderful speaker relate a few stories from his life and the cultural changes he has observed in the work place over the years.
He shared a story of Grandma taking the grandkids to a plantation to pick cotton. While family history is not my focus today, this is brilliant from a genealogical standpoint. Generational teachings aside, I believe there is a lesson for all of us from this loving grandmother.
I have never harvested cotton. I don’t know what it is like and I most certainly don’t pretend to know what it is like to be a slave or to suffer the burden of bondage from a taskmaster. Fortunately though, I’ve been fertilized by some “high grade manure.” I have had a chance to carry out tasks that are both unpleasant and beyond the threshold of comfort for most Americans. In every job there is a “rectal exam” – something not very glamorous – something you’d rather not do. These jobs contain valuable lessons – usually in hindsight. Today, I’m referring to such tasks as cotton picking.
I believe when it comes to being great at something , when it comes to being your very best, there are times when you must drive yourself. Your goals must become the taskmaster. Your goal must morph into a living breathing thing, so strict and without feeling that it compels your body to obey your very will. In other words, you force yourself to pick the day’s cotton.
THE CHALLENGE: What is your “cotton?” Is it hitting the snooze button on the alarm clock? Avoiding a phone call or email? Proper diet and exercise? Loving more? Forgiving? Being taken advantage of? Or is it simply mastering your craft? Identify an area in your life that you want to improve but continually procrastinate. Now, implement the following immediately: STOP BEING SO NICE TO YOURSELF! DEMAND MORE. DEMAND BETTER. DEMAND RESULTS. Stop giving yourself another chance or another tomorrow. Start picking cotton! There is a lot of acreage on whatever plantation you are avoiding. Get out and get to work. Get blisters. Get sunburned. Get lashed. Get hungry. Get thirsty. Get fatigue. Do this and you will get stronger. Get progress. Get results. Get paid. Get healthy. Get happy. Get what your heart desires!