In our world of instant everything; the latest book downloaded in seconds, instant chat, instant mail, movies at our fingertips, taking the long view is not always popular. We have become impatient because we have too much instant access and now that this phenomenon has penetrated every aspect of our daily lives we have come to expect it. The problem is not all things in life are instantaneous. Some things like a business have to be built over time. In ranching taking the long view is even more of a reality than other businesses. So often we have to do things today that will not produce benefits until a year down the road, two or twenty. Many ranchers sacrifice their lives in order to build a business for future generations. This philosophy doesn't bode well in our modern world with its "right now this second" attitude.
I am a proud offender of this mindset so I do not cast stones. Building a ranching business has taught me patience. It has taught me all about the long view and time. Time goes much slower in the Agricultural world and we have to honor it's unique timeframe. I still like "instant things" but I have learned that many good things come to those who wait. Building a real business takes time and sacrifice. Most successful people have to pay their dues no matter how many "instant rich" stories we may hear. Perseverance along with an optimistic attitude gets us to our goals.
When I see the statistics surrounding young people choosing a career in Agriculture I cringe. It isn't happening and I have no idea what the future is going to look like because of it. I know from personal experience that this work is not easy, you don't become the next Facebook billionaire and it isn't very exciting to most people but it also has a lot of rewards. Feeding Americans is an honorable endeavor and I hope more young people will embrace this path in the future and give it a go. No business is easy if the person running it is honest, and no sustainable business is built in a day. It all requires a long view and patience. Despite the sacrifices, when the day is over and I sit and watch the young calves scamper and play with their mothers quietly eating nearby, I feel good. It is a feeling that can't be bought, downloaded or borrowed. It is mine. I own it just like the dirt underneath my fingernails.
As you go through your busy lives, take time out, do something slow, something you can dig your teeth into. Look at your life through the lens of the "long view" and plan for something that you have to achieve down the road. It will feel good to have a goal, to have something to believe in, something to watch grow!
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