The first ingredient of good soil is work ethic. This trait doesn’t come naturally and is almost always developed through resistance. I will never forget moving to the farm when I was seven years old. I was so excited about exploring the 70 acres of land, fishing and swimming in the lakes, building forts, and riding my three wheeler on the gas line. What I didn’t realize was just how much work I would be doing on the farm. Every single day I would get off the school bus after school and go to work in the chicken houses with my grandmother. It was only after completing my work on the farm and school homework that I was allowed to play. I was far from spoiled, as an only child, I begged my parents to have more children so that I could have some help on the farm. There were times when I resented my life on the farm and was jealous of my friends that didn’t have to work. However, as I look back on my upbringing, I am so thankful for the work ethic that my parents and grandparents instilled in me. On the farm, you did whatever it took to get the job done. This was reinforced during my military career as we had to do whatever it took to accomplish the mission. Even if that meant no sleep or food for extended periods of time. There were no short cuts and laziness was not an option. We are all familiar with the sayings “no pain, no gain” and “early to bed, early to rise, makes one healthy, wealthy and wise.” As a child I had to learn to overcome my desire to sit idle, play video games, or sit in front of a TV eating potato chips. I believe work ethic is 100% taught at a young age or birthed out of a desire to get out of painful circumstances in later years. Whether you are a parent wanting to develop work ethic in your child or for yourself, it is important to understand the following:
– It will be met with resistance
– You must do whatever it takes to overcome the natural desire to sit idle or be lazy (wake up every morning asking Jesus to give you the strength to get though this day and tell yourself “laziness is not an option.” I challenge you to do this one thing for 180 days and see how it changes your life.)
– Establish disciplines and accountability to eliminate or minimize habits that are not productive (examples – we got rid of cable and don’t turn our TV on between Monday and Friday; we limit the amount of time we spend on social media and we don’t play video games.)
My Disclaimer: I will share a lot of things I’ve learned over the years that will help you lead others, but it’s impossible to master enough principles to completely get on top of life, we were designed to need God; walk with Him daily, learn to hear His Voice, and He will direct your path.