Less Is More

Less is MoreMuch more dangerous than failure is success.

With success comes loss.

There is a loss of striving to reach the goal.

After the empire is built, then what?

Last week, in the course of a three-hour conversation with an empire builder, he was most proud of one story.

It was not about the treasures of the empire — it was about the joy of doing. The story epitomizes the essence of this Universal Principle: the fun is in the doing.

As his eyes danced back to the memory of a time long ago, he spoke of a harvest. Earlier in the conversation he had briefly mentioned the juggling act of doing the seeding — in and around the other duties, of caring for his cows. His first love is the livestock — he farms to care for them.

He smiled as he reminisced about an accomplishment only a few can appreciate. As a member of his club, I enjoyed the verbal portrait he presented. It was one of a cowboy, a combine (without a cab and with a 14’ header), a small straight truck, 320 acres of 20 bushel wheat, and 11 days.

Just imagine hot August days — with hardly a breath of air — sitting in the open on a bouncing seat, above the spinning reel of the header, as it sweeps the standing stalks into the cutting bar. The moving aprons catch the fallen individual stems — with heads of grain — and gently rolls them to the center of the combine.

This continuous river of wheat flows under the driver into the threshing cylinder at his back. More dust and more roar, as metal fingers pluck wheat kernels from heads of grain. A cowboy, a combine, and a cloud of dust creep back and forth through the field.

The field is 320 acres. That’s one mile long and half a mile wide. A mile is the equivalent of 5,280 feet. With the combine traveling at two miles per hour, two trips across the field can be made in one hour. Each swath measures 14’ across. Since the cowboy, the combine and a cloud of dust have 2,640 feet (one-half of a mile) to traverse, that’s about 200 trips back and forth across the field.

Two trips per hour, nine hours per day, for eleven days was the time required on a bouncing seat, in the heat of August, through a fog of chaff, for our cowboy to earn the right to tell his story. In addition to the time in the driver’s seat, effort was also required to grease, fuel, and repair the iron beast. That was done throughout the stops to unload each hopper of grain into the truck for transport to the bin.

Short story — long lesson: the fun is in the doing.

Really?! Eleven days of slogging through the discomfort of heat, dust and itch. Fun? Yes! Because, the accomplishment — of a harvest — is the “Ribbons and Bows” around the planning and preparation that transforms thought into action.

Actions accumulate into a manifestation of success — the treasures of an empire. The stuff will come and go. The legacy will last, forever.

The legacy is, simply, to say little and do much. A little bit of verbiage can be powerful — by speaking only the truth. Yet, actions speak so much louder than words.

By giving our best, each and every day, we honor those pioneers of long ago — and, encourage the beneficiaries of tomorrow, to discover their own path to destiny.

www.kimfoard.com

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