Hearing these words for the first time as a high school senior was a misfortune to the 18 years of my life that had happened in its absence. How you do something is how you do everything. Although a pretty self explanatory phrase, a lot of the secrets to progress can be revealed through its words. How you do something is how you do everything. It means that even at your weakest moments, when you have not the resources or the motivation. When you feel that everyone around you is somehow better than you, or in the odd case that you are in fact the best of the best, your actions are setting the precedent for your future. Every move you create and decision you make is defining you in some way or another.
As ya’ll have probably found out, understanding deep and powerful quotes is one of my favorite things to do. One quote that complements the previous one to a T comes from our esteemed 26th president of the United States. He said “do what you can, with what you’ve got, where you are.” Coming from a former cowboy, veteran, 2 time president, Nobel Prize winner and one of the finest products of our nation, TR was trying to tell his audience on that day that no matter where you are it is your efforts, not your situation, that defines you. It is what you pour into a task, people, and your show projects that determine your ROI (return on investment).
What we lose sight of is that, as an industry, we are only here so that our youth can leave this experience better than when they found it. How they feed their hogs in the morning is a direct reflection of how they walk them that evening and how they will perform when the lights are on them in the show ring. Similarly, how they push themselves to progress in this industry is a direct reflection of how they will one day keep up in the career field that they choose. Consider the showman a baseball. Who they are when they’re least motivated is the backstop for their decline in progress. No matter how many times that pitch gets past the catcher, the backstop will always catch it. Your discipline works the same way. When the task at hand is too much work for your lack of motivation to push through, the disciplines that you have set will back you up. How a showman pushes themselves with low quality calves in the barn is not going to change when they have a cool room and a few thousand more dollars worth of steers. I would venture to say that if a showman can’t get passionate about moving from 15th in class to 11th, then a blue ribbon or a purple banner will be of little significance. The defining moments of my show career, along with so many others, have happened after 1am, on 100 plus degree days, or when there were a hundred other better things to do, but there was still no place we would’ve rather been.