Tuesday, November 15th, I had the privilege to travel to Dawson, Minnesota to help present Mrs. Lund with her Honorary American FFA Degree. The experience was amazing. Everyone in attendance got to see just how big of an impact and how important she was to Minnesota FFA as she is our State Band Director. I arrived fully expecting to hear a band concert, but instead, I had the opportunity to listen to the Jr. High and Sr. High orchestra. I thought this was amazing because my high school didn’t have an orchestra. It was amazing to hear the difference just a few years of practice made between the two orchestras. The amount of growth those students had shown was astounding to me. Those individuals stayed in that orchestra as long as they could to help them grow as musicians and as people (even if they didn’t realize the second part).
All of us have to grow as individuals. Whether we like it or not, it’s a fact of life if we want to go anywhere. I’ve helped prepare myself for my future by taking a job at the SDSU Meats Lab. While working there, I’ve learned how to sanitize coolers, harvest the animals, and break them down into steaks, chops, and roasts. Of course with work, there are days I don’t want to go in or that I think I should be doing homework instead of working, but that has helped me grow. Working there has given me practical knowledge of how to run a meat locker, but also how to manage my time and prioritize tasks. If I wouldn’t have taken the job there, I wouldn’t know how to butcher livestock and I also wouldn’t be keeping track of assignments and work hours in a planner.
We have to grow in many ways, seen and unseen. We have to become educated, be accepting, develop a work ethic, and develop a plan for our life. To be able to grow we have to push ourselves as hard or as little as we want. My high school football coach would say to us every practice, “I want you to leave practice 1% better than you were when you started.” 1% isn’t a lot if you really think about it, but if you apply that to your life, that would make you 365% better than when you started the year. That is an astounding leap from one year to the next!
There is a great quote that perfectly embodies this, “There is no growth in the comfort zone, and no comfort in the growth zone.” Pushing yourself to grow and achieve more won’t always be easy. However, it will always be worth it. If you start pushing yourself in the morning to grow in the way you want, you will be amazed at just how much you’ve changed in a week, month, and year. Just 1% a day isn’t a lot to ask for, but the things you accomplish by growing 1% will amaze you.
Clay NewtonStationed by the Emblem of Washington