Focus on the Here and Now

By Riley Smith, NALJA Secretary

More times than I can keep track of, I have been caught asking myself, “Does what I am currently doing even have any meaning towards where I want to be in the future?” If you know me, you know I have a mental plan to go back home and continue to grow our family farm after I finish college. I want to start my own cowherd, start renting and farming some of my own land, make my own hay, and live at my own place. I know I have a long way to go before I arrive at that destination, because there is so much more I need to learn. But some days when I sit inside the classroom, I lose track of what the professor is talking about and get this feeling of, “I could do something more relevant right now.”

Naturally, as a 20-year-old male, I feel like I already have enough knowledge to be successful on my own, and I find myself wanting to go home to start doing my own thing. But when I really think about it, the many valuable lessons I learned growing up continue to help me every day, and I know there’s much more I have yet to learn.

My high school teachers taught me the importance of diversified learning, at football practice I learned that being strong and being smart are two totally different things, but they can both come in handy, and my dad taught me how working slowly can end up being faster in the end. As young adults I think we get caught up in what we want to have in ten years, rather than focusing on where we are now and what we need to do to get there.

Looking back, without taking the initiative to attend college eight hours from home, I would have missed out on things like traveling across the country on a livestock judging team, getting to know the president of Oklahoma Farm Bureau, and living and working on a university farm. I challenge you to sit back with a positive mindset and think of how the small things you’ve completed in the past have helped you attain the big things you now possess. Keep an end goal in mind and put your nose down and work on the things you need to do to get there! 

“Blessed is everyone who fears the Lord, who walks in his ways! You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands; you shall be blessed, and it shall be well with you.” Psalm 128: 1-2

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