Throwing My Loop…
By: Michael Johnson
DON’T GIVE UP!
Easy to say – a bit more
difficult to do. To hang in there when it’s rough, I mean.
It’s hard not to give up considering the trials we sometimes
face, now isn’t it? During our time on earth, we deal with
disappointment, tragedy, loss of loved ones, divorce,
injury, and illness, just to name a few. I was reminiscing
with an old cowboy once, and I’ll never forget a statement
he made. “I can tell you about life, son,” he said. “I can
tell you all about life.” I leaned forward waiting, and he
said, “Life is just one dang thing after another.”
So is there a valid reason for us to continue
– to not yield? Absolutely. In fact, there are many.
There is a key to finding those reasons. It all begins with
one thing. One of the best actions we can take for
ourselves – and those we love – is to develop a particular
skill and/or ability we might call “resiliency,” or
“perseverance,” or “mental strength.” While we are learning
about arithmetic, reading, spelling, and geography, and life
in general, it would be most helpful to learn about “try,”
and what that word really means. The bad news is you will
probably have to learn this on your own, as it is not taught
anywhere from first grade through Ph.D. (Ain’t that a
shame.) I can only help you a bit because I’m still
learning about “it” myself. Not knowing a lot about a
subject however, has never prevented me from giving advice
on the matter, so here is Life Lesson 101…
We all know what success is, right? It’s about having
a good job or a lot of money, it’s about hitting the
baseball most often or the greatest distance, or it’s about
making the game winning shot, or roping the fastest, right?
How about being a famous actor? It’s about success!
Isn’t it? You know, I’m beginning to wonder.
If we look at things a bit differently, it’s not about
success at all. It’s about dealing with failure. And since
most of us are good at failing, that’s something we can all
do, right? So don’t think me silly here, but if we get
really good at failing – and we don’t give up
– wonder what might happen? Read on…
Truth is Pete Rose was the best career hitter ever.
Truth also is Pete made the most outs. Babe Ruth hit 714
home runs, but he struck out 1330 times. Nolan Ryan struck
out more people than anybody, but he walked more batters
than anyone in the history of baseball. Michael Jordan says
he missed the game-winning shot far more than he ever made
it. Most all actors go on hundreds and hundreds of
auditions before they ever get a part. Because of failure,
all seasoned ropers eventually learn they must be smooth
instead of fast. Fast (or “good”) only comes after
failure. We have to make a handful - a large handful - of
mistakes to arrive at something sublime.
I’m not just playing a numbers game about famous people
here. For over thirty years, I have been interviewing
successful business owners who started from scratch. When I
ask them how they did it, guess what every single one of
those entrepreneurs tell me? They tell me about all their
Bull riders buck off more than not. Hall of Fame
hitters fail 7 of 10 times. The most famous quarterbacks
only complete half their passes, actors are rejected more
than accepted…but all of them keep on!
But of all those examples, I am the best.
In my lifetime, I have taken academics very seriously
(okay, not always). I have taken work seriously, golf
seriously, roping, horse training, writing, and cooking very
seriously. Yet in all that time, if I’m honest (this hurts
a bit) I have never had a success. Never was a star at the
office, never won a big tournament or a big roping (almost
did, but we know what that counts…nada), never wrote a best
seller, and don’t have my own cooking show. And what did
all that effort get me? Why should I keep on? Because…
The Lord allowed me to marry a good woman who loves me
like my mother did, a good dog who would give his life for
me, my wife, or either grandchild, three horses who would
run all day if I only asked, and we all live on the farm we
dreamed of as children. He gave me the best friends in the
world, and wood ducks on my pond. All that and not one
single success on my part – all that after a lifetime of
what some would call failure. See, I got good at it. That
failure thing I mean.
“Most of the important things
in the world have been accomplished by people who kept on
trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.”
-- Dale Carnegie
“Never give up. And never, under any circumstances, face
-- Ruth Gordon
Amen to that.
Ed. Note: In January of 2012,
RFD-TV’s All Around Performance Horse TV, and Roping and
Riding with Tyler Magnus, will broadcast the first embedded
segment of The Advice Barn, a viewer call-in show hosted by
Dr. Harry Anderson, with featured guests, Dr. Michael
Johnson, and Dr. J. D. Norris.
The Advice Barn is sponsored by Total Feeds, Inc. maker of
Total Equine, Dr. Harry Anderson’s creation of an
all-purpose feed designed for the horse. Total Feeds, Inc.
sold thousands of tons of Total Equine last year.