COMMENT ON THIS STORY BY WENDY LAMBOURNE, LEGITIMATE LEADERSHIP: There is nothing wrong with wanting a positive outcome. But the outcome is out of our hands because the result in any case is a function of extraneous factors outside of our control (luck always plays a part) – as well as what is done by those who contribute to the result. But contribution, unlike the result, is absolutely within our control. So focus on what you do and do the best you can. Dedicate yourself to something worthwhile and let the outcome take care of itself. Gary Player, a South African golfer, knew this when he responded to a comment that he was “so lucky”. “The harder I practice the luckier I get,” he said. I suspect Emma Raducanu (current US Open tennis champion) feels the same way – “I came to play tennis, I love to compete.” Perhaps her parents had a version of “Cows don’t give milk, you have to work for it”.
THE STORY: A father used to say to his children when they were young, “When you all reach the age of 12, I will tell you the secret of life.”
One day when the oldest turned 12, he anxiously asked his father what the secret of life was. The father replied that he was going to tell him, but that he should not reveal it to his brothers.
“The secret of life is this: the cow does not give milk.”
“What are you saying?” asked the boy incredulously.
“As you hear it, son: the cow does not give milk, you have to milk it. You have to get up at 4 in the morning, go to the field, walk through the corral full of manure, tie the tail, hobble the legs of the cow, sit on the stool, place the bucket and do the work yourself.
“That is the secret of life, the cow does not give milk. You milk her or you don’t get milk. This generation thinks that cows GIVE milk. That things are automatic and free: their mentality is that if ‘I wish, I ask … I obtain’.
“They have been accustomed to getting whatever they want the easy way. But no, life is not a matter of wishing, asking and obtaining. The things that one receives are from the effort of what one does. Happiness is the result of effort. Lack of effort creates frustration.”
So, share with your children from a young age the secret of life, so they don’t grow up with the mentality that the government, their parents, or their cute little faces are going to give them everything they need in life.
Cows don’t give milk, you have to work for it.