One summer I worked detasselling corn. What this meant is that we would be up before dawn, get on a school bus and ride from corn field to corn field, pulling the tassels off the stalks of corn row by row, field by field for hours upon hours each day. You would start out cold and get soaked by dew while getting scratched and cut by the the leaves on the stalks and you would end up hot, grimy and exhausted by the end of the day. You’d finish a row turn around and do the next one row by row until each field was done, then you’d climb on the bus and head to the next field and start again. It was tedious, mind-numbing and tiring work, but it taught me some valuable lessons.
First, work can be tedious and mind-numbing, yet still grow you if you take the opportunity and use it to build mental toughness and discipline. Too often, we neglect the mundane and miss out on things that can make us better. Second, when facing a long tedious day, you can either embrace it and seek to use it as an opportunity to improve your patience or discipline or you can lean away from it and trudge slowly through it.
Finally, there is no shortcut, so you might as well get up and take each step, one by one until you finish your day. If you attack the repetitive one step at a time, before you know it, you will be finished. If you go stalk to stalk, Tassel to Tassel, eventually you finish, but if you try to go field by field, many times you won’t even start. So today, as you encounter the mundane, remember, you have a choice…my advice? Move from stalk to stalk and pull the next tassel in front of you.