Bernie Anderson
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the blog

Current musings, whatever they may be. 

The Hard Work of Ploughing (why I was never Neil Schon)

It's funny how often agricultural analogies apply to life. Few are still farmers. In fact, many of us struggle to grow house plants.

Oddly enough - ancient wisdom like this still make sense.

The sluggard does not plough in autumn; he will seek at harvest and have nothing.
— Proverbs 20:4

This is a nugget of ancient wisdom that came through as real to me the other day.

When I was 13 years old, I dreamed of being a rock star. I would imagine myself playing amazing music in front of thousands - while listening to the stadium bands of the early 80's (Fleetwood Mac and Journey, being a couple of favorites). I had a classical guitar, and would "fake play" along with the "Wheel in the Sky" and imagine playing lightening riffs and bending notes to make the world go "aaaah".

But 13-year-old me was a sluggard. I wanted the harvest of everything that comes with being the next Neil Schon or Lindsey Buckingham (I wasn't a fan of Eddie Van Halen, who was quite popular at the time - much to the chagrin of many classmates). I wasn't all that interested in ploughing though. Ploughing meant learning scales and bar chords and timing - and playing badly for possibly a very long time.

Really Hard Work

Haven't seen Journey live since Steve Perry left. Did See Fleetwood Mac live again a few years ago. Their ploughing definitely paid off.

It's common in our results-oriented age. We want fruit without the hard work. We want a harvest, but ploughing a field in the fall seems almost counter-intuitive. How's that really going to help?

Besides, ploughing is really hard work.
It's unglamorous.
Nobody sees you ploughing.
Nobody cares.

But it's essential.

I'm currently setting aside time to do essential ploughing in three very specific areas.

Reading. Writing. Thinking.

What about you? Where do you need to do the hard work of ploughing in order to reap the results you desire?

We can plough. Or we can dream. One is labor. The other is lazy. The choice is ours.

(To close my personal guitar loop - I eventually did take the time to learn bar-chords and a few scales and get better at timing. "World-class Guitarist" wasn't in the cards for me - I didn't plough for it. But I do still enjoy picking up the instrument. I do still appreciate the work of the real masters.)