>The darkness of the morning began to disappear behind the warm rays of the sun peaking on the horizon. The sound of calf blowers began to echo in the morning silence. Aromas of “Zoom Bloom” and other aerosol fumes saturated the air.
The age was 8-years-old; the stature was 4’0”; the mass was 50 pounds; the title was Gila-Cliff Dwellers 4-H Club Cloverbud; and the name was Shannon.
Nervous and excited, I walked into the beef cattle barn at the Grant County Fairgrounds, and led my first show heifer to her feed bucket. Today was show day. On the way to the show ring, my mind was racing through all of the tips and tricks of showing heifers. However, the only thing I could remember was my dad’s favorite piece of advice, “Shannon, when you hear a rock whiz by your ear…You know to get that heifer’s head up!”
My father’s advice would prove to be more beneficial and useful than a possible headache if my arm got lazy. Instead, the simple words embodied the idea that to truly become the best we can be, often times, we need that “whizzing” reminder to encourage us to pay attention to how well we are living our lives. When we hold ourselves accountable for every action and continue to strive to do better, we build an infrastructure to achieve our infinite potential. However, the construction never stops. When we make the most out of our potential, we must continually search for ways to improve ourselves so we can better serve others.
When we hear the word achievement, what is the first thing that comes to mind… plaques on the wall, trophies in the case, ribbons on a nail, or titles on a piece of paper? More times than not, we think about a physical award that signifies our endeavors rather than recognizing invaluable personal growth that can be developed along the way.
During FFA Week, we as FFA members have had a unique opportunity to help others achieve their own infinite potential. Service activities this week have been endless! You may have hosted an agricultural or FFA awareness day, read to an Elementary student, coached a little league baseball team, picked up trash along the side of the highway, or volunteered at a soup kitchen. Consider how to continue modeling an example of service while striving each day to help someone else, and enjoy endless opportunities to utilize premier leadership, personal growth, and career success long after FFA Week is over.
Don’t wait for a “whizzing” reminder to be the best that you can be. Continue working toward making the most of your abilities by serving others. Each constructive step you take will be one more stride closer achieving your own infinite potential!
Shannon Norris is the 2010-2011 National FFA Western Region Vice President. She is a member of the Cliff FFA chapter in Cliff, New Mexico. She is currently attending New Mexico State University where she studies agricultural education and animal science.