Column: Ingredients for success

Published 5:00 am Sunday, September 5, 2021

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Country songwriter Tom. T. Hall might have been right when he sang that the three things in this life worth a solitary dime are “Old dogs, children and watermelon wine.” He died on August 20, 2021, and those three things found in the song have been on my mind ever since. To me they are a bonus in life.

I sang his song as I sat on the muddy banks of the Homochitto River on the opening day of Canada geese season. My hunt went like this: I killed more mosquitoes than I heard geese. A year ago, I would have been frustrated with the lack of action. Now, I have the joy of being in the outdoors, anything else is a bonus.

That morning made me think about the two ingredients you need to find success. I concluded a person should find joy and give optimum effort to have success I trekked through the woods to my car.

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The best advice I ever heard from my dad was this, “If you enjoy what you are doing, you will never work a day in your life.” This works with his other advice of “if you give your best effort then the rest will take care of itself.”

You can apply joy to work, sports, and the outdoors. If you want to have the best race, game, fishing trip, hunt or hike, you must first have joy while doing so.

Golf coach Khater Salomon, who spent some time working with kids at Duncan Park this summer, said the secret to never becoming a grumpy, old man was to have joy. Finding joy is the first key to success because joy is everlasting, and nothing can take it away

The second key to success is to give optimum effort. Optimum means utmost or best. Local coaches ask their players to give optimum effort in practice and games.

Even after Cathedral beat St. Aloysius 12-3 Thursday night, head coach Craig Beesley felt his team could do better at the plate. He is trying to get his team to give optimum effort and be mentally prepared, so they could be one of the best teams he has had, he said.

The biggest threat to growth is complacency. When you settle for average effort, you get average results. ACCS football coach David King addressed this at practice this week when he asked kids to give more of themselves to make the team better.

If you enjoy what you are doing, and give your best effort, then you have already succeeded. Because when you catch a fish, earn a raise at work or beat a personal record in exercise, it becomes a bonus in our life like “Old dogs, children and watermelon wine.”