7 Things You Learn When You Step in Crap

Cows, unlike people, aren’t shy about doing their ‘business’ in broad daylight. I saw a lot of cow manure when I was growing up. I shoveled a lot too. Occasionally, I stepped in some.

Cow pies make grass green.

Cow Pasture

Cow pies make grass green.

Greatest contribution:

Your greatest contribution grows in crap.

The childish belief that meaningful contribution is easy prevents grass from growing. Everyone who makes a difference – for others – deals with crap. Every parent, manager, entrepreneur, teacher, or social worker knows what I mean.

Ease is the enemy of meaningful contribution. But if you work through the crap, you learn how to make a difference in the world.

People who tiptoe around difficulty matter less than people who keep going after they step in it.

7 things you learn when you step in crap:

  1. You learn you still have things to learn when you step in cow pucky.
  2. You learn patience and kindness when you work through your own stink.
  3. You learn humility when you stand there with crap on your shoes.
  4. You learn to seek wisdom and ask for help when you’re up to your neck in cow pies.
  5. You see yourself best when you respond to the crap in your life.
  6. You contribute to others when you work through your own mess.
  7. You learn that the problems you repeatedly face are YOUR issues when you keep stepping in the same cowplop.

Sometimes the crap you step in is your own. (#7 above.)

What if the turbulence you feel is about you, not someone else? A young leader recently told me that the reason he didn’t delegate was he didn’t trust. It’s healthy to realize we’re stepping in our own crap.

Blamers think the stink in their life belongs to someone else.

What has difficulty taught you?

What’s a creative word for cow manure?

Image source: Martin Abegglen, CC BY-SA 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons