I can only imagine how the magnificent Ellie Simmonds felt when she first faced a 400m swim. I’m sure there were times when she wasn’t feeling on full form, when people told her she could never be a world recordholder or Gold Medallist at the Paralympics.
In my life, when faced with a large flock of sheep to shear there are several thoughts which go through my mind.
One of the first is, do I really need to do them now? Perhaps I could wait until another day? Are they too wet, too dirty, too hot or too cold? The list goes on! The thought that somebody else could do this job creeps in.
It is a bit like life really. Being a shepherd isn’t so different from running a business, or a home or a family. You need to be focused, determined and consistent in order to move forward. Ellie Simmonds clearly ignores all the naysayers, not only externally but also those in her head too.For me there is always a great sense of achievement when completing a day’s shearing – a job well done and the sheep look tidy with the old wool in the bags.
Before the day started I could have made any number of reasons why I should not do them but once I have started, once you are committed to shearing the flock, you have to finish. I still can shear 200 sheep a day and once you do the first one there is only 199 left and in the next 2 minutes there will be 198.
Two minutes is not long and it is very easy not to use it to shear that sheep and so we set time limits so that two minutes does not become two-and-a-half or even three! Keeping a pace and rhythm is so important.
Clearly we are not just talk about shearing here! Consistency in anything we do is vital to deliver results. How do you stay focused? What initially daunting goal have you faced, and with vision, determination, focus and a strong team supporting you, have you achieved?