I grew up on a farm working side by side with my dad and my siblings. For as long as I can remember we’ve had this family motto; a type of unofficial family philosophy. The Farmer’s Creed.
Beat the Sun.
That’s what my dad would tell us every morning as we grumbled and whined our way out of our comfy beds to face the day. The sun had yet to rise on the day and we would all pile into the old pickup truck and head to the farm for our morning chores and irrigation work.
We were grumpy kids. My dad was a stalwart worker intent on instilling his wisdom upon us.
“Beat the Sun,” he’d growl. “If you beat the sun awake in the morning then you’re already ahead. You can laugh at the sun all day.”
It was silly to us. Mostly because we were young and immature with our own set of worries, hopes, dreams and fears. However, the motto stuck and it became ingrained in each of us.
We chuckle about it now. Dad and his silly motto. Except it’s not such a silly motto. In fact it’s a fantastic way to approach the day.
Beat the Sun. Stay ahead. Always be moving forward.
My dad was giving us his work ethic and it’s the greatest gift I’ve ever received from my father. We weren’t rich and we didn’t really take vacations. We didn’t have the best toys in the world or the fanciest clothes or the fastest cars. What my dad couldn’t give us in materialistic and worldly things, he made up for in his own way.
He gave us ambition. He gave us drive. He gave us a way to live and he taught us to be self-reliant and hard working.
Now as an adult, I still try to follow that old farmer’s creed. I have a family of my own and much like my dad, I farm for my living. I understand now the benefit of beating the sun. I’m not a rich man, but I have a happy family and we value the idea of hard work. We sweat for our daily bread. Some days we literally bleed for our sustenance.
At the end of the day when I’m tired and sore and covered in dust and sweat, I can honestly say that I’ve beat the sun.
I’ll do it again tomorrow.