For thousands of years before the invention of tractors and other farm machinery, Oxen have been yoked together and used to pull out tree stumps to clear a field, To flow, And to do other work on farms.
The oxen were an integral part of life for many farmers whose livelihood depended on the oxen for the heavy burdens of farming.
Today the contribution of the oxen is celebrated with oxen-pull contest in different parts of the world.
Two oxen, Yoked together are hitched to a sled, And they pull the sled for a designated distance.
All of the oxen teams that can pull the sled will move on to the next round.
With each round, Weigh is added to the sled.
The team that can pull the most weight wins.
Much like the oxen-Pull contest, Each of us goes through life with our own unique loads.
From time to time, Weight is added.
Sometimes the load is temporary and other times more permanent.
In a time in which we value our independence so much and the idea of self-help has such an allure, Sometimes we try to pull our loads all by ourselves.
It's more difficult that way.
We may even succeed from time to time, But with each successive addition of weight, The difficulty feels more like multiplication.
We'll eventually need help.
The oxen, When working together, Can pull more than the sum of what they can each pull separately.
Similarly, We can more when working with others.
Although the allegory of the bristlecone pine and redwood trees reminds us of what we can do individually to be the people we want to be, The allegory of the oxen Pull counsels us that there is a limit to what we can do alone.
We need other people, And other people need us.
Interestingly, In these oxen-Pull contests, The farmers try to find the best combination that would give them the highest probability of winning.
The winning combination for the oxen Pull involves first, Individually strength and training, And second, The team's ability and willingness to work together.
It is possible to yoke a trained and an untrained ox together with the hope that in time, The untrained ox will learn from the trained one.
This takes time and could work eventually, But you wouldn't want to begin the training process during the contest.
The same would hold true when it comes to teamwork.
It takes time to create the consistency and coordination to maximize individual strengths in a way that will eventually combine to create great teamwork.
In the oxen-Pull competition, A smaller pair of oxen, When contributing to each other's strengths and working perfectly in unison, Can pull more than larger teams not working in partnership.
INDIVIDUAL CHARACTER STRENGTH.
Let's take a look at the parallels between the oxen pull and our own lives.
First is the importance of individual strength.
The reason I mentioned the allegory of the tree using the redwood and the bristlecone pine is to highlight the need for individual strength.
The greater reason I want to have sufficient individual strength is to have the confidence and preparation to work with others and create a multiplying effect as an end result.
Independence and individual strength is the foundation for teamwork.
There's no other way around it.
To illustrate, Have you ever worked with anyone who seemed to be working with a hidden agenda?
That hidden agenda is that person's attempt to compensate for a lack of independent strength of purpose.
When teamwork is required, And a member of the team knows deep down that she is not prepared to effectively contribute to the team, She resorts to her hidden agenda to try and compensate for her lack of preparation or lack of strength of character.
This applies at home as well as at work.
Have you ever seen your kids resort to quarrelling when you give them something to work on together? They may resort to the blame game when they don't feel they have the strength of character, Purpose, Or ability to do their part to finish a task.
Have you ever seen the same thing happen at work or any role for that matter? Disputes happen much more readily when there is lack of individual strength within members of the family or work teams.
There is no way to mask it.
When family members or work colleagues squabble, The tendency, As the parent or executive, Is to try to solve the immediate problem at hand.
Do you ever wonder whether you are addressing only the symptom, When the root causes is a deficiency in individual strength, And consequently the cure is to go back to helping build individual strength?
Again the foundation for building individual strength is to first make up your mind that your divine brain will be your dominant brain.
I can't emphasize enough the need to make sure that you daily go through a regimen of divine-brain activities first thing in the morning and the last thing at night.
The more you do this as part of your time-management discipline, The more likely you will engage in more divine-brain activities during the rest of the day as well.
The other course of action to gain individual strength is to persist moving up the zigzag path to growth.
WE NEED TO WORK WITH OTHERS.
Another parallel between the oxen pull and our own lives is the importance of seeing the value of working with others.
It is interesting that in most countries a day is a designated and celebrated as a day when the country became an autonomous and independent nation.
Independence is a great achievement.
We also celebrate independence when we graduate, Get a driver's license, Or open our own new company.
Yet we celebrate less frequently or at least more quietly, The times when we work with others to produce wonderful results.
I'm not aware of any national holidays called “Teamwork day” or “Collaboration day.”
Usually, However, Most of us spend the majority of our time working and interacting with others.
We need to celebrate and hold in higher regard the opportunity and privilege we have to work with others.
Just as we set goals to be independent, We also need to set goals to work effectively in teams.
Of course, Sometimes certain people simply drive us crazy, But seen through a different mind-set and heart-set (Remember that heart and mind combination again) we'll have an appreciation for what others can add to our lives and feel reverence for the contribution we can make in the lives of others.
Consider that we live in a time that is more complex and interconnected than the world has ever known.
Using the oxen-pull analogy, There is more weight to pull on the sled as a result of the complexities of life in the 21st century than ever before.
Independence and individual strength may be a first step, But it is no longer sufficient to meet the demands of a fast-paced and ever-changing world.
Independence is only intended to be the first step.
It is amazing how cooperations all over the world have quickly realized the need to form strategic partnerships and alliances just to maintain a competitive edge.
On the personal level, However, Most of us are still clinging to the independence we have been taught and celebrated.
We need to start thinking in terms of terms, Or we could find ourselves inadequately prepared and insufficiently informed even in our personal lives.
We could find ourselves exerting so much effort to pull our sleds by ourselves and not see them moving forward.
Working with others is not just good idea, But a necessary one.
(Remember the Charcoal briquettes because it's included here you can see it at my wall just tap my name and scroll down to see the “Charcoal briquettes” article.)
📣KINDLY LIKE THIS ARTICLE IF YOU LIKE IT. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR READING.