A Reminder to Go Farther

**WARNING: After reading this post, You will never look at cows the same way again.

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I can’t remember exactly which class, or exactly which professor gave me this sweet little cow, but I have had him for over 4 years now (side note: It’s downright SCARY that I’ve been out of college that long).4 years is a long time to keep anything, let alone a rubber cow! I keep him as a reminder of the lesson I learned.

You see when I entered that classroom, I was surprised to see this little guy on my desk. Instantly I was curious as to what the topic of the day would be. My professor said that cows can teach us all something about creativity! Really?! How is a large animal with spots a reminder to be creative? This was the general consensus in the room…

The professor then started talking about cows, and how cows graze together in herds. They’re put out to pasture every morning and stick together all day – roaming and eating as one. He said to think of the grass as the cows graze. With every cow grazing in the same area, the grass becomes depleted and muddy as it’s eaten and stepped on. Then he said picture a single cow, brave enough to wander past the group and walk farther into the pasture. This cow is rewarded for his efforts with all the fresh, green grass he can imagine.

Well, the same is true for creativity. When we start brainstorming ideas, we first come to the over-grazed pasture. It’s a safe, comforting area – but,  it’s normal and expected. Most of us stop here and are satisfied. However, if we’re brave, and push ourselves and our thoughts farther – we’ll eventually come to the fresh, green grass – that area in our minds where we discover new ideas and ways of thinking.

As my professor told us to “Be the Cow,” I almost fell out of my seat with laughter. “Be the Cow” he said; Be the one who goes farther and doesn’t stop at what is comfortable. Push yourself to your full potential.

Well, for as hard as I laughed that day, I can still recite this story, and I still keep this cow. Sometimes I glance at him as I do my work and chuckle. He will always be a reminder of a lesson I hope to never forget!

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