Sometimes life is going to hit you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. You have to find what you love to do because, whatever you do, your work is going to fill a large part of your life. Dairy farming is not the most lucrative work. You have to love it in order to excel at it. The only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the way to do great work is to do what you love. Dairy farming for many is great work, and that is why so many dairy farmers love what they do.
Dancing Among the Stars
This past week the dairy industry suddenly lost a great member. Mike Rakes had worked in the A.I. industry for 33 years with World Wide Sires (Read more: Mike Rakes of World Wide Sires Passes). On Monday of this week Mike suffered a massive heart attack and died on the operating table. Although, during the last 12 years, he battled one kind of cancer after another he never let that slow him down. Just 3 weeks ago Mike’s daughter Brilynn, who is legally blind, had been featured on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars. She’s an award-winning classical ballerina and contemporary dancer from Visalia. She was just accepted at Fordham University in New York City.
It was Mike who has been one of the greatest supporters of Brilynn in overcoming her challenge. “When I was six, my dad told me I could do that,” she said during an interview with Access Hollywood. He spoke to each of his four daughters before he went into surgery at Kaweah Delta Medical Center. “He was joking up until the end,” she said. “He loved his girls,” she said. “He wanted to make sure Brilynn went to college. He was just concerned for everyone else.”
All of us who have had similar health challenges can very much relate to Mike’s situation. Mike loved what he did and loved his family very much. His work took him on 19 overseas trips last year alone. In his interview with the producers of Dancing with the Stars Mike said “I’m a very high output guy. Small issues or concerns of health never worry me,” he said. “Doctors shake their heads at me and say keep doing what you’re doing.” “I’m fine, but I am a miracle,” he said. “I don’t worry about anything. I defy the odds.” The producers wanted to include some of the above interview in their story about Brilynn being featured on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars, but he would have none of that. It was Brilynn’s time to shine, he said.
Mike loved what he did. In an interview with his father Jerry, Jerry said “his goal was to feed the world.” “India used to depend on us for food, but now they produce their own milk because of people like Mike.”
Lessons from Steve Jobs
In his 2005 commencement speech at Stanford Steve Job’s said, “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you will most certainly be right. Each day you need to look in the mirror and ask yourself if today where the last day of your life, would you want to do what you are about to do today? If the answer comes back no with any regularity, something needs to change. Remembering that we are all going to die at some point, means that you need to live life to the fullest.
All of life’s toughest decisions are that much easier when you remember only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the only way to avoid the trap of thinking that you have something to lose. So follow your heart and these decisions will become much easier.
Job’s went on to say that no one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven, don’t want to die in order to get there. And yet death is the destination that we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is the way it should be. Because death is very likely the very best invention of life. It’s life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make room for the new.
The Bullvine Bottom Line
Your time is limited. So don’t waste it living someone else’s life. If dairy farming is not your dream don’t do it. But if it is, do so with all the passion in the world. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. While there are always people who want to tell you what you should do or give you “advice”, remember to listen to your own inner voice. Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, they somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.