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Seven Life Lessons from Priming the Pump

January 14, 2014

hand pump fountainDo you remember the  60’s show, Green Acres with Eddie Albert and Zsa Zsa Gabor?  He wanted the farm life and she wanted the city life. I’ve tried both, and I prefer the suburbs!  I  grew up in the country, pumping water, chopping wood, making fires, and with all sorts of  chores. I’d like to say that, “Those were the good ole days, but they were not.”  Times were hard and we worked even harder. Now of course there are few things I miss. First are the people in life back then that are no longer with me anymore, a mother, father, brothers, friends.  Next was the weeping willow tree that I would lie under and dream. Those days did however teach me to work hard.  They also taught me the value of indoor plumbing and furnace heat. (LOL!) Looking back, it makes me appreciate even more what I have now.

I will also always have the memories of “priming the pump” to remind of the value of saving a little, working hard, having the willingness to sacrifice now for the bigger goal in the future, and to remember to take time out to enjoy what I’ve worked for.  The lessons I learned are:

    1. Always Have Faith and Certitude. Smart people rarely go after a goal that they don’t believe in.  We understand that we can’t (or won’t) run towards a goal that we have no faith that we can reach.  If we do, our steps are tentative and unsure. Luckily, we did not doubt as children.  We were showed how to pump and told to do it, and we did, time after time.  We believed; even though we could not see the water underground, we believed that the water was always there. All we had to do was work for it.  You too must also have complete faith and certitude that you have greatness within you and in the goal you are pursuing.  Faith is the key to starting, persevering, and finishing.
    2. Don’t Allow Yourself to Get Empty. We learned to always save a little water to prime the pump for the next time.  We never used our last bit of water, before re-filling our containers.  This relates to our goals in this way. Take care of yourself. It’s okay to help and serve others, but don’t deplete every ounce of your energy.  When you are worn-out, you are subject to all sorts of mental, physical, and spiritual illnesses. My sister would always say, “Stay prayed up!” You’ve got to protect yourself.  If you allow yourself to get too run down or too sick, or too hopeless, it becomes harder (and in some cases) almost impossible to regain your strength, your faith,  or to reach your goals.
    3. You Have to Put Something In Before You Get Anything Out. All of the lessons are important, but this one is the deal breaker. We knew that we had to sacrifice in advance to get something better later.  We had to sacrifice our water, our time, and our energy before we could expect something in return. There is a lesson in this for you too. You don’t get something for nothing. There is no credit in the well of life, meaning “Give me now and I’ll pay later.”  You must pay the piper first. Now the interesting thing was, sometimes if we hadn’t planned well, we’d have to use our last bit of water.  We’d pour the last bit we had into the pump in order to get more.  We were willing to make that sacrifice. The lesson was simple. If we weren’t willing to give it up our water, we would not be able to tap into the unlimited!
    4. You Must Be Ready; No Procrastination Allowed.  Now imagine this, once you’ve poured your limited (or last) supply of water into the pump, then you have to start pumping vigorously.  If you don’t start pumping (and pumping hard), you not only risk not getting any new water, but you will have just lost what little you had of the old.  Once we made the decision to prime the pump, we had to be ready. No procrastination was allowed. There was no time to do something else, make an excuse, or think about it. You had to see it through.
    5. Don’t Stop Until You Reach Your Goal.  Persevering with the pumping was the most critical stage. It didn’t matter how tired you were, how hot or cold it was outside, how you felt, how people felt about you, or anything at that point. You had to focus on pumping and persevere until you saw the results you sought. Sometimes we were lucky, we’d pump a little and waters would start flowing immediately.  Other times, we would pump and pump and not seem to get any results.  Sometimes we would have to add a little more water, some times we had to pump even harder, and other times you just have to pump longer.  The key is that we do what we had to do.  Excuses and quitting were never options.
    6. Give Back! We also learned to keep a certain jug set aside just for priming and we’d fill it before we would habitually fill the other containers so we wouldn’t forget.  The lesson, always give back and save a little.
    7. Enjoy Your Spoils.  Once the water starts flowing, it’s hard to stop it!  Victory is sweet! You have tapped into an unlimited underground reservoir. The fresh water under the ground was always so cold and refreshing especially on a very hot day.  On the cold days, that’s a whole different story.  It just meant that you got to go inside in the warmth and make some hot cocoa or something. Either way, we’d met our goal and that felt good!

That’s it!  Now go prime your own pump and reap your own rewards.

Barbara

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