The arrival of summer in Oregon ushers in blueberry season. I love this, because fresh-picked Oregon blueberries are for superior tasting than anything I could buy in a grocery store. Aside from their superior taste, picking your own berries from one of the local fields is a summertime activity that is not to be missed.
The beginning of the picking season is the best! All of the bushes are loaded with big clusters of ripe berries. This makes for easy picking. You don’t have to work very hard and in a short time you can be done picking and on your way with several pounds of blueberry goodness.
The scene is a little different as the season progresses. The picking gets more challenging as more people get out and hit the field. Gone are the huge, numerous clusters. This is when you have to start searching the branches for smaller clusters that are hidden from site. The more the season passes, the more you have to work to get the results you want. The berries are still sweet and delicious; you just have to work harder for them… but it’s worth the effort!
I think it’s a lot like that when we’re learning new skills. Starting out, we often see results quickly because we’re going from total ignorance on the topic to acquiring the most basic skills. We go from knowing absolutely nothing to knowing something about the topic. Although this basic knowledge often comes quickly, we soon realize that there is a whole lot more that we don’t know about the topic. We also realize that if we want to get beyond a beginner’s skillset, it’s going to be challenging and require significant effort on our part.
I think it’s here that people often give up pursuing something they want. They’ve gotten past the initial easy steps and arrive at the point where it’s going to take more effort than before to get where they want to go. If that effort seems too great, they give up.
We’ve all been here in some form or another. It’s where we ask ourselves just how badly we want it. How much do we want to:
- Improve upon or learn a new skill
- Learn a new language
- Be able to use a new piece of technology
- Improve a relationship
- Become a better leader
- Or simply pick enough blueberries to fil the large container we brought with us
Knowing that the challenges increase after starting is helpful, because we can anticipate them and be ready to address them when we might otherwise be caught off guard by them and give up.