Silhouette of a cowboy at day breakBy L. Dennis Burns, CAPP

I have an “ideas file” for writing projects: interesting news items, new product research, industry trend data, or even just photos that might be the seeds of new writing projects.

This time of year (at least in Arizona) my wife, Sharon, is busy working in her flower gardens. Little seedlings are sprouting everywhere! What were little sunflower seedlings are now more than six feet tall! Taking photos of these sunflowers the other day reminded me that I hadn’t visited my ideas file for awhile, so I decided to take a peek to see if any of my seedlings were germinating.

Why do I have a file called Cowboy Wisdom in a folder about parking technical concepts? Truth is, this document had been sitting in the file for quite some time, so I decided to take a look. It was a humorous listing of colloquial insights gained from years in the proverbial or, in this case perhaps literal, saddle. For some reason–maybe because my saddle has been rooted in my home office for past year–nearly every one of these little humorous gems reminded me of something I was working on in some form or fashion. At any rate, this little flight of fancy gave me a laugh, so I thought I would share a few of these rustic pearls of wisdom with you:

  • Never miss a chance to rest your horse.
  • If you get to thinkin’ you’re a person of some influence, try orderin’ somebody else’s dog around.
  • Don’t worry about bitin’ off more ’n you can chew; your mouth is probably a whole lot bigger ’n you think.
  • Only cows know why they stampede.
  • Always drink upstream from the herd.
  • If you’re ridin’ ahead of the herd, take a look back every now and then to make sure it’s still there with ya.
  • Good judgment comes from experience, and a lotta that comes from bad judgment.
  • Never miss a good chance to shut up.
  • Don’t name a cow you plan to eat.
  • Life is not about how fast you run or how high you climb, but how well you bounce.
  • Life is simpler when you plow around the stump.
  • Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a rain dance.

L. Dennis Burns, CAPP, is regional vice president, senior practice builder with Kimley-Horn and a member of IPMI’s Board of Directors.