“Why do you all wear those blue corduroy jackets?”
As a speaker and being on the road as often as I am, I come in contact with many different people. Every event, I meet new people and en route to those events, I meet people at gas stations, cafes, and more. Recently, I was on my way to speak and had to get fuel when a man stopped me by the convenience store and said, “Hey man! Weren’t you in the FFA? I think I’ve seen you wearing one of those jackets before. I replied, “Yes sir. I’m no longer a member in it, but I can honestly say I wouldn’t be who I am today without it.”
He looked at me and said, “Well I have a question for you, why do all wear those blue corduroy jackets? They’ve gotta be itchy and make you sweat, not to mention, corduroy isn’t really that comfortable to wear.”
Upon hearing the question, I smiled and said, “Well sir, the corduroy jacket is part of the Official FFA Dress, it’s a code of professionalism, uniformity, and tradition. For many folks, Corduroy might not be the preferred fashion of choice, but in FFA it is upheld to a standard of excellence. The corduroy jacket is important because of what it represents: an organization of leaders who believe in the future of agriculture.
He nodded his head, thinking and processing the information I was sharing with him. Then soon said, “I get that. But why would you wear something that isn’t comfortable?”
The answer to this question could be answered in many ways. So I said to the man, “When I was in FFA and wore that blue corduroy jacket, I had an ag teacher who pushed and challenged me to be my best. My classmates and I were taught to work hard, to overcome adversity, and to go after our goals. Over the years, I’ve learned a valuable lesson that you’ll never be great sitting in your comfort zone. You’ve gotta break out and try new things. Although you might think the Corduroy Jacket is uncomfortable, you won’t find a better place to be when striving for success.”
The man smiled and said, “That’s really cool man. You have a blessed day!”
The point is whether you’ve worn the Blue Jacket or not, when we break out of our comfort zone, we position ourselves to grow. Greatness is not born from the confides of our comfort zone, but on the edge, where we are willing to step out. And, for those of you who are in FFA today, stand tall and zip up that corduroy jacket with pride. It might seem uncomfortable at first, but very soon you’ll see just why we wear those jackets in the first place. Because in a very cozy and very comfortable world, we need leaders who are willing to be different, willing to be game changers, and most of all, willing to be uncomfortable, for this is where your greatness truly resides. #WhyCorduroy #FFA #BreakOut #TrySomethingNew