The Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines the word hopper as: "a usually funnel-shaped receptacle for delivering material (as grain or coal); or any of various other receptacles for the temporary storage of material".
Farmers usually use the term "hopper" to describe part of the combine or freight car ("hopper car"). Others might refer to a tank with a device for releasing liquid contents as a "hopper". A legislative body refers to the box in which a bill is stored for future consideration as a "hopper".
What these all have in common is that they are temporary storage units that hold a commodity which will be sold or used in the future. But there are also invisible psychological hoppers in life.
My daughter, Kristal, has been in business for many years. She uses the term "hopper" as a way of encouraging others to be diligent today by filling their hoppers so that they can enjoy the benefits of their work in the future. For example, she might focus on marketing that will "pay off" in the weeks to come. She may suggest that others complete the details of a sale today knowing that commission for that sale won't be received until the following month. She might invest time and energy in meeting prospects who may not request services or make referrals today but will likely do so in the future.
So many times, I have heard Kristal state: "You've got to fill the hopper". This is forward-thinking approach requires delayed gratification. Instead of expecting to be paid today for today's work, you invest your time and energy into activities that will reap rewards down the road.
If you are in business, you may be frustrated with your Accounts Receivable report. Don't be - unless it has accounts that are more than sixty days in arrears. The money that is owed to you will be your income in the days ahead.
If you are a parent and feel like your child hasn't behaved in the manner that you expect, do not be discouraged. Keep teaching the lessons and fill the hopper for the future. Your child will remember and the day will come when you will be pleased with the changes they adopt. Soon they will begin to talk and act like you had hoped.
If you haven't learned a skill or reached a personal goal, keep filling the hopper with information and soon you will realize that you have moved from a position of awkwardness to one of competency. And the more skills that you learn, the more ability you have to quickly put blessings in the hopper in the future.
The hopper is a temporary place that doesn't usually give you immediate profit. It does, however, allow you to know, with confidence, that your efforts and time will be rewarded future with future blessings. It is just storing them up for you!
What are you putting in your hopper today? I hope it is something that will reap beautiful results for you in the future.
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From Dr. Linda Hancock, Registered Psychologist and Registered Social Worker