The bamboo tree 🎋
After the seed is planted, the Giant Timber Bamboo tree takes at least three years to come out of the ground.
Once it does, it grows astronomically.
They say it grows so quickly that you can hear it. Under great care, bamboo has been recorded growing up to 46 inches per day. That’s nearly 4 feet.
But the timber farmer has to tend to it faithfully, watering it every day, even though there’s no visible evidence of growth for years.
We, humans, are physiologically and culturally wired to seek instant gratification. Whether it’s in our career, our health, our fitness, or our relationships – we want to see results ASAP. And while it may feel like the cycles move faster for others, the reality is that great things come from patience and compounding effort over time.
The bamboo gardener knows it, that’s why he faithfully and patiently keeps tending to his garden.
But the bamboo farmer also needs to provide for his family. So you know what he does?
He plants other crops above his bamboo seeds for those 3 years that they’re working their way to the surface. While he patiently tends to his bamboo, he grows corn, beans, and any other crop that will help sustain his family in the meantime. When he is watering those crops, he is also watering the bamboo.
Had the farmer dug up his tiny seeds every year to see if it was growing, he would have never gotten the chance to discover how magnificent they turned out to be.
It’s easy for us to fall into the negative cycle of feeling disappointed that we haven't yet got to where we want to be. Doubting our skills and talents, our commitment, even our ability to know what we want out of life. Beating ourselves up because we don't yet have all the answers or we don’t see results.
Maybe you're not 'there' yet, wherever 'there' might be.
Maybe you've still got work to do, lessons to learn, mindsets to shift, questions to answer, people to meet, opportunities to create.
What you need to ask yourself is not whether you’re good enough to get ‘there’, what you need to ask yourself, and get brutally honest about it, is whether or not “you are in the arena”? Are you showing up? Are you rolling up your sleeves? Are you getting your hands dirty? Are you willing to get messy? To make mistakes? To keep showing up when no one is clapping for you?
Your dreams and ideas deserve to have your faith and devotion, the kind of faith and devotion the bamboo gardener has.
And if you fall into “the grass is greener over there” and you’re tempted to dig up your seeds and plant them elsewhere, I want to remind you that “the grass is always greener where you water it”
Rooting for you,