Finding personal success can sometimes take more time than you think.
A friend of mine explained to me how Chinese Bamboo Trees grow. I thought it was very insightful and really helped me to think about the idea of growth and personal success in a different way.
Now, I should note that there are over 1500+ types of bamboo trees. Just remember, these probably aren’t those little office plants you’re used to seeing. You’ll see what I am talking about in a moment.
“Energy and persistence alter all things.” – Benjamin Franklin
- 1st Year – You plant a bamboo seedling and give it proper sunlight, water, nourishment and in the first year except for a tiny sprout, there is no growth.
- 2nd Year – During the second year you care for the bamboo in the same way. You give it constant attention, watering, sunlight and maybe you even throw in some praying, but still the bamboo does not grow. You were told it might take a while to grow, so you keep soldiering on.
- 3rd year – Another year goes by. You give the bamboo the same love and care. You keep giving it the best fertilizer, sunlight, water, but again much to your amazement, nothing happens. You start asking yourself, why isn’t this thing growing? It’s at this time many people just throw their hands up and give up, but no that’s not you. But how discouraging is it that you’ve waited patiently and cared for this bamboo only to have nothing happen?
- 4th Year – During the 4th year, you care for it, fertilize it, and give it proper sunlight. You take a look around the garden and realize that all the other plants are blooming and teeming with life and vibrancy. But your poor bamboo seed has nothing to show for. For four whole years, you’ve been patient and truly tried to help this seed grow. Except for a tiny sprout, your bamboo is no bigger than it was during the first year.
- 5th Year – It is not till sometime in the fifth year the bamboo tree will start to grow. And when it decides to grow, what happens in the next 4-6 weeks will astonish you. The tiny bamboo sprout you cared for will grow as much as 3 feet in a single day till it reaches as high as 90 feet. How can this be? While in the first through fourth years, the plant was not growing above ground, it was actually growing below ground. It was developing miles of its intricate root system which would eventually help propel its massive upward growth in year five. The bamboos’ intricate root structure takes four years to prepare itself for the growth it will experience in its 5th year.
Life is very much like the growth of the bamboo tree. You can do everything seemingly right, but still see no results. Just remember, although you may not be growing above ground, you just might be developing your root system. Hopefully it will one day propel your growth. Keep persistent and never give up.